Q & A: Online Academy Day Apart

August 19, 2020 by Claire K. McKeever-Burgett (Tennessee)

Q: What is an “Online Academy Day Apart?” 

A: An Online Academy Day Apart is an invitation to join a community online in praying the hours, learning from respected faculty and wisdom leaders, holding silence, talking with peers, and engaging spiritual practices that both ground and uplift in these anxious times. 

Q: When is the first Online Academy Day Apart happening? 

A: Saturday, September 26 (9 am to 5 pm Central Time). 

Q: Is there a deadline to apply? 

A: Yes! Apply by September 1, 2020 here

Q: Will I be sitting in front of my computer screen all day? 

A: Absolutely not. Following the Academy rhythm, the online day apart will offer many breaks, free time, and extended periods of silence in which participants can remain logged in to the Zoom meeting while turning off their screen and finding the ways their soul most needs to absorb and engage the teaching, conversation, and content of the day. 

Q: How will we worship and sing using Zoom? 

A: Just like at an Academy in-person retreat, the Online Day Apart will have a worship leader who will play the piano and lead us in communal singing. Because we’ll be together on Zoom, we’ll mute all participants except the worship leader, so the sound is not distracting. We encourage participants to sing with gusto and trust that all voices and sounds are being connected by Spirit across the miles to make a joyful noise unto the Lord. 

Q: How do I create sacred space at home? 

A: First, as a participant in the retreat, you will be given a guide on how to create sacred space at home. It will include simple things like, find a place that is as free of distraction as possible, turn off your email and phone, light a candle, make sure you’re physically comfortable. Second, attending this online day apart requires an intentionality to conceive of the home as monastery, to really invite the container of the Academy rhythm to offer the structure and community needed to help you hold sacred space for the day. We believe it is possible for us to retreat at home because we have the model, one another, and the Spirit of the Living God to help us do it. 

Q: Who is this Online Academy Day Apart for? 

A: The Online Academy Day Apart is for all those who hunger for deep spiritual experience and who find themselves longing for community, sacred space, and prayer. 

Q: What if I need scholarship assistance? 

A: If you’re in need of scholarship assistance, go ahead and apply for the Day Apart, choosing the “standard rate.” Then, email academy@upperroom.org and let us know you’re in need, and we’ll connect with you further. 

Q: Will there be other Online Academy Days Apart? 

A: Yes. There is another day apart scheduled with Frank Rogers + Chris Carter on Saturday, October 24, 2020. 

Q: Why should I attend an Online Academy Day Apart? 

A: Though we’re not really into telling people what they should or should not do, we will say that if your soul is in need of sacred space at home, if your heart longs for connection and community in these isolating times, if your mind seeks to ask questions that may not always have answers, and if your body longs for gentle movement and interactive ways to learn, the Online Academy Day Apart is for you.

Claire McKeever-Burgett is the associate director of the Academy for Spiritual Formation. Learn more at Academy.UpperRoom.org.

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I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

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