12/November/2009 Filed in: Jottings
Yesterday afternoon we learned that D. Maria Boulding of Stanbrook had died after a long and painful illness. She will be known to many for her books and articles, but we think of her primarily as the person we knew in community, including the years she lived as a hermit on the Welsh/Herefordshire borders: prayerful, delighting in nature and her dog, Bryn, blessed with a keen intelligence and a singularly beautiful speaking voice. Please pray for her and the community which has now suffered two deaths in a comparatively short time. Later today we shall be singing a Dirge for her, that magnificent collection of psalms and prayers which affirms our belief in the triumph of Life over Death even as we ask for mercy and forgiveness.The Virtual Chapter
What is a Chapter? some have asked. Chapter is the name given to a meeting of the monastic community. Usually, as tomorrow, there is some form of input such as a reading from the Rule of St Benedict followed by a short talk from the superior, then a discussion, which may or may not be linked to the input. The kind of things discussed vary enormously: business matters, the admission of candidates to community, liturgy, discipline, anything that affects the material and spiritual well-being of the community. Some of our own chapters have been about the way in which we should use the internet and the limits to our involvement. Tomorrow, it's largely up to you, the participants, what we discuss.To take part you will need:
- Headphones for listening (or turn the volume of your speakers up)
- A microphone for talking (if you have a Mac you can use the built-in one)
We recommend that you use VOIP to connect so that you do not incur call charges. The simplest, surest way of doing this is to download the TalkShoe Live™ software and use the integrated ShoePhone application to connect (the blue button below the purple one). However, it is not absolutely necessary.
Blind leading the blind:
To begin with, you'll find that you are "muted", i.e. you won't immediately be able to talk. That will give us time to welcome you, and you time to explore the TalkShoe™interface if you are unfamiliar with teleconferencing. After the introductory talk, you'll be invited to speak. We'll guide you through the process if you need any help (that's the blind leading the blind bit). Then it's over to you. Digitalnun will try to ensure we don't all speak at once but please be patient as she is a novice at this kind of thing and will probably get muddled, poor old thing (Mouse, you have much to answer for). If you miss the Chapter:
If you miss the Chapter, you'll be able to listen afterwards as it will be recorded. Just click on the widget again and you will be able to hear the recording.A shared Cloister:
We have it in mind to hold a number of themed sessions on vocation, liturgy, prayer and so on but we'd really like feedback so that we can work on what might be genuinely useful. We also want to keep things simple and low cost. If you find tomorrow's session worthwhile, please spread the word. Spreading the Word being, of course, what it's really all about.