WELCOME TO THE ONLINE ABBEY!
The intent of this order is to foster a contemplative spiritual life within the laity and clergy of the Church. We are a Religious Order open to men and women, single and coupled. We are a part of the Episcopal Church in the Worldwide Anglican Communion, with chapters currently in Atlanta, GA and Houston, TX. We are under the supervision of The Rt. Rev Dorsey Henderson, retired Bishop of Upper South Carolina, Bishop Visitor to the Order.
For upcoming classes, please check the "Lessons" page.
Why We Are Here:
Silence. From the start of Christianity, silence and the solitude that comes from silence have been key fixtures within the prayer life of our religious tradition. It is in silence that we find the true battle ground of our souls. It is in silence that we find a true need for God in our lives. It is in silence that we find and experience God and His loving presence. And only when we quiet our hearts and fall fully into that silence can we hear what the Holy Spirit is saying to us.
Just as Christ prayed alone in the desert, from the early days of Christianity, the Desert Fathers fled the cities and the bustle of society to find solitude in the barren landscapes of Egypt and Judea. There, alone but for their Temptations and God, the Desert Fathers looked within rather than without for the assurance and guidance of God. It is from this example that the tradition of contemplative prayer follows in our Church.
The importance of silence is to stop the constant noise and chatter, the vicious judgments and accusations that fill our lives. We must ask ourselves, how can we openly hear God in our lives if we do not take the time to listen? We have to set time aside each day to simply put God in the center of our lives. Monks have traditionally done this by creating their new lives in the protective walls of the monastery. But this option is not always open to us. Still, we must strive to find a place for that monastic setting within the walls of our urban society.
Monks take various vows upon entering a monastery, each with the intent of fostering a more nurturing environment for a contemplative life.
These vows typically include:
Stability / Obedience
Solitude / Silence
Through this group, it is our aim to discover how we can implement each of these into our daily lives, and create for ourselves a life of contemplative prayer. The answers to the question “How do we do this” are not yet written, and indeed the answers may be different for each person, but it is through this group that we discover them.
In the beginning, there is but one requirement, and that is the vow of stability. A group of this nature can only work if we are able to rely on each other. The path to silence is difficult, and there will be times when you want to turn away, but even in those times, especially in those times you should continue to take part in this Order.
We are called by Christ to place God at the center of our lives, let this be the first step.
Silentio Coram Deo,
Br. Kenneth Hosley O.P.C