Lent 2016 – Videos and Workbook

This year the Brothers’ Lenten series will focus on God as the Chief Gardener of our souls and use a tool from monastic spirituality called a ‘Rule of Life’ to explore and cultivate our relationships with God, Self, Others, and Creation. Just as stakes and lattices nurture the growth of young plants, so too can spiritual disciplines support the flourishing of our whole being.

Join us to dig deep and dream big about ways to live into a more abundant life with Christ.

Growing a Rule of Life





We recommend that you pick a Sunday to start. If you are going to follow this as a group we suggest that you all coordinate the the same start date. The email will deliver at 7am EST starting on the date you pick. (unfortunately we cannot deliver these in local time)

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Phase 1: Rule of Life & Rhythm of Nature

Phase 2: My Relationship with God

Phase 3: My Relationship with Self

Phase 4: My Relationship with Others

Phase 5: My Relationship with Creation

Phase 6: Create a Solid Garden Plot

2016_Lent

2016_Lent


In this series, we focus on God as the Chief Gardener of our souls, and we seek out ways to grow into the fullness he desires.  Just as stakes and lattices nurture the growth of young plants, so too can spiritual disciplines support the flourishing of our whole being. This series uses a tool from monastic spirituality called a ‘Rule of Life’ to explore and cultivate our relationships with God, Self, Others, and Creation.  This is an exciting opportunity to dig deep and dream big about ways to live into a more abundant life with Christ.

This series is designed for both individuals and small groups.  For small groups, facilitators will guide the growing process as participants discuss and learn together. For individuals, daily videos and reflections will lead them through the same process. Ultimately each participant will create a unique Rule of Life or ‘Garden Plot’ to sustain and expand beyond the class.

Participants will be able to:

  • Design a balanced plan for growing into a deeper relationship with God, Self, Others, and Creation.
  • Celebrate areas of their lives that are thriving and explore areas that need extra nourishment.
  • Tune their sensitivity to the rhythms of nature to help them in keeping a Rule of Life.
  • Grow in fellowship with other participants and support them through the growing process.

68 thoughts on “Lent 2016 – Videos and Workbook

  1. I’m chairperson of the Adult Formation at St Simon’s Episcopal, Arlington Heights IL. I’m interested in using this study in the parish at large as well as individually. Can you send me information on how best to do this? Thanks.

    • Dear Dorothy, Thrilled to learn of your interest. This curriculum, that SSJE is co-producing with Virginia Seminary, is not going to be published until January 2016. If you give us your address we will put you on our mailing list and send you a copy when it is published. Best Jamie Coats, Director Friends of SSJE – friends@ssje.org

      • I am School Chaplain at a JK-12 school. I am interested in offering this to my Upper School and Middle School students as a discipline during lent. I am also hopeful that I may be able to modify the curriculum for use by our Lower School students. I do not speak for our school. Once I put the idea before our Leadership Team for approval, I will contact you.

  2. I’m a ( long distance!) member of FSJ and Vicar of a north of England parish. I’m wondering if it would be possible for each day in Lent 2016 to be down loaded onto our Facebook page? last year we put up a prayer every day and had over 200 followers – not too bad for a small parish. Many thanks for all you do,
    Philip

    • Yes, it will be possible to do so. SSJE will provide specifics regarding how to do this as they are finalized, likely towards the end of December 2015. To ensure you receive information about the Growing a Rule of Life offering, please sign up to receive the information, located at this page, or visit this page for updates: http://ssje.org/ssje/growrule/

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  4. If I am already signed up to receive Brother Give Us A Word, will I be automatically included in this program? Or does Growing a Rule of Life require a separate sign up?

    • You will be included – you can add your address and get a free copy of the participant if you are not on the Mailing List.

  5. I LOVED the Lenten Series on time last year. I have been meditating on the SSJE emails I get every day. I can’t imagine a better way to deepen my walk than to walk with the Brothers. Thank you!

  6. Can you say anything about how this resource might be used with children and families? Would there be enough provided to have a mid-week series using these materials? Thank you for the additional information!

    • Yes, there is definitely enough material for a mid-week series. There will be a workbook produced for participants, as well as a facilitator’s guide. And the brothers will also have short videos in which they share their thoughts and experiences and offer a question for reflection. All of these components will be available for download in advance of the series for groups. The series contains both teaching as well as invitations to personal reflection, which may be used as building blocks toward writing one’s own Rule of Life, if so inclined. Children from about 10 or 12 years of age and beyond are probably best suited for the material. As there are a number of metaphors from the natural world used, there could be a bit of a “hands-on” aspect to utilizing the series. As it also sparks conversation and reflection, the videos, questions, or activities may serve as a starting point for conversation and collaboration.

  7. I would like to lead a Lenten study group on “Growing a Rule of Life.” Can you please give me instructions on how I might do this. I have not led a study group of this nature before.

    Thank you.

  8. Thanks so much for sharing this! I look forward to this series. I would like to propose using this study for our Daughters of the King chapter. Would you recommend we do it as individuals or as a group?

    • Thank you for the encouraging words, Vik. The series is really designed for both individual as well as group use. A middle ground might be individually going through the daily sessions and meeting weekly as a group to share responses and have conversation, or perform some of the exercises. You can find more resources via this link which may help you determine what you think may work best for your chapter: http://ssje.org/ssje/growruleresources/

  9. My question is similar to one comment above. If we wanted to do this as a small group with our parish, should we have each person sign up so they can download or do I have permision to reproduce from the download 10 15 copies?

    Just wondering. Thank you and may the Lord bless and keep you.

    Carol

    • Carol, that is a good question, thank you. Based on the feedback we have received during previous Lenten series, it seems that individual sign up may work best, as it allows for each person to be able to access both written and video materials at whatever times may fit best for them on a given day. This may be even more true with this year’s offering of writing a personal Rule. Through the kindness of a few donors, we have also been able to provide workbooks for a nominal cost of $3 per book or $20 for bundles of ten through Amazon.

      http://www.amazon.com/dp/B016UPQ1RE (for single book)

      http://www.amazon.com/dp/B017LTKOTE (for bundle of 10)

  10. I would love to offer this in our parish, but am somewhat aghast at the fact that most of the suggested opening and closing readings are in books we do not have our our shelves. That’s a big price bite if we have to purchase all these books. Will the readings be provided to us? (We can pay a reasonable copyright fee if necessary.) Thank you!

      • Evelyn, so glad you were able to solve your questions! Well done! SSJE and VTS have provided excerpts in the workbook of the suggested readings, so the basics are already covered. The Facilitator’s Guide does have some additional options for readings, and I think it is that to which you were referring. For folks who may not be able to track those down, those are supplemental, so it should not diminish or affect using the series without them. Thanks for your questions and answers, Evelyn!

  11. I just signed up and am hoping to use it at our church during Lent. If we do the small group portion of this meeting once a week, how much time do you think we need to allow for that? If everyone has already watched the video? Trying to advertise it and promote it, but need to set a time for this and then we will close each session with Compline as well. — Thank you it looks great!

    • Hi Brian, while the time can certainly be adjusted once you get a sense of how it is going, our feedback from past years and the folks at VTS suggest a 1 hour meeting should be a reasonable amount of time to schedule.

  12. I have loved using SSJE’s last two years’ Lenten programs, and would like to present this one as well. Here’s my challenge. My little church does not have phone or internet, and the signal on a cell phone is not always reliable. Is it possible to get a download of the weekly videos to use at a weekly session?

    • Hello Winnie,

      As of today, the videos are in the final stages of editing, and so, are not yet available for download. Please subscribe to the series if you are not already, as this will ensure that you will receive the link from us once they are available.

  13. I would love to receive this during the period of Lent and thereafter too, because am very much involved in spiritual development for self and for others. This could be of tremendous value to me. Thank you and God bless you.

  14. A friend of mine passed along the VTS description of the Growing A Rule of Life Lenten Program and I introduced it to our Women’s study group. There are already seven signed up, and I will facilitate. May I use your description on your Introduction page to the study? We would use it to invite others via a Sunday church bulletin. Thank you.

    • Hello Emilie, thanks for joining us for this series. Yes, you may use the Introduction excerpt for the bulletin. All of our content is covered under a Creative Commons Attribution license which means you could copy and paste to your site so long as you keep a link back to ssje.org.

  15. Hello. I just signed up. I might have also signed up many months ago. I just know that these SSJE Lenten series are so good that I really do not want to miss this one. Thank you so much.

  16. We are very much looking forward to using the “Grow Rule” curriculum for our Lent Program this year. In preparing for our programming, I noticed that the suggested blessing from John O’Donahue’s book at the end of the curriculum for Phase 2 is not mentioned. Would you mind passing that along to us? This question will probably come up with others as they read through the materials, so perhaps you might want to post an update for the broader distribution group.

    Thank you so much for this excellent resource. We look forward to journeying with you through Lent again this year.

    Peace,

    Amelie+

    • Thanks Amelie,
      The poem is “For Equilibrium, a Blessing”. I don’t have the book in front of me so cant give exact page reference for this. I did update the Word doc to include this, many thanks
      Conor

  17. I have been connected with the SSJE from a distance. As the Dean and Chaplain of St. Stephen’s College of Delhi University, I look forward to use this material with the students and senior members. I hope to encourage others to go straight to this site and gain resources for deeper life.

  18. I notice that the text of some of the ending readings or blessings are not in the materials. Are they to be found another place or are we advised to purchase these books beforehand? Example the Wendell Berry poem and the Equilibrium poem

    thanks
    Christopher

  19. Br. Mark Brown’s visit to the recent Diocese of Ohio Winter Convocation, and Will Fowler’s luncheon workshop all were extremely helpful preparation for my workbook participation here in Fort Wayne, IN with many across the world during Lent. I look forward to the daily online guidance, too. God bless us all in building our loving relationships in the community of believers, the Jesus movement.

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    • Greetings, and may heavenly joy and the Holy Spirit be with you all day. I loved reading your thoughts, beautiful and sensitive, regarding your grand children. Two thoughts that came to me, I think becasue you are filled with light and “The Way” that your grand children recognize this in you immediately and gravitate to you both becasue of this and not only because you are their grandmother and they love you but I am certain without your knowing it that it is the light in you which also draws them to you – it’s like flowers/plants reaching for the sun…children instinctively know and instinctively want more…so water these plants becasue when they are full grown and the bloom will be beautiful and then they too will nurture others. A second thought which I think you might enjoy, each day I read my postings from SSJE, especially during Lent, I have been posting this on my FB page for others to read…I call it “Today…as Lent continues)…so, each day I have been blessed to discovered others reading or listening to the postings from SSJE. Thanks you for reading my thoughts, and in closing, may all of us who follow “the Way” be lead forward on this beautiful journey towards the light. Cheers, Richard
      Reply ↓

  30. This topic / ordering life / is very much of the moment for me as I am doing that very thing — reordering my waking/walking(life)/sleeping patterns. Knowing approximately 21 days are needed to re-set a habit, I am listening to this winter time of snoozing hibernation – a time for incubating the thought captive I was and setting myself to re-emerge in rhythm with age and stage and dreams in tact and ready for the promise of spring.
    This Lenten Practice – is a good help along this dreampath into a reality living into the promise and the possibility of what can be now.
    Thanks to each for their thought & contribution to mine.

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  34. This response is to thank Br. Nicholas Bartoli…I am a retired professional dancer and have been an Episcopalian since Baptism, I am 74 years old…hearing you God bless wisdom regarding dance and honoring your body…may I say the blessing of the human instrument through my very long career as a ballet dancer then many years afterwards as a ballet teacher has given me the blessing of exceptional health both physically and mentally for my age God’s love and His gift to me of the dance has blessed me all these many years, so when’s listened to you words about honoring your body’s do the dance reminded me once again how blessed and fortunate I was to have been given the gift of dance and that I was able to honor and take care for my body in most glorious way. Again thank you.

  35. I realize that I’m coming late to the party. but just became aware of it a few days ago. Appears to be something of which I would like to be a part.

  36. I leave tomorrow to go to visit my grandchildren. There are (boy/girl) twins, age 10 on St. Patrick’s Day and an older grandaughter who turned 11 at Christmas. They are ready (and thirsty) for this kind of stability and peace. I copy a portion of the (daily assigned) Psalm into a small notebook to carry with me throughout the day. The copying engraves it better into my heart. I plan to present and propose this to my grandchildren. The twin girl only wants to sing and go to church, and she will know that this is within her and she carries it with her. The boy twin says that he likes to write words because they give him calmness. He is ready. Little children crave God’s work engrafted upon their hearts. For the older girl, it may not be too late as she has recently turned receptive to a relationship with me. I only pray that I can bring this to them early so that they can carry it (God’s word) within them.

    • Greetings, and may heavenly joy and the Holy Spirit be with you all day. I loved reading your thoughts, beautiful and sensitive, regarding your grand children. Two thoughts that came to me, I think becasue you are filled with light and “The Way” that your grand children recognize this in you immediately and gravitate to you both becasue of this and not only because you are their grandmother and they love you but I am certain without your knowing it that it is the light in you which also draws them to you – it’s like flowers/plants reaching for the sun…children instinctively know and instinctively want more…so water these plants becasue when they are full grown and the bloom will be beautiful and then they too will nurture others. A second thought which I think you might enjoy, each day I read my postings from SSJE, especially during Lent, I have been posting this on my FB page for others to read…I call it “Today…as Lent continues)…so, each day I have been blessed to discovered others reading or listening to the postings from SSJE. Thanks you for reading my thoughts, and in closing, may all of us who follow “the Way” be lead forward on this beautiful journey towards the light. Cheers, Richard

  37. Just to update you… there are (at least) two of us in Seattle that have been unable to download/watch the videos since 29 February. (We live in different parts of Seattle, have different servers, etc.) Neither of us had a problem prior to 29 February. Here’s hoping!

  38. Brother Braught, this touches on the ambiguity in each of us as well and as lovingly as anything I’ve ever seen.
    Thank you,& God Bless you

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  40. This exercise on developing a Rule of Life is just what I’ve needed! Thank you so much. I’d love to send a contribution to say Thanks more specifically.

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