What is Suburban Monastery?
Suburban Monastery is a learning community, but learning of a certain kind. We want to learn the life of Jesus through engagement with the enduring spiritual practices we find in Scripture and Christian history. In other words, we are in search of all the ways to be with Jesus, to learn from him, to relate to him in our real-world issues and challenges, and finally to be shaped by him in the triune life of God: the Son as he lives in company with the Father and the Spirit. We want to know what it means to live and pray better, with more depth and clarity.
Suburban Monastery is meant to be both a community and a program that takes the challenge of spiritual growth and maturity seriously.
What do we do at Suburban Monastery?
Our purpose is to embrace intentional spiritual life:
• we pray: we ask God to shape our lives into the image of his Son Jesus
• we introduce important themes from Scripture, history and biography
• we get pragmatic, asking what it means to “practice” what we are talking about
• we take time for experiential engagements with spiritual practices
• we take time for meaningful discussion and debrief
• we leave with the charge to “go and do”
What will we be learning about (and experiencing) this year?
We will be learning purposeful practices that shape our souls. Each purposeful practice is a way to be more intentional about spiritual life, and more focused in prayer.
October 4 — remember with a purpose — the central place that memory holds in the life of faith, and the practices that shape a graced memory
November 1 — read with a purpose — the importance of words in the formation of our souls, and the ways we cultivate words and The Word
December 6 — be silent with a purpose — the value of the gaps, the silences, the spaces; we will learn that silence is not absence, but a way into deeper fulness
January 9-10 — Epiphany Days of Prayer — contemplate with a purpose — how meaningful action is sourced in contemplation; how the pressures of time and distraction must be resisted
TBC — work and rest with a purpose — the wisdom of ordering work and rest into proper rhythm: finding a work that matters and a rest that replenishes
March 7 — simplify with a purpose — the call to Jesus is the call to simplify one’s heart and mind around one person and one theme: but how can we do this? how do we simplify?
April 4 — crafting a purposeful “rule of life” — it’s true: fail to plan, you plan to fail; true inner freedom requires a disciplined (discipled) life that is thoughtful and intentional
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