A Sojourn at Bethany: A Virtual Lenten Retreat with Scripture, art, poetry and prayer led by Kathleen Staudt
This virtual Lenten retreat, inspired by this painting at the Bon Secours Retreat & Conference Center, offers an invitation to immerse ourselves imaginatively in the gospel stories that take place in Bethany, the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Bethany is the place where Jesus seems to have found respite, rest and a home at critical moments in his ministry.
The day will feature a series of meditations, with art and original poetry, around the family relationships at Bethany, and especially on their experiences of friendship, grief, loss and companionship.
For those who may not yet be able to come to the Center in person, this virtual quiet day offers an opportunity to sit with artwork from the retreat center and with poetry by the retreat leader. Through times of silence and directed writing exercises, participants will be invited to engage their imaginations in reading and praying with Scripture, bringing to life the characters and places in the Bethany stories, and reflecting on what these stories may have to say to our own lives and relationships as we pursue our Lenten journey together.
To avoid zoom fatigue, participants are invited to set aside the time of retreat and a dedicated prayer space near but not at your computer. The rhythm of the day will move between presentation, guided meditation, and times of spacious quiet shared across space and time, with some optional opportunities for small-group sharing.
The virtual retreat schedule will follow this agenda:
9:30am – Gather, welcome, logistics, introduction
10:00am – First Hour Meditation I – “A Woman Named Martha Welcomed Him” – Bethany as a place of “Welcoming Jesus”.
10:20am – personal meditation time
11:00am Second Hour: Meditation II – “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died” – the raising of Lazarus. Shared silence.
11:10am – personal meditation time
12:00pm Lunch break – opportunity for Zoom breakout conversations or personal quiet time
1:00pm Third Hour: Mediation III – “I Walk, I Love, I Follow” – Bethany as home-base for the way of discipleship.
1:15-1:45pm – personal meditation time
1:45-2pm – sharing and closing prayer
The Zoom link and instructions will be emailed to registered guests prior to the retreat.
Dr. Kathleen Henderson Staudt, SCHC, has worked as a teacher, poet and spiritual director at a number of venues in the Washington, DC area, including Virginia Theological Seminary and Wesley Theological Seminary. An active independent scholar, she earned her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at Yale University, where she pursued interdisciplinary studies in poetics and religion, focusing on modern poetry. She has written and edited two books and many articles on the British Catholic artist and poet David Jones (1895-1974) and directs the David Jones Research Center based in the Washington, DC. area. Her classes focus on writing, literature, spirituality and explorations of vocation. Kathy offers retreats and workshops at many area churches and retreat centers, including the annual Evelyn Underhill Day of Quiet offered at the Washington National Cathedral each year in June, as well as courses and retreats on poetry as spiritual practice. Her poetry, essays and reviews have appeared in Weavings, Christianity and Literature, Sewanee Theological Review, Anglican Theological Review, Ruminate and Spiritus. Kathy is the author of three books of poems: Annunciations: Poems out of Scripture, Waving Back: Poems of Mothering Life, and GoodPlaces. Most recently she has edited This Thing Called Poetry: An Anthology of Poems by Young Adults with Cancer(2019). Kathy is a Companion in the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross (SCHC).