We are a dispersed community so we actually live in our own homes. Because some Annas are living in care and some live at a distance, our community is nurtured by each sister’s daily prayers for her sisters. Our life together is defined by our baptismal vows as a beloved community and by our Society’s vows as a prophetic community. We regularly communicate via email and the website.
We have opportunities daily to gather together at our Chapter House. Each weekday, we have prayers at noon in our chapel. It is at this time we pray our weekly cycle of prayer together, including prayers for each other, friends, families and issues of the day. This is followed by a sacred reading and a contemplative prayer practice. Most weekdays, there is a Holy Eucharist celebrated in the early afternoon with one of our elder congregations. Those on the ministry teams can enjoy noon prayer/centering prayer and lunch together before going to the congregational worship in a care facility.
Our intention is to know God through the Word, spiritual readings, one another and those we serve. It is in our relationships that we practice Godly aging and celebrate the gifts of aging. We are learning together the importance of accepting our diminishments, meeting our challenges and honoring our losses.
On Sunday afternoons, we gather for afternoon tea to connect with one another and to have conversation about an identified topic. This is a time to speak concerns, to celebrate, to deepen our relationships, and to learn. Occasional pot luck suppers also provide opportunities for the enjoyment of food and conversation together.
During the year, there are three vow retreats held away at retreat centers. Each has as its focus one of our vows. There are other opportunities to be on retreat, both away and in our Chapter House. In addition, we enjoy programs and workshops at the Chapter House offered by sisters or by others which inform and support our Godly aging and our ministries.
The care of our house and gardens provides many opportunities for Annas to do physical labor together. We have regular work days when those who are able can share the many tasks related to the maintenance of a house. Our gardens are constant reminders of the beauty of God’s creation, and we are in the process of creating a labyrinth for walking meditation in our back garden.
At the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple, in early February, the whole Society gathers for the celebration of the Eucharist, the taking and renewing of vows, the welcoming of new Provisionals, and the annual meeting, at which the business of the Society is conducted. The Annual Convocation is the only required meeting of the SSAP.