A post by Rebecca Cole, 2017-18 Deaconess Anne House corps member who works with Grace Hill Settlement House.
It is often surprising to me how much I have to learn about something I have been immersed in my whole life. As a cradle Episcopalian, I thought that I had a general understanding of the Book of Common Prayer, church services, and history of the church. "Intentionality" is a big buzz word of Deaconess Anne House. It requires being actively engaged rather than assuming you will passively learn simply as a product of being in an environment. I have found myself constantly surprised at how much more there is to know. As silly as it may sound, one of the best parts of this year so far has been turning to a page other than Holy Eucharist Rite II in the BCP (often called the "dirty pages" because of how often it is used). It is remarkable how oblivious I could be about something that was part of my weekly routine for the last 22 years.
This idea has also been reflected in Wisdom Distilled from the Daily: Living the Rule of St. Benedict Today that we are reading for discernment. In it, Joan Chittister discusses how we should not just pray when we feel like it, but rather make it as constant of a daily practice as brushing your teeth. This in conjunction with Morning Prayer has created a calm and steadying way to begin my day. Too often, I believe I’ve had a scarcity mindset about my prayer life. It has been a challenging but rewarding practice to consider prayer as essential to my day as eating breakfast and going to work.
A reflection by Kevin Rysted, 2017-18 Deaconess Anne House corps member who works with EarthDance Farms!
Begin Reflection Log: 30th minute of the 15th hour of the 27th day of the 10th month of the 17th year of the 1st century of the 3rd millennia of the Common Era.
I am feeling wonderful in this season of life. The leaves are turning, autumn is descending upon us more and more every day, and with every passing week I am reminded of the delicate architecture of a year of service work in an intentional community. This reminder is usually found when I reflect on the assumption that service, like this at least, is a temporary affair. I remember this when I look forward to my next steps, or what my friends are doing across state lines, or what I was doing at this time a year ago.
I will present a few of the thoughts I have entertained: how have I, am I, and will I leave these movements stronger than I found them? Am I growing in faith, or simply paying lip service? What should I prioritize for my path to harden my heart in love--which of the many great options ahead of me is the one I am going to do? Am I paying enough attention and intention to all of the parts of myself that I hope to cleanse in Holy Fire?
Now moving forward onto some suggested questions!
1. Something rewarding about community life: Always having someone to pray with is pretty awesome.
2. Something challenging about community life: Balancing giving someone space/isolation
3. Something I did with the parish I attend: Theology on Tap
4. Something rewarding about work at my placement site: Getting youth excited about fresh, healthy food
5. Something challenging about work at my placement site: Trying to be fully impactful in 32 hours a week
6. A highlight of this month: Fun times with my mom, sister, uncle, and grandpa over my birthday weekend (also with DAH Crew+)
7. A goal I have for next month: Begin reading 1 Kings, From Wild Man to Wise Man, and *hopefully* Slaughterhouse-Five
8. Something I pray or deeply hope for: That my practices and desires will not impede, but rather enhance, my relationships in StL
9. A new practice I’m engaging: before bed: Spanish lesson, reading from a book, and going to bed at a fixed time
Let it be known that this is both a recapitulation of my month for outward digestion by my lovely audience as well as for inward digestion for my spiritual health.
End Reflection Log: 1st minute of the 18th hour of the 27th day of the 10th month of the 17th year of the 1st century of the 3rd millennia of the Common Era.