February 3, 2016
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Carey's Conversations

The Society of St. John the Evangelist, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

Jamie Coates, Development Director, SSJE

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God-what is good and acceptable and perfect.  Romans 12.2

One never knows what will happen when you meet a stranger! Scripture and our bishop remind us that Christ often comes to us in the disguise of a stranger. This past fall I made the acquaintance of a stranger while at our diocesan clergy conference at Camp Mitchell. His name was Jamie Coates, our guest speaker and he is currently the director of development at the Society of St. John the Evangelist (SSJE) an Episcopal/Anglican Monastery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

I had come to the conference with a question known only to God, and me and to my surprise Jamie spoke out loud my question! I just about fell in the floor! It was as if God was saying to me through this stranger that God had been listening! I went up to Jamie and we had a stimulating conversation that led to my journeying a couple of weeks ago to Cambridge to spend some time at the monastery (during winter storm Jonas, no less).

While there I joined the monks in the daily rhythm of praise, prayer, common meals, and met with a spiritual director. It was a blessing to be surrounded by these men both young and old that had dedicated their lives to the service of Christ. One day in their library I was drawn to a book, Retreats for Priests and it said this: "We need from time to time to renew our spiritual life." How true! But how do we really do that in daily concrete terms? Even as a priest, I cannot live totally like a monk and neither can any of the rest of us. So, what to do?

"The brothers", as they are collectively known, welcome hundreds of guests each year. From all over the world, and from all walks of life they come and the brothers have listened deeply to their stories. The result is a program for personal spiritual development called, "Growing Your Own Rule of Life." I love the concept of "growing your own." This makes so much more sense than trying to force ourselves into some kind of mold that doesn't fit. Only you know your schedule, job and family demands. Only you know what feeds your soul. During the weeks of Lent we will use this program to take us through the development of a spiritual program that we can do on our own. The "rule" or daily practice will provide a clear path of connection with God, our neighbors, our selves, and the creation. If you have not already registered please do so by going to www.ssje.org there you will be able to download a workbook and sign up to receive a daily email that highlights one of the themes. Hard copies are available for those without internet access (please see Deacon Joanna's article for more information).

Yours for a Holy Lent!

From the Senior Warden

I would like to thank some wonderful people who helped with the reception for Jason's recital Friday night. It was beautiful and well attended. Robert and Joanna Seibert for your starting support. John and Barbara Rhodes-you guys always make things easier. John Bangert-what vision and creativity. Mary Newton and Gary Dunwoody- cookie bakers of the highest degree. Nancy Crow-libation Queen. And special thanks to Ginna Simmons- for more than being there beside me to the end. You know what I'm talking about! With 6 sessions for Lenten studies coming up we have 6 opportunities to share a simple meal together. All slots have been filled except for the last one, so if your group hadn't volunteered to cook please do so. Hope to see everyone at the Shrove Tuesday pancake supper!

Suzzette Patterson

The St. Luke's Festival of the Senses presents Neil Rutman, piano, on Tuesday, February 16 at 7:00pm. Mr. Rutman is a pianist of international renown, noted for his brilliant artistry and masterful keyboard technique. He will play a program of Bach, Schubert, and Fauré, concluding the evening with the Prokofiev third piano sonata. Neil Rutman is an artist in residence at the University of Central Arkansas, Conway. A Meet-The-Artist Reception will follow in the parish hall. Admission is free.
Lenten Suppers 

There will be 6 simple suppers during Lent. If your group could take a Wednesday night to cook, please let the office or Suzzette Patterson know.  Your willingness to participate would be greatly appreciated.
Lenten Quiet Day 

"Go and Search Diligently for the Child"
Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Hot Springs Village
February 16, Tuesday, 10 to 2 (Bring your favorite picture of yourself as a child)

The Rev. Joanna J Seibert MD
ECW Quiet Day Retreat

"Help, Thanks, Wow, and the Anglican Rosary"
Saturday, March 12, 2016, 9 - 2
St. Luke's Episcopal Church
$20 for lunch and Rosary materials
Retreat Speaker: Joanna Seibert
Contact: 501-753-4281 or stlukesnlr@gmail.com
Thank You Note from St. Francis House

Deacon's Bench

This Lent we will be learning together about forming a rule of life, a discipline to stay connected to the God inside of us and the God outside of us on a daily basis. The first rules of life grew out of Christian monastic communities in the deserts of Egypt during the 4th and 5th century. Probably the most well known rule is by St. Benedict that is studied by members of our Community of Hope ministry. These are people who visit the sick and homebound at St. Luke's. Both communities as well as individuals can benefit form these ancient practices. A rule of life calls us to live with intention and purpose in the present moment. It helps us clarify our most important values, relationships, dreams, and work.  A rule of life is meant to be simple, realistic, flexible and achievable. It can change as our life changes; for example, the rule of life may be different for a single person and a mother of four children. The rule should be a purposeful tool to help us grow into a more meaningful life with God. Carey and I are inviting you to go on this journey with us to find the rule that best fits each of us as we study about this spiritual discipline together.

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper

Our annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper is a not to be missed event. Come to the church on Shrove Tuesday, Feb. 9th, at 6:00pm in the Parish Hall. There will plenty of pancakes, sausages, bacon, hash browns and syrup...the works! This is event will be hosted by our Church Men's Group & the Brotherhood of St. Andrew.  The cost in advance is:  $5 per ticket, and $20 for a family. Tickets at the door will be $7 apiece. It is all you can eat, so come hungry! Tickets can be purchased in the Narthex after the Sunday services or online by clicking here. 
Proceeds go toward youth ministry.
Lent at St. Luke's
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.
  • To Participate in the program at St. Luke's
  • Go to www.ssje.org
  • Subscribe to a daily email
  • Download a PDF copy of the workbook or call the church office if you need a copy
  • Come to Wednesday night Lenten series 6 pm to 7:30 (supper 6 to 6:30) where we will discuss each section about a rule of life
  • Week 1 Rule of Life and Rhythm of Nature
  • Week 2 Exploring your relationship with God
  • Week 3 Exploring your Relationship with Self
  • Week 4 Exploring Your Relationship to Others
  • Week 5 Exploring Your Relationship to the Creation
  • Week 6 Living in Rhythm

Applications for the A-TEAM (Amazing-Teens Effectively Active in Medicine) will be available online between February 1 and February 29 or until all slots are filled. There is a $50 program fee required at the time of application and applicants are accepted on a first come, first served basis. Those wishing to participate must complete the application form in detail and should be entering the 9th - 12th grades in the fall of 2016.

The A-TEAM will begin on Monday, June 20 and conclude on Wednesday, July 20. Selected participants will come to the Baptist Health Medical Center - Little Rock campus from 9 a.m. - NOON on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays for 4 weeks during the summer. There will be a total of 12 sessions, therefore it is highly recommended that a teen apply only if they can attend all 12 sessions.

The dates are as follows:

Monday - Wednesday, June 20 - 22 from 9 a.m. - NOON
Monday - Wednesday, June 27 - 29 from 9 a.m. - NOON
(We will not have A-TEAM during the entire week of July 4 - 8 in celebration of Independence Week)
Monday - Wednesday, July 11 - 13 from 9 a.m. - NOON
Monday - Wednesday, July 18 - 20 from 9 a.m. - NOON

This is a highly educational and interactive program. Participants will tour high profile areas of the hospital (i.e. Emergency Room, Med Flight, eICU, Women's & Children's areas, etc.); they will spend an entire session at the Baptist Health College, learning about each discipline taught there; they will "shadow" health care professionals, become CPR certified, participate in a water aerobics class and watch filmed surgeries with a physician narrating the procedure. Participants also do weekly research papers and on the final day, deliver a 5 - 7 minute speech to their peers about things they learned in A-TEAM.

A limited number of slots are available, therefore early application is recommended.

To apply contact: 

Jim Gibbons, CVM - Volunteer Services Manager
9601 Baptist Health Drive
Little Rock 72205-7299
Phone: (501) 202-2192 

Downton Abbey Finale Party: March 6th

Join us on the evening of Sunday March 6th to watch the finale of Downton Abbey. Dress as your favorite character and enjoy traditional treats as a favorite program comes to an end. More event details to come!
Prayer List
Anne Gontermann, Hudson Woods, Helen Snipan, Nina Goins, Sydnie Reedy,  Barbara Coker, Megan Elizabeth Hall, Betty Miller, Chris Mikesell, Louis Jenkins, Gloria Holst, Pam Cox, Bill Shepherd, Kailyn, Bobby and Gary Mackzum, Marilyn Gay, Christine Startz, Billy Tarpley, Bessette Family, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, Linda Hopkins, David Martin, Bernice Carrigan, John Bangert, The Reynolds Family, Steve Fanning, Sandy Barksdale
Special Concerns: For all the men and women of our Armed Forces, especially Justin, Joshua, Bret, Tim, Matt, Doug, Brian Mahoney, Brian Mennes, Frank Tate, Alex Schimelpfening, David Liem, Justin, John Landis, Lucas Kunce, David Jackson