Fall 2019


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

Hampton Roads Publishing Co., 2018.

Click here for a printer-friendly 1-page flyer


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 & As
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 as the Power Tool. Paul Chappell, NAPF Peace Literacy Director.  Anna Grotenhuis, host
Sep. 26

Wk. 4/


Ch. 7 & 8: Discovering the Power of Patience, Humility, and Gratitude 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 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***, our author.  Judge Charles Reynard, her spouse, reflects on “Contemplation in Courtroom 5 C” after lunch. Judith McDermott, host
Oct. 17

Wk. 7/


Ch. 13 & 14: Exploring Healing and ‘Homeness’  – Simplicity and Abundance Rev. Elizabeth Molitors, Rector, Trinity Episcopal Church, S.B.  Martha Siegel, host
Oct. 24

Wk. 8/


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


Dr. Radhule Weininger – 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 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.