Friday, February 5

THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM...

Greetings, dear reader!

Just a quick note to let you know that I will be leaving this morning for the sunny beaches of Florida! (The shark-less GULF side!) for a bit of a respite before the Lenten season.

For those of you who do not know, I am a Franciscan monk, belonging to the Order of Ecumenical Franciscans. As such, I am quite an "anomaly" when it comes to being part of an interdenominational congregation with evangelical and charismatic leanings.

I generally "take on" more than I give up during Lent...call me a rebel. lol

I will be doing the liturgical Ash Wednesday service again this year...this service impacts so many in our congregation who are originally from denominations that practiced and participated in liturgies, ritual and longstanding tradtions. This is one of two liturgical services offered in our highly Evangelical, charismatic church. I will also be teaching an Adult Bible Fellowship (ABF (replaces the term "Sunday School")) called "Bridges: A Guide to Contemplative Living with Thomas Merton" For the Sundays during Lent I will be able to teach as a Franciscan from a Franciscan point of view, the spiritual disciplines and the "mechanics" of living a contemplative life (and engaging in contemplative dialogue...I will again lead us in serving one another communion with a common cup...a practice not typical to our particular hybrid interdenominational church.

I will lead this class in a Silent Retreat at some point during the Lenten Season...another challenge for those who are generally more "boisterous" in their worship! I will  be showing one of Gerry Straub's films and raising awareness for the San Damiano foundation as well as for the plight of those in poverty around the world.

I will also be joining my brother Timotheus and Sister Addison in a mission project for a Haitian family in Lexington. I will lead a small mission team to join Tim (and company) in painting, repairing, building and renovating a home for this dear family. This is (hopefully) one of many mission trips we will do with the Franciscan Urban Mission, Inc. I am excited to be both a board member of FUM, inc. and a deacon of missions at my church...the two servant roles seem a perfect fit for this particular ministry!

In preparation for said "taking on", I will be leaving THIS Friday morning (Feb. 5) for a 3 or 4 day respite on the beaches of Fort Meyers, Florida. A friend has offered to drive, another friend has offered use of their home on the beach, and so all I will have to spring for is food. Who could say no to such a deal?!? Please say a prayer for me that the time will be restful and reviving! 

I will be posting via remote while I'm in Florida...talk to you soon!
Paula Clare

6 comments:

GardenofDaisies said...

I had no idea, until now, that Franciscan monks were women, or from faiths other than Catholic. This is why I love blogs... I meet such interesting people and learn all sorts of new things. Enjoy Florida and time with your mission team.

Christy said...

Oh wow, I never knew you were a Franciscan monk! I wish you success on your florida mission and a restful time too.

Faith Lynn said...

Hey Girl,
Have a very restful time of preparation. I will be thinking of you in your warm retreat, while I plod through the ever-falling snow up here! Say HI to the sun for me (:)

xxoo
Faith LYnn

Meri Wiley said...

Well, Paula, I'm sure it's a well deserved retreat. I'll pray that all goes well for you, and that you accomplish all your goals, especially those poor families. Just make sure you take care of yourself, too, as I know how those that do so much for others, tend to ignore themselves. Take your vitamins, eat your three squares, and get plenty of rest.

Lot's o' hugs,
Meri

Creative Breathing said...

Paula, It seems you have been brought to me for a very special purpose. I have struggled for many years with my Catholic faith but have not found a "home" that fits just right. My father was educated by Franciscans and nearly became a priest himself. I will have to do some reading about this order. I like that it is interdenominational. I hope you enjoy your retreat and come back renewed with creative energy to share! Elizabeth

Jacqueline said...

Really? What a life time quest you are on my dear. I had no idea. So is the church spirit filled? I'm facinated by your journey for sure.