Grow & Learn

Contemplative Ministry

Photo by Trina Holt

Mid-Winter/Spring 2022 Offerings — View Newsletter for additional offerings HERE

    • Monday Morning Quiet Spaces Meditations 2022

    Beginning Monday, January 3, 2022, the Contemplative Ministry Team with the help of members of the FPC family will appear in your Inbox, on the church website and Facebook page, to provide an opportunity for each of us to quiet ourselves and listen for God’s message to us. A short spiritual reading, a scripture passage, words of wisdom and touching visual imagery will offer time to listen, to reflect, to feel, to respond to God’s presence. These meditations will arrive each Monday of the year to provide a sacred start to a busy week.

  • Book Study: Soul Feast – An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life, by Marjorie J. Thompson (newly revised edition) 

Tuesdays, 7 – 8:30 p.m. via Zoom, January 11 – March 29, 2022;

If you are interested in deepening your spiritual life and exploring the common Source of our sustenance in a small group of committed seekers, then read on…this opportunity may be just what you have been looking for.

The Contemplative Ministry Team is offering a small-group, in-depth study of Marjorie J. Thompson’s iconic book Soul Feast – An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life, Tuesday evenings from 7:00 to 8:30, January 11, 2022 through March 29, 2022 via Zoom.   Led by Nan Perkins, Jane Wellford and Peggy Harrelson, participants can expect to engage in reflective reading, thoughtful discussion and the age-old spiritual practices central to our Christian faith.

Written by an ordained Presbyterian minister, the book was first released in 1995.  The 2014 newly revised edition explores the Christian practices of spiritual reading, prayer, our common worship, reclaiming Sabbath-time, fasting, self-examination and confession, spiritual direction, and hospitality.

Theologian Henri Nouwen wrote “This is a book that will speak to those who sincerely seek God, irrespective of denomination or tradition.”  Of Thompson and Soul Feast, Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor writes that Marjorie trusts “the Spirit of God to meet each of us where we are, both individually and in community.”  The group will be guided by two premises of the book – be accountable to one’s self and take seriously one’s spiritual well-being.

This is a small-group study, so spaces are limited.  To reserve your space, please email Peggy Harrelson at pharrelson80@gmail.com of your interest and commitment.  Registration deadline is January 7, 2022.  If you would like more information before registering, please call or e-mail Charlotte Allbright at 336-228-1703 or callbright@fpcburlington.org by December 23, 2021.  A limited number of books will be available for purchase at $14.00 each through the church office (make checks payable to FPC).

 

Ongoing Contemplative Offerings

    • Tuesday Morning Meditation Group – facilitated by Jane Wellford (Group meetings through Zoom from 8:00 am until 8:45 am.) An email including a contemplative practice, a passage for Lectio Divina or sacred reading and a guided meditation is sent weekly to group participants and a mediation guide is also posted on the FPC website and FaceBook each Tuesday. If you are interested in participating in this group, contact Jane Wellford.

(The first several months of these meditation guides have been printed in booklet form and copies for personal use can be requested through the church office.)

    • Wednesday Morning Meditation Group, 7:45 a.m. – facilitated by Nan Perkins (Group meetings through Zoom. New members are welcome. Contact Nan Perkins at perkinsn@elon.edu for additional information.) One hour of conversation, reflection on a spiritual text and silent meditation for those seeking to create space in busy lives to become more aware of the divine and to travel their faith journey with spiritual friends.
    • Contemplative Practice for Daily Use

      In Centering Prayer, we consent to God’s presence and action within us. Recommended as a daily practice, it is typically done first thing in the morning or last thing before bed.

      Chose a sacred word as the symbol of your intention to consent to God’s presence and action within – your intention to surrender yourself into God’s loving presence. Some examples of words include “Grace, Jesus, Divine Love, Mercy, Peace.” Stay with the word or phrase you choose during your Centering Prayer time.

      Silently introduce the sacred word and allow our thoughts to drift by like leaves on a stream or clouds in the sky. When you find yourself thinking of other things, silently say your sacred word and gently return to observing your thoughts pass by. This practice is not about “having no thoughts” or “getting it right” but about showing up and consenting to God’s presence within us. Each time we notice our thinking, we have the opportunity to surrender ourselves once again into God’s loving presence. End the practice in prayer, giving thanks to God for the experience. (Shared from Second Breath Center’s Inward Journey: Spiritual Practices by permission)

Additional Resources from the Contemplative Ministry team:

  • A Video from the Contemplative Ministry Team, April 16, 2020: Be Still and Know
  • Please Enjoy this 5-Minute Breathing Meditation (available on Facebook): This breathing meditation is from Denise DeForest Pastoor, MEd, APRN-BC, CHTP/I, CWP, RYT who is a Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist with Sunstonewellness.com.
  • Spiritual Practice Video from Nan Perkins: During these stressful times, you are invited to join Nan Perkins by video here in a spiritual practice recommended by the FPC Contemplative Ministry group – The Practice of Presence: The Three Breaths.
  • Quiet Space for Reflection
    Jane Wellford has graciously offered to share with us the Tuesday Meditation Reflections she creates for the FPC Tuesday Meditation Group. Since the Coronavirus has interrupted these in-person meetings, the Contemplative Ministries Committee thought that it would be a good idea to share these meditations with the entire congregation until we could all be together again. Each week, the reflection will be posted on our website here on Tuesday morning.