Virtual Lenten Retreat 2020

Listening in Lent with the

Desert Mothers

Virtual Lenten Retreat 2020

You're looking for a rich Lenten experience that nourishes your spiritual life and calls in a sacred, intimate community...and we've got something special for you.

Her Way of Love presents "Listening in Lent with the Desert Mothers" Virtual Lenten Retreat.

Together we'll join certified spiritual director and retreat leader, Cheryl Harris Sharman, on a journey through the “holy spring” of Lent and taking a deep dive into the Way of Love.

Before Lectio Divina and Centering Prayer, before Hildegard and Teresa of Avila, the Desert Mothers taught us to listen; to wise elders, to each other, and, ultimately, to God.

As Christianity became mainstream within the Roman Empire, the Desert Mystics, beginning in the 2nd Century and flourishing in the 4th and early 5th Centuries, fled to the Middle Eastern desert. We retain more sayings from the Desert Fathers, but the Desert Mothers also lent their lives to the wisdom of the desert. They didn’t retreat as much as advance, they’ve been called ‘subversives’ and ‘revolutionaries.’ In a time when women were still often claimed as property, their trek into the desert unshackled them and offered freedom.

The gift of Lent invites us to join Jesus in the desert, to let go of the parts of ourselves that no longer serve us or our neighbors and to take up practices and perhaps a Rule of Life that equip us to listen more closely to God.


During this liminal season, this threshold or transition preparing us for Resurrection (‘another word for change’), we will listen to and #LEARN from those who lived Lent, who listened. 


Just as desert flowers bloom brightest for the adversity they face, the Ammas teach us with unparalleled wisdom and unflinching courage to fully enter into the Pascal Mystery of Christ and the unknowing therein. 


The Ammas did this – and we will join them by practicing – such practices as simplicity, surrender, letting go, humility, hospitality, generosity, awareness, silence, stillness, and solitude. Or, in the language of the Way of Love, by choosing to TURN, LEARN, WORSHIP, PRAY, GO, BLESS, AND REST.

"The desert mothers lived in a silence and stillness that we can scarcely imagine. By stepping into a landscape that was wilderness, they left behind the noise of the city. The ammas chose to attune their inner hearing to the movement of God's spirit within their hearts and souls. Their lives were marked by a desire to listen deeply. The silence of the landscape allowed them to hear the silence of God, the silence from which all creation is spoken into being.

Mary C. Earle, The Desert Mothers

VIRTUAL lenten retreat offering

Her Way of Love invites you to spend five weeks with Spiritual Mothers (Ammas) such as Syncletica, Sarah, Theodora, Matrona, Sosiana, and St. Mary of Egypt.

With three different package offerings, you're able to choose your Lenten experience.




Price: $10 ($5 with Patreon membership)

Deadline to register: anytime during Lent. 

Please note:  If you join the email series after its inception (Ash Wednesday at 5:00am EST), you can expect to receive the remainder of the series in your inbox twice per week.  You will not receive any emails that were sent out prior to your joining date. Example: If you join on Thursday, February 27th, you will not receive the email that was sent on Ash Wednesday, February 26th.

What's included:

  • Two emails per week of Lent (not including Holy Week) full of original reflections from guest contributors, Collects, Lectionary readings, blessings, guided meditations, prompts for action and reflection, artwork, music and prayers.



Cost: $100 ($90 with a Patreon membership)

Deadline to register: Wednesday, February 12th

Limited to 20 total participants to keep it intimate and interactive


What's included:

  • Level 1 Package

  • Five mini online interactive Zoom retreat sessions, one per week of Lent (not including Holy Week) where we will explore our individual and collective experiences of Listening in Lent.​


Call schedule is as follows: 

Friday, March 6th at 11:30am - 1pm ​U.S. Central Time

Friday, March 13th at 11:30am - 1pm ​U.S. Central Time

Friday, March 20th at 11:30am - 1pm ​U.S. Central Time

Friday, March 27th at 11:30am - 1pm ​U.S. Central Time

Friday, April 3rd at 11:30am - 1pm ​U.S. Central Time

The lunch hour times were considered so you might be able to take a long lunch and join us. Even better, if possible, if you can set aside Fridays in Lent as Quiet Days to explore the prompts from the readings and retreat sessions.​ Please note: to honor sacred space the calls will not be recorded.


Cost: $180.00 ($165 with a Patreon membership)

Deadline to register: Wednesday, February 12

Limited to 20 total participants (including those in Level 2) to keep it intimate and interactive


What's included:

  • Level 1 Package

  • Level 2 Package​

  • One 1-on-1 spiritual direction session with Cheryl Sharman

Additional Information

  • Consider beginning your Lenten almsgiving by giving these as gifts to important Ammas in your life. Please add a note at checkout which level you're giving as a gift and the email address of the recipient. 

  • Buy one for you - give one and #BLESS a sister. In the true spirit of community, consider purchasing a package to support our need-based scholarship fund. Please add a note at checkout which level you are giving as a gift.

  • Ask about need-based scholarships and group/congregational discounts here.

  • Interested in an in-person group &/or personal retreat? Contact Cheryl Sharman here.

  • Once you've signed up/purchased the retreat, please allow 24-hours for your confirmation email. If you don't receive the email within 24-hours of purchasing, please contact us here.

  • All sales are final.

Modern-Day Ammas aka Retreat Contributors

Danielle Hendrickson

Co-Founder of HWoL and Creative Design + Tech

Danielle is the Co-Founder of Her Way of Love and the creative designer/tech behind the scenes. She is also a Certified Life Coach and a lover of all things women. Some of her favorite work she has done in the world is supporting childbearing women as a doula and lactation counselor. As an Enneagram 9 with a wing of 1,  she helps women to embrace their natural fierceness and remembering what they’re made of...continue reading here.

The Rev. Kay M Houck

Co-Founder of HWoL and Episcopal Priest

The Rev. Kay Houck is the Co-Founder of Her Way of Love and an Episcopal Priest. Her aspiration in life is to become her most loving self and to provide encouragement and resources for others to do the same. During her formative years, Kay intended to enter the field of medicine; but through the wisdom of her best friend (Danielle!) she discerned a call to nurture and support healing in a different way...continue reading here.

Mary C. Earle

Episcopal Priest, Author, Poet, Retreat Leader & Spiritual Director

Mary C. Earle is an Episcopal priest, author, poet, retreat leader and spiritual director. Until her retirement, she taught classes in spirituality for the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas. Mary has authored ten books; the subjects include the spirituality of living with illness, rule of life, Celtic Christian spirituality, the Desert Mothers, and Julian of Norwich. Her latest is a book of her poetry...continue reading here.

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Anita and Ben Tatlow of Salt of the Sound

Awarding-Winning Musicians

Salt of the Sound is the award-winning musical collaboration of husband and wife duo Anita and Ben Tatlow. Their aim is to create songs that encourage spiritual reflection both in church environments and in times of personal quiet, while also exploring musical styles and expressions that bring a freshness to the Christian and ambient music scenes. Currently living in Hong Kong, their latest album, And on Earth, Peace, was released in November 2019 and selected by Christianity Today as one of their top five Christmas releases of the year.



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Trinity Compline Choir

All-Women Choir

Holy Trinity Episcopal Church’s all-women Compline choir, Voces Angelorum, "may be the only all-women choir chanting a harmonized Compline on a regular basis outside of the convent. The voicing is soprano, mezzo-soprano, alto, and tenor. Compline is a short service of chanted prayers upon completion of the day. Almost the entire service is in Gregorian, Ambrosian, or Anglican chant interspersed with harmonized works sung by the choir. To set the soothing, prayerful mood, 100 candles are lighted, which, besides the choir’s tiny music stand lights, are the only illumination in the darkened Nave.” Holy Trinity is in Nevada City, California.


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The Rev. Carla Robinson

Episcopal Priest

Rev. Carla Robinson, a graduate of Concordia Seminary, St Louis, was a Lutheran pastor for 13 years before being received into the Episcopal Church in 2001. She was a member of St Mark’s cathedral for 8 years. She served on the staff of the Bishop of Olympia for four years. She was ordained to the priesthood in 2009 and has since served on the staff of Resurrection in Bellevue, All Saints in Rainier Beach (Seattle) and St Mark’s on Capitol Hill (Seattle), The Church of the Ascension in Magnolia (Seattle) and St James in Kent. She currently serves as Associate Priest at Christ Church in Seattle’s University District...continue reading here.

Lori-Lyn Hurley

Writer + Artist

Lori-Lyn Hurley is a writer and artist who prays with paint. 

It is her passion to help others liberate their creative voice and remember who and what they are.


She is an enneagram 4, an aunt to three nieces, and a dog mom to two pugs.

She is a member of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Lexington, Ky.

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The Rev. Dr. Lora Walsh

Episcopal Priest

Lora Walsh is a Priest Associate at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Fayetteville, AR. Before moving to Arkansas, Lora was a Jesuit Volunteer for two years in Kathmandu, Nepal, and she directed Episcopal Service Corps programs for five years. She holds a PhD in Medieval Christianity from Northwestern University. Lora is passionate about nurturing the spirituality of contemplatives-in-action, building a church that is widely hospitable, and encouraging life-long learning and relentless inquiry...continue reading here.

Cheryl Sharman

Retreat Leader & Spiritual Director

Cheryl holds a certificate in spiritual direction and retreats from the Spirituality Center on the campus of Mt. St. Mary’s University in Los Angeles (a 3-year program), and an M.A. in Sociology and Anthropology from Fordham University in New York City. She spent 20 years as a writer and researcher. Cheryl draws on that trauma-informed background to offer spiritual direction to private clients, organizational clients, folks experiencing homelessness &/or incarceration, her church (St Paul’s Episcopal), at a monthly drop-in Grief Gathering, and on contemplative retreats...continue reading here.

You can email her here.

Tara Marlovits

Social Impact Leader

Tara Marlovits is a social impact leader and  aspiring writer. She spends her time professionally working towards social and economic justice in the K-12 education space and personally exploring women's spirituality and the intersection of faith and grief. She graduated from the College of the Holy Cross and has a master's in theological studies from Harvard Divinity School. Tara and her 10 year old daughter live in Brooklyn, NY. 


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Alyssa Pasternak Post

Director of Children, Youth & Families

Alyssa Pasternak Post, M.A. in Theological Studies, serves as the Director of Children, Youth, and Families at Saint James Episcopal Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She presently is weaving together a unique period in her life as mother-spouse-minister-chaplain-student-postulant. She loves the way that her children and being in nature remind her to be in the joy of the present moment.

Maggie Gough

Founder & CEO Realize Wellbeing

Maggie Gough, founder and CEO of Realize Wellbeing, has become a nationally recognized leader, a published author, a dynamic speaker, and a fierce advocate for businesses and the people who work there. She is dedicated to empowering and emboldening fellow wellness warriors, who through compassion, connection, and vulnerability, will change the landscape of work culture as we know it... continue reading here.

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Amma Theodora said: 
“Let us strive to enter by the narrow gate. Just as the trees cannot bear fruit if they have not stood before the winter’s storms, so it is with us.”

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