We are a vowed, dispersed community, living in our own homes, and 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 to young and old. Our vows to simplicity, creativity and balance are life changing.
We are Episcopal women, committed to becoming an increasingly diverse community, and we share a vision of Godly aging. While some of us live in care centers, and some at a distance, we regularly communicate with each other via email, postal mail, telephone and the website, and in person as we can safely during the pandemic.
Annas can gather together daily at our chapter house. Here we have prayers at noon in our chapel, or on Zoom during the pandemic. We pray for each other, family, friends and issues of the day, followed by a sacred reading and contemplative prayer practice.
Most weekdays, we celebrate Holy Eucharist with one of our elder congregations; now, for safety reasons, this has been suspended. Normally, those on these ministry teams can enjoy noon prayer/centering prayer and lunch together before going to the care facility.
Our intention is to know God through the word, spiritual readings, each other and those we serve. We continually practice Godly aging and celebrate the gifts of aging through our relationships. We, as a supportive community, are learning together to accept our diminishments, meet our challenges, honor our losses and to use our available time to perceive and proclaim the love of Christ.
On Sunday afternoons, we gather to connect with one another at the Anna House (or on Zoom). This is a time to speak concerns, to celebrate, to deepen our relationships, to listen and to learn.
We hold three vow retreats each year at nearby retreat centers. Through conversation and times of silence, we gain insights to keep our vows. (When safe, we will enjoy programs and workshops at the Anna House that inform and support our Godly aging and our ministries.)
Care of our house and gardens provides many opportunities to do physical labor together. Our gardens are a constant reminder of the beauty of God’s creation. We have scheduled workdays throughout the year, and we also have created a labyrinth for a walking meditation. We often offer weekly T’ai Chi classes and have Yoga sessions on our retreats.
At the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple, in early February, the whole society gathers to celebrate the Eucharist, take and renew vows, welcome new Provisionals and attend the annual meeting at which the Society’s business is conducted