Advent Retreat

The Fellowship of United Methodist Spiritual Directors and Retreat Leaders
which kindles Hearts on Fire

Advent Retreat

Wooing Whispers: Longing Hearts in Preparation for Jesus’ Birth

Instructor: Rev. Dr. Brenda Buckwell

For four weeks, as the event of Jesus’ birth dawns in the midst of humanity, this on-line advent retreat provides opportunities for hearing, seeing and entering into the wooing love song of God as God speaks new life to the soul. Through the arts and ancient prayer practices participants will have the opportunity to experience the birthing of Jesus as a way of opening to God’s surprises in the midst of everyday life. Whether you are just beginning a relationship with God or have walked lovingly with Jesus for many years, this on-line retreat will allow possibilities for new life to dawn within you.

Beginning December 1, 2013, the first Sunday of Advent, participants will be able to access the gifts of this class as souls lean into the promise of the coming of Jesus. Through weekly presentation of creative arts and prayer experiences participants will journey through expectation and anticipation to discover and receive the gifts of Immanuel. Working at your own pace, retreatants will have opportunity to create and post to the class site: reflections, poetry, art creations, along with discussion comments and prayers.

Each week the retreatants will receive and creatively respond to:

     1 creative arts presentation (icon gazing, music, guided meditation and Visio Lectio)

     5 weekly emails for reflection and journaling consideration

    Response will be posted by scanning pictures, poems and written reflections as retreatants share their advent spiritual journey with retreat companions in this                    class journey.

Consider: Where in the barren and lifeless times of your life could God’s wooing whisper ignite the flaming love of your heart this advent season and you prepare for the new birth of Jesus in 2013?


For assessment of 1 CEUs the successful student:

1. Will breathe deeply of God through daily times of mediation and prayer. 10% of completion

2. Will post four insights and learnings from this retreat each week. These posts could be Mandalas, written reflections, poems and prayers written as response to the creative arts presentation and /or the 5 weekly emails for journaling. 60% of completion

3. Will print the participants list of this retreat and pray daily (5 times) during each week for other retreatants. One (1) of these prayers may be posted in fulfillment of the #2 assignment. 10% of completion.

4. During the final week of the retreat, participants will write a brief summary of your spiritual journey through this advent season in relation to this retreat experience. 20 % of completion

Please note, the class size is limited to the first twenty (20) participants. Please register early to save your place!!

In preparation for this Advent retreat: Wooing Whispers please read:

• Jim Forest, Praying with Icons, Orbis Books, Maryknoll, New York, 2006 ISBN # 1-57075-112-9

OR • Henri Nouwen, Behold The Beauty of the Lord: Praying with Icons, Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, IN. ISBN # 0-87793-356-1

AND • Thomas Merton, The Wisdom of the Desert, Boston: Shambhala, 1960. ISBN # 1-59030-039-4

• Wayne Simsic, Praying with John of the Cross, Winona, MN: St. Mary’s Press, 1993. ISBN # 0-932085-91-1

• Teresa Blythe & Daniel Wolpert, Meeting God in Virtual Reality, Nashville: Abingdon Press 2004. ISBN # 0-687-04381-6

Reverend Dr. Brenda Buckwell is a nationally known retreat leader, teacher, and adjunct faculty at United Theological Seminary where she has taught the United Methodist Spiritual Formation Certification classes. As spiritual formation consultant for individuals, local congregations, districts and conference, Brenda weaves together spiritual direction and ancient prayer practices opening space for God's presence to be experience and shared within community. With 25 years of congregational pastoral leadership, Brenda has extensive experience in practical application of spiritual direction, conflict resolution and corporate prayerful practices, which lead congregations to healthy communication and vision for vital renewing ministry. Brenda is the Co-founder of The Fellowship of United Methodist Spiritual Directors and Retreat Leaders which kindles Hearts on Fire. After serving as chair of Hearts on Fire for over 10 years, Brenda now serves as Director of Learning and Formation for this national affiliate organization of the General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church.

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