From St. Benedict's Rule for his monks (early 6th century A.D.): "we intend to establish a school for God's service"
The difference between Benedict and other spiritual masters of his time lay in the fact that Benedict believed that the spiritual life was not an exercise in spiritual gymnastics. It was to be nothing "harsh or burdensome." And it was not a private process. It was to be done in community with others. It was to be a "school" dedicated to "the good of all concerned." It was to be lived with "patience."
Joan Chittister, The Rule of Benedict: Insights for the Ages, p. 30
This last weekend in September was the grand finale of a month of beginnings here at the Mercer School. The First Tuesday Clergy Education Day, which began Sept 4, has already doubled in attendance. Mercer's School for Ministry program for diaconal formation is off to a good start with postulants and auditors learning together. Church members who attended the Parish Support Day's workshops in stewardship and congregational growth join a group of learners eager to apply new skills to old challenges. Conversations were started among parishes eager to develop Godly Play and other Christian education programs for children. Indeed September at Mercer has shown how rewarding a learning community can be.
The group of over 400 people who attended Sister Joan Chittister's presentation on the "Radical Spirit" last Friday, were part of an extraordinary event. Her remarks brought the Rule of Benedict to life in these modern times and her insights were truly inspirational. It was a community event in a sacred space which truly benefited all concerned. We are grateful that the Mercer School was able to join the Bishop and the Cathedral of the Incarnation in sponsoring this program.
As we move towards the celebration of the 150th Anniversary of our diocese this November, the Mercer School intends to live Sister Joan's words above through more programming, and we encourage you to join our community!
Dr Ted Gerbracht Diane Muscarella
Director of Academic Program Director of Operations