There Is a Field

I’ve just returned from my second weekend intensive in spiritual director training with The Haden Institute. I’m grateful for time apart to learn, to be fed, to not be in charge of something, but, instead, to be fed spiritually.

There is a sacred space at the intensive that is just for creative expression and processing. I painted this piece in response to a Rumi quote that was shared in our morning meditation.

Out beyond the ideas of rightdoing and wrongdoing there is a field. I will meet you there.
-Rumi

Drink Deep

O God, you are my God, I seek you,
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
-Psalm 63:1, NRSV

Drink deep
with eyes
with ears
with nose
with mouth
with hands
with heart.

I sip coffee, dark and smooth with a hint of cinnamon.

The wrens scold me as they carry food to their young the bird box on the front porch.

I lie in the lawn chair and watch clouds form, transform, and disappear.

I stack a smooth river stone to the pile on top of the bridge over Cave Creek.

The river roars in the canyon below. Its sounds lift my spirits, my heart.

I walk to the river at dusk and watch the ouzel hopping from rock to rock, stopping to preening its feathers before roosting for the night.

I smell the cool, earthy moisture by the river and the hot dustiness in the kitchen.

Vivid memories inhabit me. I breath them in with gratitude. In this place, I am surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.

Drink deep from the present moment. The living, healing Spirit lives here.

We Are All Complex

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We are all complex. I wish I were made of just one self — consistent, wise and loving — a self I should never wish to get rid of at any time or place, which would move graciously through my autobiography ‘trailing clouds of glory.’ … It is no use trying to reconcile the multitude of egos that compose me. I cannot fathom them myself. I ask myself questions that I cannot answer. I find my heart aching when I expected to find it rejoicing; tears flow from my eyes when my lips were formed to smile. I preach love … and peace, but I am conscious of antagonisms, and lo! I find myself brandishing a sword and making ready for battle.

– Helen Keller
My Later Life
Quoted in inward/outward

God’s Welcome – A Retreat

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I’ll be worship leader at an upcoming 5-day contemplative retreat on the theme of “God’s Welcome.” I hope you’ll join us as we explore the crucial theme of hospitality.

Here are the specifics:

God’s Welcome: A 5-Day Contemplative Retreat
Date: October 16-21, 2016
Faculty: The Right Reverend Kee Sloan (Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama) and Dr. Amy Oden (Professor of Early Church History and Spirituality at Saint Paul School of Theology at Oklahoma City University)
Location: Camp McDowell, Nauvoo, AL
Cost: $750 (room, board and tuition)

God’s Welcome is sponsored by the North Alabama and Alabama-West Florida Conferences of The United Methodist Church, The Academy for Spiritual Formation, and The Episcopal Diocese of Alabama.

Download the flyer to learn more. Or register here.

I hope to see you there!!

Join Me in May

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Join me in May at a retreat — a 5-Day Academy for Spiritual Formation — on the topic of the Psalms. I’ll be serving as the worship leader. For more information or to register, click here.

Psalms for Life: Praying Alone and Praying Together.
May 4-9, 2015
Camp Sumatanga, Alabama

Faculty: Roberta Bondi and Don Saliers

Roberta will focus on the many ways the Psalms can be used as a tool for Christian formation and prayer. For centuries, people have turned to the Psalms for solace, guidance, renewal, celebration and so much more. The 150 Psalms reflect a wide range of experience and expression. Roberta will guide the participants into a greater understanding of the Psalms and how to use the prayerbook of our forbearers to deepen our prayer life and our walk with God.

Don will focus on the use of the Psalms in corporate settings including worship and small groups. The Psalms are both personal expression and communal formation; Don’s lectures and worship leadership will explore this relationship in a number of ways, and invite us to bring our own lives and communities of care and ministry to the Psalms throughout the week.

An Amazing Opportunity!

I can’t say how awesome it will be! With Roberta and Don teaching us in the model of the Academy for Spiritual Formation. Incredible lectures, inspiring worship, times of silence and times of fellowship. All in a beautiful setting! I hope you will consider joining us for this amazing week!

For more information or to register, click here.

Download the brochure.

Join Me at SOULfeast

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The last several of summers, I’ve had the chance to help with SOULfeast, the Upper Room’s summer spiritual formation retreat. I’ll be there again this summer — July 13-17 at Lake Junaluska, NC. I’ll be leading worship and will be doing a workshop on photography. I hope you’ll consider joining me there.

Roberta Bondi, author, professor, and theologian, will serve as the Keynote Speaker for the week, and preachers, Rob Fuquay, Tim Bias, Candace Lewis, and Dana Trent, will lead us in spiritually rich worship each night.

Our theme for the week is “Living Psalms” — how the Psalms apply to our daily lives. There is still time to register and join us for this special event. Check it out.

Join Me in an Online Advent Retreat

Fall in Nashville
Fall in Nashville (Scarritt-Bennett Center)

Help spread the word!

The Uncluttered Heart Online Retreat, Nov. 28, 2010 – Jan. 6, 2011
Cost: $40 – includes digital book, small group facilitation, online software

| Sign Up for the Retreat |

This online retreat is co-sponsored by The Upper Room and BeADisciple.com. A gracious group of volunteer facilitators join me in leading the retreat. These facilitators are church leaders from all over the country. Both clergy and lay, they bring their love of Advent and Christmas, as well as open, compassionate hearts. I’m looking forward to sharing the season with them and with all those who sign up for the retreat.

Here are our facilitators:

  • Mark Babb — Jackson MI
  • Ginger Bennett — Biloxi, MI
  • Suzanne Elliott — Chambersburg, PA
  • Scott Endress — Houston, TX
  • Michael Henderson — Cayce, SC
  • Carol Kleber — Wantagh, NY
  • Lisa McGehee — Richmond, VA
  • Marcia Middleton — Albany, NY
  • Dawna Petersen — Bloomington, IN
  • Ingrid Quigley — San Jose, CA
  • Pam Wiggins — Porter, TX
  • Lorenza Williams, Jr. — Philadelphia, PA

Participants will receive daily encouragement and receive support from others on the journey. The class begins on November 28, 2010, the first Sunday of Advent, and continues until Epiphany, January 6, 2011. Participants should plan to login daily at a time of day which is convenient to their own schedules. A missed day may be made up the next, but the discipline of daily study will be valuable to the journey through Advent.

| Sign Up for the Retreat |

FAQs

Will I need a book for the retreat?

You won’t need a book — the book’s content is included in the retreat.

What if I did The Uncluttered Heart last year?

It’s up to you — the retreat may be just what you need for this year. The online retreat contains similar material you received last year, but by participating in the retreat, you’ll have the chance to be a part of a small group. If you long to be a part of a group and one is not available to you, then you may want to prayerfully consider joining the retreat.

What do I need in order to participate in the retreat?

A computer with an internet connection that you can access every day. (You’re not alone — technical assistance is available.)

What if the retreat is not for me?

No worries — the retreat may not be for everyone. I hope you will participate in The Uncluttered Heart by using the book and The Uncluttered Heart website. I’ll be posting daily content and sending text messages to remind you to connect with God throughout the days of Advent and Christmas.

 

Please let me know if you have other questions. I’m looking forward to spending Advent with you.

Blessings,
Beth
beth@betharichardson.com