Tending the Light – Advent E-Retreat
Janice MacLean

Advent light retreat imageAdvent is a season of “dark shining.” Full of desiring and seeking, fearing and chaos, risking and shaping, and witnessing and trusting, it is a season rich in metaphor and image speaking to the spiritual journey.

The more I work with congregations-in-change the more I notice the invitation to transformation is both personal and communal. There are predictable patterns and reoccurring rhythms that are part of every spiritual journey whether we are engaging change in congregational life or in the depths of our own faith experience.


In this Advent retreat we will explore four movements in the spiritual journey.

  • Witnessing
  • Grieving
  • Focussing
  • Abiding

Sometimes naming where we are offers enduring power. Sometimes there are spiritual practices more appropriate for one movement than another. We’ll explore this using the stories of Advent and the image of tending the light in a time of “dark shining.”

There are two ways to engage this Advent Retreat.

1.  Join me at Tatamagouche Centre on Wednesday, November 28th for the Advent Retreat Day. We will immerse ourselves in the stories, metaphors and images of Advent with time for personal exploration. The day is yours to shape as you need with time for walking, reading, or prayer. I will offer brief input on “Soul-Making” and provide several prayer stations to engage your senses and help get ready to enter the mystery of Christmas. Please register with Tatamagouche Centre (I 800 218 2220.)  All participants will also be included in the four Advent E-Retreats. (I’ll confirm your email address during the day.)

Bring your Bible Study group and the E-Retreat will offer material for study during Advent!

OR  2.  Join me on-line. Register at the Maritime Conference site. Click here  or email me.  You will receive a weekly email the four Saturdays in Advent. The retreats will invite prayer and reflection on how we tend the light through the movements of transformation. The stories and metaphors of Advent, art, poetry and song will offer us ways of tending the light and nurturing our spiritual journey. Each week there will be one or two spiritual practices that support our spiritual journey in times of change, personally and in our faith communities. There cost is $10 or as you are able, payable on-line by credit card or by cheque.

Ways the E-Retreats are used:

  • Personally – they are designed to use when your schedule permits, in a one-time setting aside of Sabbath space or daily. Although you retreat by yourself and at your own time, you are part of a wider cyber-community sharing the same prayers and practices.
  •  In congregations – During the Creation Retreat I learned a couple of congregations invited those who were receiving the E-Retreats to an evening of reflection and sharing once during the series.

This may be particularly helpful to congregations with part-time ministry where time to offer all things in Advent is limited. Some congregations have asked if they can forward the retreats to members of the congregation. This is always a possibility. Please contact me for more information and a congregational registration fee.

Looking to Lent.

I am very grateful to:

Robyn Brown Hewitt, liturgist
Gordon Williams, photographer
Christine Johnson, artist
David Fleming, physics professor
Wendy Kean, theologian
Nathan Beeler, musician

who will join me in offering the 2013 Lent E-Retreat. Each one, from their unique perspective, will engage the farewell words in John 13-17 and offer you their reflections and suggestions for entering the scripture and getting ready for the mystery of Easter.

We are also working on an  e-resource for young family in Lent. More information to come.