March 17-25, 2021
Daily live session at 4:00-5:00 pm Ireland/UK time (9-10 am Pacific + 12 noon–1 pm Eastern time**)
A Novena is an ancient mystical practice of setting aside daily time for prayer for a specific concern over nine days. We enter into this Novena in a spirit of coming together for meditation and mutual support during challenging times when it feels like much is unravelling.
We will host daily live webinar sessions via Zoom for nine days guided with Christine Valters Paintner and Simon de Voil. Each daily session will include meditation, song, teaching, reflection, poetry, time in silence, and sharing of prayers. There will also be daily written reflections on scripture by John Valters Paintner. All sessions will be recorded.
Our theme this year draws from the 8 principles of our Monk Manifesto. We will be launching a new prayer cycle in April and May integrating these themes as well and the Novena is a preview of those materials and an invitation for you to deepen your commitment to becoming a monk in the world.
This is a free offering to our Abbey of the Arts community but donations help to cover operational costs as well as support the development of future prayer cycles and provide scholarships for those in financial distress. New members are more than welcome to join us. Please feel free to invite others to join in this journey.
Once the Novena is complete the nine recordings stay available to anyone who wants to move through them for the first time or again. They are kairos time, or time outside of time, so not wedded to a particular timeframe.
Amidst the very real fear and anxiety, we have an opportunity to slow ourselves down, and connect deeply with the heart, to listen for new ways of doing and being.
**Please note: The U.S. and Canada start DST on March 14 and Ireland/UK on March 28, so for the duration of our program the time difference will not be the same as usual. If you are outside these countries please double-check your local time.
Novena Daily Themes
I commit to finding moments each day for silence and solitude, to make space for another voice to be heard, and to resist a culture of noise and constant stimulation.
I commit to radical acts of hospitality by welcoming the stranger both without and within. I recognize that when I make space inside my heart for the unclaimed parts of myself, I cultivate compassion and the ability to accept those places in others.
I commit to cultivating community by finding kindred spirits along the path, soul friends with whom I can share my deepest longings, and mentors who can offer guidance and wisdom for the journey.
I commit to bringing myself fully present to the work I do, whether paid or unpaid, holding a heart of gratitude for the ability to express my gifts in the world in meaningful ways.
I commit to rhythms of rest and renewal through the regular practice of Sabbath and resist a culture of busyness that measures my worth by what I do.
I commit to cultivating awareness of my kinship with creation and a healthy asceticism by discerning my use of energy and things, letting go of what does not help nature to flourish.
I commit to a lifetime of ongoing conversion and transformation, recognizing that I am always on a journey with both gifts and limitations.
I commit to being a dancing monk, cultivating creative joy and letting my body and “heart overflow with the inexpressible delights of love.”
Commitment service & celebration of being a monk in the world.
About the Presenters
Reverend Simon Ruth de Voil is an interfaith-interspiritual minister, sacred musician, spiritual counsellor, and chaplain. His sacred work—both musical and interpersonal—explores themes of the inner landscape of the soul, the enchantment of the natural world, and the healing power of spiritual practice. As a chaplain and counsellor, Simon helps individuals and groups connect sacred presence with everyday life. Simon is also a transgender activist and a luthier in training. Visit Simon’s website and his Patreon page.
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.