“Come to me, all you who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Rest, reflection, and play are essential to our lives! Opportunities to practice rhythms that enliven our souls and bodies help us grow our connection with the divine presence, who is with us always.
You are warmly invited to participate in retreat offerings at St. Paul’s designed to support us in exploring spaces of refreshment and renewal in community!
Young Adult Retreat
Come for some time away and build Beloved Community together! We will pray together, eat together, hike together, and create space for one another. Retreat begins Friday night after dinner and ends by lunch on Sunday. Cost per retreatant is $250. Reserve your spot by Friday, December 15!
"In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” Mark 1:9-15
When: Friday, February 23, 5:30-8:30pm (includes dinner) and Saturday, February 24, 10am to 4:30pm (includes lunch)
Where: St. Paul’s, 415 El Camino Real, Burlingame, CA 94010
Cost: Donations to cover retreat costs and to support the ministry of the Communion of the Mystic Rose are requested, in person or on St. Paul’s website.
Contact: Contact the Rev. Sarah Stewart, firstname.lastname@example.org
After receiving an initiation from John the Baptist and an anointing from the Holy Spirit, Jesus, the incarnate Wisdom of God, goes into the wilderness for an extended period to fast and pray, and to do battle with his own inner demons (more specifically, with ‘The Divider’, that disordered egoic impulse that alienates us from God and our fellow creatures). This mysterious series of events in the Gospel narratives invites our keen exploration—its deepest value will be found in reading it as an invitation to real participation in the personal and collective quest for atonement (‘at-one-ment’), the restoration or reunion of our deepest nature (imago dei) with the ineffable Source.
The stories of the life of Jesus preserved in the Gospel texts—as well as the parables he spoke, which are enshrined in those stories—are things that ultimately call us not into ideas, but into actions—especially into the transforming work of metanoia (‘changing of mind’), which Jesus announces at the outset of his ministry, as told by the canonical evangelists: ‘… the moment has ripened, and the Kingdom of God is immediately near; change your mind, and trust in the good tidings’ (Mark 1:14). These are the first words, according to St. Mark’s account, that the Master spoke after he emerged from his ‘temptation in the desert’, ready to begin his public ministry.
This opening proclamation of Jesus points us to a changing or transforming of the mind toward awareness of the ultimacy that is immediately near to us—nearer than our own breath—but which nonetheless remains hidden from our conscious awareness. This transformation of mind is itself the entryway into the Kingdom and metanoia implies not just a shift in one’s thinking (which is trivial), but rather a change in the very nature, order, and foundational orientation of the mind at its inmost depth. We trust (pisteuete) in the good tidings (euangeliō) of Divine Wisdom who speaks to us of these things in the person of Jesus, so that we will be motivated to do the difficult work of actually transforming ourselves at a fundamental level, and thereby unveil the truth of our own nature (and the nature of all phenomena) in the imminently present Kingdom of God, the luminous Ground of Being.
Many times in the Gospels, Jesus gives the instruction, ‘stay awake’ (for example, in the parable of the bridesmaids). But in order to stay awake, we must first be awake. In other words, we have to wake up out of the lulling dream of our ordinary perceptions and conditioned assumptions in order to move into the imminent Reality of the veiled but ever-present Kingdom. And the ‘opportune moment’ (kairos) for the totalizing alteration of mind (metanoia) that will allow us to wake up and remain awake—to become a living memory of what is glimpsed in the true waking state—is here and now, always present in fullness beyond the boundaries of space and conventional, linear time (krónos).
Like all authentic spiritual teachings, this ‘pointing’ of Christ is a truth to be known directly in the experience of contemplative awareness, not a notion to be grasped abstractly. Such direct knowing is the substance of what I will be inviting you into in these days of Lenten exploration and contemplative practice, as we traverse together the profound potential of the proverbial desert. I hope you will join us on this pilgrimage toward the essential nature—of the Lenten season, of the Gospel, of our own minds, and of the human journey.
Awake in the Wilderness: A Contemplative Lenten Retreat with Fr. Brendan E. Williams, CMR
Parish Retreat | April 19-21, 2024 | Bishop's Ranch
Last April, our annual parish traditions continued at the spectacular Bishop’s Ranch in Healdsburg. 2024 promises to be an even better weekend experience, full of opportunities to connect and reconnect with friends, old and new. Nestled among the vineyards of the Russian River Valley wine country, the Bishop’s Ranch offers comfortable accommodations and tasty homemade meals in a beautiful setting to provide a rewarding experience for all ages. Learn more about the Ranch at https://www.bishopsranch.org.
There will be plenty of activities for those young and young at heart, or you can just relax with a good book in the garden. A full list of activities and schedule will be forthcoming.
Based on strong interest, we’ve secured the iconic Ranch House for our weekend, with the ability to expand our footprint should we need more space. Costs will be based on specific rooms in the Ranch House. A list of rooms and respective prices will be provided upon request, so please call or email your indication of interest to Tom Power at email@example.com or (415) 990-4942. As always, financial assistance is available by contacting Rev. Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org