Our Advent retreat this year will be led by the Rev. Dr. Shane Phelan and the Rev. Elizabeth R. Broyles of the Companions of Mary the Apostle. The retreat will take place in the library. There is no charge. Light refreshments will be provided. A minimum of 10 people need to register in order for this event to be offered at this time. In the event that we do not have a minimum of 10 registrants, this event will be rescheduled for a future date. Please contact Kathy Noe or sign up at the front desk.
For more information, contact Canon Manoj Zacharia.
About the Companions of Mary the Apostle
The Companions of Mary the Apostle are an ecumenical community open to people of all genders. In their own words, they say:
“We are weaving a new tapestry of community life that draws on contemporary experience and the wisdom of the ages. In this weaving, we experience the Spirit calling us to gather the riches of particular threads of religious tradition in order to witness to God’s creative, life-giving love in the world. These traditions hold in common the single-hearted devotion to God and to others.
“We hold in common a covenant that reflects the values arising from our transformative encounter with Christ, values of love: love of God, love of creation, love of one another. We discern, through prayer and conversation, the particular commitments which naturally emerge from the covenant and our individual calls to a way of life and relationship.
“We do this as Companions of Mary Magdalene, who encountered Jesus powerfully in life and beyond. She experienced deep healing and accompanied him on the Way. She kept vigil with the other faithful disciples who stood at the foot of the cross. When it seemed all was lost, as she wept at the tomb, she found new life – the risen Christ – instead. Mary was sent by Jesus to tell the other disciples the good news of resurrection: “I have seen the Lord.” For this reason, she is known in the Eastern Church as the Apostle to the Apostles.
“This encounter with Christ is central to our lives together. God has given us the gifts of freedom, of gratitude, of joy in being found and being loved in Christ. We share these gifts with others and proclaim the power of the Risen One. With individual seekers and communities of faith of many kinds, we share the good news of risen life through Christ’s love, in the here and now as well as the life to come.
“To a Church whose form is changing in ways it cannot plan or even foresee, we share the power of meeting the risen Christ. We announce resurrection to those locked in the upper room of the Church. We look for the lost or forgotten, those not reached by the existing Church.
“We proclaim the gift of God’s love to those who have turned away. We seek to make Christ’s presence known through our life and our ministry. We aim to support the spiritual journeys of all people, in the churches and beyond. We welcome as Companions people of all genders who consider themselves part of the Body of Christ, whether they find their spiritual homes in the Church, on its margins, or outside institutions altogether.
“We proclaim that God is beyond categories, beyond masculine and feminine, and that the power of the Divine is accessible to all. We lift up feminine images and language for God in our practice, not replacing or eliminating masculine language, but making room for both. We use inclusive, diverse language and images of God in worship and prayer, images mined from the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures and in spiritual writings throughout the ages. We commit to ongoing curiosity and care on this path, and offer ourselves for dialogue with other people of faith about these images.
“While we foster transformative leadership in all whose lives are rooted and grounded in the love of Christ, we respond to a special call to foster and equip women’s leadership. Even as women are ordained and some women come to public leadership in the Church, many women struggle with their own authority and power. We seek to connect women to the Divine power that is both masculine and feminine, a power within, among, and around us. Like Mary Magdalene, whose power was released through her healing relationship with Christ and her experience of the Resurrection, the Spirit leads us to equip others to go and tell the good news of new life.
“With Mary Magdalene, we live on the border between what has been and what is emerging. We feel ourselves blessed in the renewal and healing offered by knowing Jesus. We follow Jesus through the fear and pain of misunderstanding, rejection, and danger. We are strengthened by the company of faithful people nearby and around the globe. As co-creators with the Divine, we join Her in growing Christian community face to face, and use online technologies to foster strong connections between people who may never meet in person.”