with Christine & John Valters Paintner
and the Abbey Wisdom Council
June 2019 - June 2020
Contemplative rhythms are essential here at Abbey of the Arts, both in terms of what we teach as well as what we practice. Each week we try to take a Sabbath day as a time to celebrate the lavish gift of rest. Each summer we take a month of sabbatical time to refresh and renew our bodies and spirits.
We both long for a longer time of sabbatical. If we still worked in a university or church setting this might be built in to the financial support, but since we are entirely self-supporting taking this needed time to step back and listen for the deeper call demands more planning and outside financial support.
About a year ago we realized that since we were coming up on our 50th birthdays in 2020 that we might take the opportunity to live into the biblical practice of Jubilee. Because the Jubilee is the 50th year we realized that when we turn 49 is the start of our Jubilee year and this happens for us in June 2019 when we will begin a year of sabbatical. (Christine and John's birthdays are a day apart – June 23 and June 24 – same year of birth.)
Jubilee is a time of sabbatical but also a time to let the land lie fallow, for the forgiveness of debt, and for freedom for everyone in the land. It is a time for us to lie fallow for a while, and pay attention to the ways we have enslaved ourselves through busyness and productivity. It is an invitation into deeper listening and allowing new visions to emerge.
Mostly we want time to be at home in Galway and to rest and write. Writing is our first love for both of us and often gets squeezed between everything else we do. To have open and uninterrupted time to write will be a tremendous gift. We do have some travel planned, a pilgrimage together to begin and end our year, and some ancestral travel which has been so core to Christine's spiritual practice for many years.
We have been saving money for this time. Taking a year off demands a lot of courage, to risk our financial well-being and trust that the Spirit and our community will help us to meet our needs. Because we would like to keep our website going and the daily and weekly email newsletters, there are a lot of administrative expenses we are seeking support from you for covering.
With this in mind we have created a yearlong online program. The content from the program will come from the writing projects we are both working on, so won't be added work during our sabbatical, but a chance for us to share with you what we are focusing our attention on.
For Christine, this means writing poetry and completing her book on Sacred Time. For John, he will be sharing some stories featuring Hildy, our mascot monk-ey, that illumine life here in Galway. We are also grateful to our wonderful Wisdom Council, as each member will be offering a mini-retreat to be featured each New Moon to invite you into seasonal wisdom.
We hope you'll consider supporting us in this way. There are different funding levels, as well as both monthly and one-time commitments.
We are excited to see what new visions for the Abbey emerge in this time!
Jubilee Funds will Support:
- Continuation of the daily and weekly newsletters
- Website maintenance, updates, security, and design
- Admin to handle incoming email inquiries
- Funding an Earth Monastery CD of songs and DVD of gesture prayers to accompany Christine's forthcoming book
- Scholarships for folks who want to take self-study retreats but have financial need
- Continuing education and formation for John & Christine – they will participate in a pilgrimage in Assisi in 2019 to open the Jubilee year and a pilgrimage in 2020 to close the Jubilee year
We offer several different levels of support with various programs included. The program content all begin at the end of June 2019 and continue for a year until the end of June 2020. If you register earlier than June for the monthly payment plan you will have 12 payments in total. If you are unable to support us financially, please subscribe to our email newsletters which we will continue during the Jubilee Year as a free offering to the community.
We are deeply grateful for whatever level of support you choose. Our work continues to expand because of word of mouth and the support of monks in the world like you. You can even set your own donation using the button at the bottom.
monthly subscription of $10 (or one-time payment of $100)
- A weekly poem by Christine for the year (52 in all!) - brand new, not available in her first collection of poems.
- (please note, there is no community online forum for this level)
monthly subscription of $25 (or one-time payment of $275)
- A weekly poem by Christine
- Weekly content from our Sacred Time retreat online with guided audio meditations (explore the rhythms of the breath, the Hours, the Sabbath, the lunar cycles, the seasons of the year, seasons of a lifetime, ancestral time, and cosmic time), reflections, and invitations to creative explorations (by Christine and John Valters Paintner with Betsey Beckman offering movement).
- A facilitated forum where you can share insights and reflections (lovingly stewarded by Wisdom Council member Melissa Layer)
- A monthly mini-retreat gift from the Abbey Wisdom Council on the New Moon
- A monthly installment of The Adventures of Hildy in Galway on the Full Moon (by John Valters Paintner)
monthly subscription of $50 (or one-time payment of $550)
- all of the above from Level 2
- plus any three self-study retreats included (no expiration date, can be used anytime)
monthly subscription of $80 per month (or one-time payment of $900)
- All of the above plus a package shipped from Ireland which includes:
- A signed copy of Christine's Earth Monastery book being published in spring 2020
- Signed copies of two other of Christine's books (your choice of titles)
- Two sets of Dancing Monk Icon Cards (one for you and one to gift to someone)
- Both of our CDs (Singing with Monks and Mystics and The Soul's Slow Ripening)
- A special gift from Ireland which includes an herbal potion made for you by Christine crafted from her terrace herb garden
- A €250 discount off a future pilgrimage with Christine and John (no expiration, applies only to Europe-based programs which are registered through Abbey of the Arts directly)
Contribute a different amount than the options above
- Use this payment button if you'd like to make a single donation of a different amount.
- If you would like to have a payment plan not indicated above please get in touch with us.
ONLINE COURSE TERMS AND CONDITIONS
There are no refunds for online purchases.
**Please note: If you choose a 12 monthly payments plan with extra gifts included (Levels 3 and 4), the gifts will be sent out upon completion of the 12 payments. Contact us for more details if you have questions about this.
If you cancel your monthly subscription before the end, you will be removed from the program so you will no longer have access to the materials online. Please contact us if you need to change your payment plan.
How the Program Works:
Level 1 includes just the poems. Levels 2, 3, and 4 include the poems, the discussion forum, and all other content outlined below.
Please note: The dates below are when content is posted but you have ongoing access to all materials once they are available to you so you can journey at your own pace.
A Weekly Poem by Christine
Christine Valters Paintner will be writing poems during her Jubilee Year toward her next collection and will be sharing one of these each week on Wednesdays.
Sacred Time: Embracing Slow Rhythms in Our Lives
During the Jubilee Year, Christine Valters Paintner will be writing a book on Sacred Time and sharing the content here in this online retreat in a slow-release version to really help you to integrate the materials. Even if you took an earlier version of this online course, there will be plenty of new material offered, plus a facilitated community forum to share reflections and questions. The content also includes scripture reflections by John Valters Paintner and songs and gesture prayers by Betsey Beckman.
July 28 ● Cycles of Breath – Introduction to the Theme
August 4 ● Cycles of Breath – John's Scripture Reflection
August 11 ● Cycles of Breath – Guided Meditation
August 18 ● Cycles of Breath – Song and Movement Prayer
August 25 ● Cycles of Breath – Creative Invitation
September 1 ● Cycles of Breath – Closing Blessing and Questions for Reflection
September 8 ● Daily Hours – Introduction to the Theme
September 15 ● Daily Hours – John's Scripture Reflection
September 22 ● Daily Hours – Guided Meditation
September 29 ● Daily Hours – Song and Movement Prayer
October 6 ● Daily Hours – Creative Invitation
October 13 ● Daily Hours – Closing Blessing and Questions for Reflection
October 20 ● Sabbath Rhythms – Introduction to the Theme
October 27 ● Sabbath Rhythms – John's Scripture Reflection
November 3 ● Sabbath Rhythms – Guided Meditation
November 10 ● Sabbath Rhythms – Song and Movement Prayer
November 17 ● Sabbath Rhythms – Creative Invitation
November 24 ● Sabbath Rhythms – Closing Blessing and Questions for Reflection
December 1 ● Lunar Phases – Introduction to the Theme
December 8 ● Lunar Phases – John's Scripture Reflection
December 15 ● Lunar Phases – Guided Meditation
December 22 ● Lunar Phases – Song and Movement Prayer
December 29 ● Lunar Phases – Creative Invitation
January 5 ● Lunar Phases – Closing Blessing and Questions for Reflection
January 12 ● Seasons of the Year – Introduction to the Theme
January 19 ● Seasons of the Year – John's Scripture Reflection
January 26 ● Seasons of the Year – Guided Meditation
February 2 ● Seasons of the Year – Song and Movement Prayer
February 9 ● Seasons of the Year – Creative Invitation
February 16 ● Seasons of the Year – Closing Blessing and Questions for Reflection
February 23 ● Seasons of a Lifetime – Introduction to the Theme
March 1 ● Seasons of a Lifetime – John's Scripture Reflection
March 8 ● Seasons of a Lifetime – Guided Meditation
March 15 ● Seasons of a Lifetime – Song and Movement Prayer
March 22 ● Seasons of a Lifetime – Creative Invitation
March 29 ● Seasons of a Lifetime – Closing Blessing and Questions for Reflection
April 5 ● Ancestral Time – Introduction to the Theme
April 12 ● Ancestral Time – John's Scripture Reflection
April 19 ● Ancestral Time – Guided Meditation
April 26 ● Ancestral Time – Song and Movement Prayer
May 3 ● Ancestral Time – Creative Invitation
May 10 ● Ancestral Time – Closing Blessing and Questions for Reflection
May 17 ● Cosmic Time – Introduction to the Theme
May 24 ● Cosmic Time – John's Scripture Reflection
May 31 ● Cosmic Time – Guided Meditation
June 7 ● Cosmic Time – Song and Movement Prayer
June 14 ● Cosmic Time – Creative Invitation
June 21 ● Cosmic Time – Closing Blessing and Questions for Reflection
New Moon Mini-Retreats from the Wisdom Council
At each New Moon during the year, a mini-retreat created by one of our Wisdom Council members will be posted to guide you through a 2-3 hour reflection time to deepen into the gifts of the season.
July 2 ● 1st July New Moon 2019 ~ from Wisdom Council member Jamie Marich
July 31 ● 2nd July New Moon 2019 (Beltaine and Harvest) ~ from Wisdom Council member Cheryl Macpherson
August 30 ● August New Moon 2019 ~ from Wisdom Council member Richard Bruxvoort Colligan
September 28 ● September New Moon 2019 (Autumn Equinox)~ from Wisdom Council member Kayce Stevens Hughlett
October 27 ● October New Moon 2019 (Samhain/All Saints)~ from Wisdom Council member Aisling Richmond
November 26 ● November New Moon 2019 (Thanksgiving)~ from Wisdom Council member Amber Andreasen
December 26 ● December New Moon 2019 (Winter Solstice/Christmas Season/New Year)~ from Wisdom Council member Melissa Layer
January 24 ● January New Moon 2020 (Imbolc/Feast of St Brigid)~ from Wisdom Council member Betsey Beckman
February 23 ● February New Moon 2020~ from Wisdom Council member Stacy Wills
March 24 ● March New Moon 2020 (Spring Equinox)~ from Wisdom Council member Lacy Clark Ellman
April 22 ● April New Moon 2020 (Easter Season)~ from Wisdom Council member Polly Burns
May 22 ● May New Moon 2020~ from Wisdom Council member Simon de Voil
June 21 ● June New Moon 2020 (Summer Solstice)~ from Wisdom Council member Michael Moore
Full Moon Stories from John
John Valters Paintner will be sharing a monthly installment of The Adventures of Hildy in Galway on each Full Moon. These stories will be light-hearted and humorous glimpses into life here on the wild west coast of Ireland.
(Posted 2019-2020: July 16, August 15, September 13, October 13, November 12, December 12, January 10, February 9, March 9, April 7, May 7, June 5)
From June 2019-June 2020 we will not be offering any live programs with the exception of a few shorter workshops in October during a U.S. trip she was invited to make.
Christine chose to say yes to these invitations because as part of her sabbatical she wants to include some ancestral pilgrimage and travel and she has deep family roots in Massachusetts, so will be visiting some cemeteries, the Mayflower memorial, and the Salem witch trial memorial following her teaching time.
The only community online program we will be offering which includes a facilitated forum is this Jubilee Year Community Retreat offering.
Your Guides for the Journey
Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE is a writer, spiritual director, teacher, and retreat & pilgrimage guide. She is the author of twelve books on contemplative practice and creative expression including her newest book The Soul's Slow Ripening: 12 Celtic Practices for Seekers of the Sacred (published by Ave Maria Press) and her forthcoming collection of poems Dreaming of Stones (published by Paraclete Press). Christine lives in Galway, Ireland with her husband John where together they steward Abbey of the Arts, a global monastery, and lead pilgrimages to the wild edges in Ireland, Scotland, Germany, and Austria.
John Valters Paintner, MTS is the online prior for Abbey of the Arts, where he assists his wife Christine in ministering to global community both online and through in-person programs. John was a youth minister and pastoral associate for four years before becoming a high school religion teacher for twelve years. He has a Masters of Theological Studies from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. His love for the Bible, particularly the Hebrew Scriptures, emerged when he taught the "Old Testament" at an all-boys high school. John is also a lover of the art of story-telling and has written dozens of short stories, one-act plays, and short films in a variety of genres.
Forum Facilitator and Guide
Melissa Layer, MA honors our unfolding journeys through life's challenges and transitions as compelling invitations for creative, integrative meaning-making in BodyMindSpirit. Her sacred calling and training as a psychospiritual therapist, hospice grief counselor and interfaith spiritual director have taught her about the potency of the "thin places" in thresholds and dark nights of the soul. Often utilizing expressive arts for curious exploration of the Great Mystery, Melissa offers her compassionate presence and deep listening to individuals and groups. Like the honeybee for which she is named, she claims her role as "a bee of the invisible… passionately plundering the honey of the visible in order to gather it in the great golden hive of the invisible" (Rilke). The evergreen forests of Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest are her sacred sanctuary. Melissa is available for spiritual direction by Skype, phone, email and also in-person for those living near Olympia, WA. You can visit Melissa's website here>>