About The Abbey
WHO WE ARE
The Abbey is a community of people exploring the contemplative spiritual path. Some of us call ourselves Christians, some are “church adjacent,” some are contemplatives from other faith traditions, and some are just finding their way toward spiritual seeking. Each journey is respected. The Abbey seeks to be a safe landing place for all.
The Abbey offers groups (smaller communities) that explore different tools and practices for the spiritual journey such as walking the labyrinth, Enneagram study and discussion, meditation, and book-focused discussion groups. We also have a Sunday morning contemplative reflection time.
Most groups meet online (Zoom) with occasional in-person gatherings, retreats, and workshops primarily in Austin, Texas, with some destination programs.
IS THE ABBEY FOR YOU?
Our groups and events are for anyone seeking companionship and dialog on the spiritual journey. We respect all genders, gender expressions and identities, and sexual orientations, all types of spiritual paths, all ages, and all locations (you don’t have to be in Austin to participate).
WHAT MAKES US UNIQUE
We are cultivating a collaborative and less hierarchical community. Although there is leadership in all of The Abbey’s offerings, groups are not “leader-centric.” The Abbey is small and prioritizes growing deeper above growing in numbers. We see the patterns of how we relate to one another and God–the shape of loving connection–as most important. We recognize the power of being collaborative and we value the gifts everyone offers which help us continue to evolve.
The Abbey began in 2019 as a place to explore the deep contemplative stream in the Christian and other traditions. Part of the original mission–-which continues as a priority today-–is being open to people who would not likely seek out a church for spiritual community. A second priority is to have a strong online presence and be less rooted to a single geographical location. During the pandemic, we practiced building online communities and found Zoom to be an effective platform for weekly gatherings while sprinkling in-person meet ups throughout the year.
The founding visionaries were members at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Austin, Texas. Through support from St. David’s and the participants at The Abbey, the community continues to grow beyond the bounds of the church that helped launch it.
Co-Stewards of The Abbey
Rebecca Hall founded and has been the primary Steward of The Abbey since 2019. This was the natural outgrowth of 14 years as the Director of Spiritual Formation at St. David’s Episcopal Church. She now also works as Program Director at the Iona Collaborative at Seminary of the Southwest (SSW) where she teaches Christian spirituality and spiritual direction and leads the Thriving programs. Rebecca has a Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation from Seminary of the Southwest. She is a spiritual director who works with individuals and groups.
Melanie P. Moore
Melanie P. Moore is a writer and editor in Austin, Texas. A graduate of the University of Georgia and Georgia State University, she previously founded and led Badgerdog Literary Publishing, where, with a talented team and key community support, she started Austin’s first writers-in-the-schools program (now a program of the Austin Public Library) and re-launched American Short Fiction after personally acquiring the defunct literary journal from the University of Texas Press in 2003. Her work has appeared in The Georgia Review, Atlanta Magazine, Creative Loafing, and Austin Travels Magazine, among other publications. She’s a member of St. David’s Episcopal Church where she Co-leads the Pickleball “ministry” and helps with Open Table–the LGBTQ+ ministry.
Janet Davis loves listening to stories. As a chaplain for seven years and a spiritual director for 22, she’s heard many. She has spent the last (almost) 25 years in the Episcopal church after a childhood/young adulthood in less broad Christian traditions. She has a B.S. in nursing from UT-Austin and a Master’s in Spiritual Nurture from Western Seminary-Seattle. She has published three books and taught classes at Seminary of the Southwest.
Janet has been married to her husband, Bob, for 43 years (often saying that they’ve had several different marriages within that time!). Their three adult children (and spouses) and two grand-girls live near them. She enjoys gardening and traveling with family. Janet is a cancer survivor and lives with a chronic pain condition.
Caroline has business degrees from Texas Christian University (TCU) and the University of Texas at Austin as well as a law degree from Washburn University. She currently works in escrow accounting. She became interested in the Enneagram in 2014 and has been a student of the Enneagram since then. She is currently completing her certification as an Instructor of Enneagram in the Narrative Tradition.
Calan has a degree in Computer Science from Rice University. He works as an engineering manager in the video game industry. He became interested in the Enneagram as a tool for understanding the dynamics among the people on the teams he works with. He has been studying the Enneagram in the Narrative Tradition.