Letter from Stephanie Dowrick

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Dear Universal Heart Networkers

(Hearty apologies if this letter is coming to you for a 2nd time. We have moved servers – big job – to streamline our webmail. Simple? Not quite…but we hope much simpler from now on.)

A special welcome to those of you new to this Network, and an equally special greeting to those of you who have been with the Network for some time. You will know that it’s been a long while since I wrote – and I deeply hope that this finds you well?

For me, this has been a year of quite demanding illness, with all the learning that goes with it (some of it entirely unwelcome!). I am slowly getting back to work commitments again – including these notes – but am totally resolved that I will be giving significantly less time to work and not drifting back to my long-held habit of over-commitment.  (That’s an understatement…I am a slow learner.)

The most obvious change that I am making is that September will be the last of the monthly interfaith services that I have been leading in Sydney since June 2006. You can imagine how hard it’s been to make that decision. The services have been a true gift to prepare and lead and the loss of monthly gatherings for our community will be great for many. However, I will continue to lead retreats at Mana Retreat Centre in New Zealand (see below). Also, my musician/minister friend Dr Kim Cunio and I will, from time to time, lead study days in Sydney. If you are able to join us for what will be a magnificent September service, that would be wonderful. It will be a very special occasion – celebrating as well as saying farewell to the services in this form. The date: 17 September 2017, 3pm, Pitt Street Uniting Church, 264 Pitt Street, Sydney.

I’m also doing less writing teaching – my only public writing workshop will be on 12 August at the Faber Writing Academy in Sydney. This is for writers at all levels keen to find the rewards of a regular writing practice. It’s a very small group so if you are interested, please contact Faber (02) 8425 0171. Further details: http://faberwritingacademy.com.au/fluency-insight.html#.WXVBHIpLdR4    Or email:
faberwritingacademy@allenandunwin.com

These life changes make my commitment to the Mana retreats even more precious. The next one is the Contemplation & Action Retreat, 5-11 October 2017. We are strictly limited with accommodation places so if you are feeling that a spiritual retreat would benefit you, please do contact Mana as soon as you have decided. There are helpful details about the retreat on my website. I hope that post gives you a full picture of what you can expect. For registration, here is the direct Mana registration link.

To increase my support of those of you in this Network, I’m planning to send via the Network webmail system occasional articles from my web page or talks that are posted on YouTube. Sometimes these will come without a letter but I will be aiming to make clear what you can expect through the subject line. As always, feel very free too to visit my public Facebook page where I post more often – and where you can easily leave comments, share, forward on, and more generally engage. Also feel free to share what you receive through this Network. My feeling is strong that we increasingly need to offer not just kindness to one another but explicit courage and encouragement. In that quiet revolution, we can all play a meaningful part.

Prayers for peace and harmony with you.  And very kindest wishes, Stephanie Dowrick

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