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Co-hosting our three-day online retreat led by Mirabai Starr

Mirabai Starr has written one of our popular, ‘accessible’ translations of Julian’s Revelations of Divine Love and she is an extremely compelling speaker and leader of times of quiet and contemplation. She said to me that she has found no more powerful way of ‘sitting at the feet of the master’, than translating their every word…

Our invitation for her to come to Norwich and run a two-day retreat in October 2020 was frustrated by the pandemic, but did offer us an opportunity to think laterally: I rang up some of the other organisations who had said that they would like to have Mirabai visit them for similar talks or retreats, and we pooled our expertise and mailing lists and agreed to try and run the retreat online instead. They are Silence in the City, London; Contemplative Outreach, Bristol; the Norwich Christian Meditation Centre and the Friends of Julian of Norwich.

We drew breath, took a financial risk, and thus began an extremely warm technical collaboration of presenting a Zoom Retreat Embracing the Divine over three consecutive evenings in October of three-hourly sessions.

This has taught us here at the Friends of Julian many very valuable lessons: getting permission to use the icon images, a licence to broadcast the ambient music, rehearsing the whole thing to be explicitly prepared for every handover, every touch of the mute button, every screen sharing, and how to respond to the ‘chat’ that came in from the attendees, breakout room etiquette, audio editing, and back-ups in case ‘the power went down’ (the power in our colleague, Jill’s, part of London did actually go down for a couple of hours about 40 minutes after the last session, would you believe?).

We reached 191 ticket-holders, and now we’re thinking, ‘what next?’

Howard Green, Secretary

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