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September 18, 2020
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September 18, 2020

Wisdom Journey: Pilgrims Traveling Together in the Last Third of Our Life

The last third of our lives is not a time of non-life, merely coasting toward death, but a new stage of life. It is a season given to us as "lagniappe" – something extra offered as a gift. Just when we thought we had lived all there was for us, we discover that God has something more – an additional time for evaluating the best of our lives and passing on our wisdom to those coming behind us. It is a season meant to be taken more slowly, more reflectively, more intentionally. The task of these years is to celebrate the blessings and navigate the diminishments that time brings.

But how? In this online workshop/retreat we will engage with several practices that can guide us in these years to live more fully than ever before. Throughout our day we will consider:

  • Reframing aging and dying
  • Looking at the blessings and burdens of aging
  • Learning to live with limitations
  • Finding gratitude by rummaging for God
  • Becoming a Christ-gift for others
  • Accepting uncertainty
  • Dealing with doubts and disappointments

Our day will be constructed around prayer, teaching sessions, Q and A time, and small-group discussion. Two live teaching sessions – 10:00 a.m. to noon and 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. – will be separated by a long break for individual reflection and response offline.

We will give you suggestions for creating your own sacred space and encourage you to enter into the retreat day as you are able. When you register, we will send instructions for the day. You will need to have Internet access and a computer with microphone and built-in camera. You can use a tablet, but a computer is preferable. The teaching sessions will be conducted using Zoom video conferencing.

Our retreat leader is Ann Hoffman, an Episcopalian who has returned to an early interest in prayer and spirituality after retiring from a career in health care policy.

Ann graduated from Wellesley College (1970) with a B. A. in History, writing her senior thesis on “The Rise of Monasticism in the West.” She later obtained a Master’s in Public Health from Tulane University, NewOrleans, and a Doctor of Public Health degree from the University of Texas, Houston. Ann has lived all over the country, including six happy years in the Lone Star state in the early 1980’s, during which she had the honor of working at Texas Children’s Hospital. 

Ann’s interest in the spiritual life was rekindled in the late 1990’s as a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Ellicott City, MD, taking graduate level courses in biblical studies, prayer and spirituality at the Ecumenical Institute of Theology, Baltimore. In 2005, Ann trained as aSpiritual Director in the internship program at Mercy Center, Burlingame, CA.  

Ann currently lives with her husband in Naples, FL, where she is an active member of St. Monica’s Episcopal Church. She has served as a “listening minister” and spiritual companion to clergy and aspiring clergy as well as to the recently widowed and to elders on the long path from assisted living to nursing home to hospice to Home. In 2019, Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church, Naples, invited Ann to develop a workshop on Spirituality and Aging, which became the program “Spiritual Journey: Pilgrims Together in the Last Third of Life.”

Questions? Don’t know how to use Zoom? We can help you get started; contact Marjorie George at marjorie.george@dwtx.org.

Registration will open August 13 and will cost $40.

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