Fall 2019: Judith Valente,  HOW TO LIVE: What the Rule of St. Benedict
Teaches Us About Happiness, Meaning, and Community.

In this accessible guide to the good life, journalist and poet Valente illustrates how St. Benedict’s sixth-century monastic manual for healthy communal living can address contemporary conundrums, such as the echo chamber of social media, information overload, and the challenges of “Workaholism and Over-Achieverism.” In 22 short chapters, Valente highlights key selections from the Rule of St. Benedict, analyzing how ancient directives on topics such as paying attention, living fully, silence, humility, prayer, forgiveness, trust, and leadership can strengthen relationships and communities. . . .These astute reflections on the rule’s tools for nurturing community provide valuable guidance for those seeking balance in a conflict-ridden world.




Sep. 5
Wk. 1/

Ch. 1 & 2: Living Consciously and Listening with the Heart (not recorded).

Rev. Clement Connolly, ret. Pastor, Holy Family Church, S. Pasadena.  Judith McDermott, coordinator and host
Sep. 12
Wk. 2/
Ch. 3 & 4: Running With the Light – Using Death as Our Compass

Tim Burnette — Intro

Tim Burnette — Part 1

Tim Burnette — Q & A’s

Rev. Tim Burnette, Curator,  “The Way Collective.” Thomas Heck, host

Sep. 19

Wk. 3/


Ch. 5 & 6: Learning the Craft of Good Works and Silence. 

Brief YouTube on “Peace Literacy” with Paul Chappell 

Paul Chappell, NAPF Peace Literacy Director.  Anna Grotenhuis, host

Sep. 26

Wk. 4/


Ch. 7 & 8: Discovering the Power of Patience, Humility, and Gratitude
Adam McCoy — Intro
Adam McCoy — Part 1

Adam McCoy — Q & A’s

Rev. Adam McCoy, Prior, Mt. Calvary Monastery, S.B.  Pat McClure, host

Oct. 3



Ch. 9 & 10: Fostering Well-being through Building Trust and Community

David Moore — Intro
David Moore — Part 1
David Moore — Q & As
Rev. David Moore, New Covenant Worship Ctr., S.B.  Anna Grotenhuis, host

Oct. 10

Wk. 6/


Ch. 11 & 12: Finding Balance: the Urge to Over-achieve and the Need to Forgive

Judith Valente — Intro
Judith Valente — Part 1
Judith Valente — Q & As

*** Judith Valente***, our author.

 Judge Charles Reynard, her spouse, reflected on “Contemplation in Courtroom 5 C” after lunch.

Judith McDermott was our host

Oct. 17

Wk. 7/


Ch. 13 & 14: Exploring Healing and ‘Homeness’  – Simplicity and Abundance

Elizabeth Molitors — Intro
Elizabeth Molitors — Part 1
Elizabeth Molitors — Q & As

Rev. Elizabeth Molitors, Rector, Trinity Episcopal Church, S.B.  Martha Siegel, host.

The poem referenced at the end of Part 1 was

BENEDICERE, by Ken Sehested.

Oct. 24

Wk. 8/


Ch. 15 & 16: Applying the Dynamics of Self-honesty and Group Consensus

Julia Hamilton — Intro

Julia Hamilton — Part 1


Julia Hamilton — Q & As

Rev. Julia Hamilton, Lead Minister, The Unitarian Society of S.B. 

Michael Dean, host.

Oct. 31

Wk. 9/


Ch. 17 & 18: Extending Our Mission as Leaders in the Care of Souls and the Guardianship of the Planet

Radhule Weininger — Part 1


Radhule Weininger — Q & As

Dr. Radhule Weininger, offering a Buddhist perspective on the Rule of Benedict. 

Anna Grotenhuis, host.

Nov. 7

Wk. 10/


Ch. 19-22: Living Into the Blessing and Meaning of Right Now, Wherever We Are

Jim Clarke — Intro
Jim Clarke — Part 1


Jim Clarke — Q & As

Rev. Jim Clarke, Chair, Spirituality Commission, LA Archdiocese.  

Anne Heck, host


The registration fee ($100) includes a copy of the book and admission to all ten Thursday morning sessions. Single-day sessions are $10 each. Send your check and contact information (phone, e-mail, address) to:
Judith McDermott, 3731-2 Greggory Way
Santa Barbara, CA 93105

For more information about Word and Life: our purpose and history; directions to the venue, and previous and current audio recordings, please visit our website, www.wordandlife.us.

When arrangements can be made, we provide digital audio recordings of these presentations for the convenience of those who missed them. Click the “play” button on the right side of any audio-player bar above to hear its presentation.  You may listen through your Web-connected computer any time using headphones or speakers.