No Retreats? On-line Resources Emerge


On Tuesday we completed a four-week Zoom course on soul friendship for both a morning and evening group. It was led by Scott Brennan, Simon Reed and myself. Our final discussion was ‘What next?’  Two things were pointed out.


1) For a thousand years soul friendship has barely figured in the Christian church – it can only flourish in the context of a way of life. 


2) Covid 19 has hastened a culture change; a new peoples monastic paradigm is emerging in which soulfriendship will flourish.


So we are discussing whether the next step is resourcing a way of life.  Many a way of life starts with Simplicity (‘Blessed are the poor in spirit’ Matthew 5:5).


Simplicity in what we do is as vital as simplicity in what we buy. This week I started to read a book Scott recommended, John Mark Comer’s ‘The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry’. John Ortberg rang Dallas Willard ‘What do I need to do to become the man I want to be?’  After a long silence Willard replied ‘You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life’. In his foreword John Ortberg points out that hurry is associated with words such as hurl, hurly-burly (meaning uproar), hurricane. He defines it as ‘a state of frantic effort one falls into in response to inadequacy, fear and guilt’. He concludes that the good of being delivered from hurry is to do calmly and effectively – with strength and joy – that which really matters.’


 Carl Jung said ‘Hurry is not of the devil: hurry is the devil’.


Having discussed ways of replacing cancelled retreats with  on-line teaching/sharing sessions with our guardians, I am preparing to replace our Aidan and Hilda Week Retreat with the following on-line teaching sessions followed by sharing of inspirations and questions.  Here is the provisional programme.  Email me if you wish to book


August 31 (St. Aidan’s Day) 10.30 am  (8.30 pm Melbourne) Aidan – Irish flame lights a new world.  7.30 pm (2.30 pm New York) Bega – first of England’s spiritual foster mothers.


September 1 10.30 Oswald – the ruler who raised up the poor.   7.30  Ebbe – a spiritual queen.


September 2  10.30  Chad and Cedd –who brought sacred bonds between Scots and southerners.   7.30 Hilda – merciful mother and bright jewel to all 


September 3  10.30 Cuthbert – prophet, healer, hermit, church planter.  7.30 Enfleda – holy learning.


September 4 10. 30 Eadfrith, Ethilwald,  Billfrith and  the Lindisfarne Gospels. 7.30 Sacred Bonds_ Between Scots and English – a template for America, Britain, China … all the way to Zimbabwe.

 PS If the times do not work for USA or Down Under and enough people book from these lands we can double up contents and repeat the same session twice a day.

 Price:  Any donation more than £50.  Please help us keep The Open Gate afloat during the shut-down.


Posted at 09:57am on 24th April 2020
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