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Leaning Into Blessing: An Advent Online Retreat

December 2, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - December 4, 2022 @ 4:00 pm


“The season of Advent means there is something on the horizon the likes of which we have never seen before … So stay. Sit. Linger. Tarry. Ponder. Wait. Behold. Wonder. There will be time enough for running. For rushing. For worrying. For pushing. For now, stay. Wait. Something is on the horizon.” ―Jan L. Richardson

Advent is a season rich with anticipation as we prepare to honor the incarnation of the person of Jesus: he revealed to the world a life rooted in the heart, at the intersection of time and timelessness. Alongside Mary, pregnant with the Christ, we enter the dark and soft stillness of winter; ripening with the blessing of generating the Christ in our own embodied lives. As we lean into the blessing, cultivating our own deep “yes” parallel to Mary’s, we have the opportunity to carry forth tending to the horizontal demands of the season from a profound fullness. Slowing and staying awake to the true meaning of this season, we break the habitual excess of commercial consumerism, instead offering the fruits of our awakened hearts.

This retreat will include the practices of silence, Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, Visio Divina, Audio Divina, reflective writing, sacred chanting, and body prayers. Join us as we lean into the blessing, sitting and lingering in the quiet, readying our hearts to enter Christmas with humility, compassion, and great love; that we may offer what is needed.

Optional Reading: Night Visions, by Jan Richardson. We will be incorporating some material from this book and you are welcome to purchase it if you like, but it is not necessary. Just come and sink into the season with us!

Retreat Leaders:
Heather Ruce, M.A. is a wisdom spiritual director with a background as a therapist and training in a neurophysiology based approach to trauma resolution. She loves working with individuals as well as facilitating groups and retreats focused on learning and practicing the Wisdom Tradition.

Joy Andrews Hayter, Ph.D. is a spiritual director whose offerings include Centering Prayer and other contemplative practices of the Christian Wisdom tradition. These practices encourage us to lean into the Love that is constantly being offered within a relational web of Sacred Unity. As a scientist she sees in the physical world an expression of that love.

Please register at www.mercy-center.org or telephone 650-340-7474

How will the virtual retreat work?
You are invited to join us from your own home as we practice integrating prayer with our daily lives, in our homes, and in our circumstances as they are. Check out the schedule (subject to change) below to get a sense of what our retreat will be like together. We hope that you will choose as much or as little of it as fits in your life, on any given day. Let the rest go. Be met, exactly where you are, trusting that God’s love surrounds all of it, all of us, exactly as we are.

Times in Pacific (California) time.

Friday, December 2nd
4:00 Welcome & Introductions
5:00 Silent Break
5:15 Contemplative Reflection One
6:00 Silent Dinner
7:30 Centering Prayer & Practices, followed by Great Silence

Saturday, December 3rd
8:30 Centering Prayer & Practices
9:30 Silent Break
9:45 Contemplative Reflection Two
10:30 Silent Break
10:45 Contemplative Reflection Three
11:30 Centering Prayer & Practices
12:00 Silent Lunch followed by Silent Contemplative Free Time
4:00 Centering Prayer & Practices
5:00 Silent Break
5:15 Contemplative Reflection Four
6:00 Silent Dinner
7:30 Centering Prayer & Practices, followed by Great Silence

Sunday, December 4th
8:30 Centering Prayer & Practices
9:30 Silent Break
9:45 Contemplative Reflection Five
10:30 Silent Break
10:45 Closing Reflections & Circle


December 2, 2022 @ 4:00 pm
December 4, 2022 @ 4:00 pm
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Cristina Esguerra


Mercy Center Burlingame
2300 Adeline Drive
Burlingame, CA 94010 United States
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