A covenant of mutual support

Between
saint benedict’s table, Winnipeg
and
The Community of the Sisters of the Church
St Michael’s House, Burlington

A

t saint benedict’s table, we are quite excited about our relationship of mutual prayer and support with the Community of the Sisters of the Church at St Michael’s House in Burlington. And I, personally, am really quite keen to facilitate a visit to the Burlington community by some of the members of our own community, so if you’re interested or have reason to be in and around the Toronto-Hamilton area… lets talk.

Shortly after saint benedict’s table began its life, I was attending a set of meetings that were housed at the old St Michael’s Retreat Centre in Oakville, Ontario. At that point, the Community of the Sisters of the Church were in the midst of making a very serious transition, as they were about to close the house and retreat centre and to begin the painful process of selling the old place (which was, I’d have to say, probably one of the best smaller retreat houses in the communion) in order to relocate to new quarters. It was during those days that I began to realize that our two communities could really do with each other’s prayers; two communities facing very different sorts of new beginnings, yet both needing to be surrounded by prayers for courage, wisdom and discernment.

This covenant was officially set in place on Easter of 2006, and every week as we pray for the Sisters I can’t help but think of how strengthening it is to know that on that same day they have remembered us in their prayers. The text of our covenant is set out here, along with a much reduced version of the hand-lettered original.

covenant.jpg

Hand-lettering and design by Lola Eidse
Click on the image of the covenant to see a full-sized version

 

We are two Christian communities, with different stories, identities and vocations, united in a common life of worship, prayer and service within the Body of Christ. As a young mission community within the Diocese of Rupert’s Land, saint benedict’s table is in a foundational stage of discernment and exploration. As a house of the Canadian Province within the international Community of the Sisters of the Church, the sisters of St Michael’s House are engaged in a parallel process of discernment and exploration, as they seek to live out their community life within changed circumstances.

With each community facing new and unfolding futures, we commit ourselves to this covenant:

  1. To offer prayer for each other in corporate worship on a weekly basis.
  2. To encourage our respective members to pray daily for each other’s community.
  3. To communicate in letter form to each other during the Advent and Pentecost Ember Days, outlining our respective developments, challenges, struggles and hopes.
  4. To encourage and facilitate a visit by a member or members of saint benedict’s table to St Michael’s House during the course of this covenant agreement.
  5. For saint benedict’s table to provide hospitality to any member of the St Michael’s House community who wishes to pay a visit to Winnipeg during the course of this covenant agreement.

This covenant shall remain in place for a period of three years, beginning on Easter Day 2006.

Click here for more information on the Sisters of the Church.

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