First and third Sundays, 7 p.m. in the chapel
It all started in the winter of 2012. LeeAnne and the St. Mary’s staff decided to end all adult Christian education. The video LeeAnne made explaining the decision (which subsequently went viral) explained the reasons behind that decision, the main one being that people were simply not participating in what was offered: https://vimeo.com/36724840
During LeeAnne’s sabbatical the following autumn, the Reflections Committee was formed, with a mission “to facilitate spiritual growth opportunities for adults at St. Mary’s” that would be lay-initiated and lay-led. A number of initiatives came out of the committee’s work: book discussions, a FishTales column in which St. Marians described their spiritual practices, women’s retreats, the Spirit Walkers (walking meditation) and the Saint Mary’s Sitters. That last group met weekly for hour-long silent meditation.
In the end, all of these initiatives, with the exception of the occasional book group, eventually ceased. However, in the summer of 2013, as the vestry rep. for Christian education, I responded to the desire of one or two of the sitters to replace that group with a liturgical service, one that included words as well as silent meditation. Two St. Marians and I sampled contemplative services in the area, drew together interested people from the congregation, and collaboratively developed the service.
After some tweaking over the first year, we ended up with what we have today, all augmented with candlelight, occasional incense, and the singing bowl. At each service, a different lay leader follows this general pattern:
- Words (literature, scripture, etc.)
- 10 minutes of silent meditation
- More words
- 15 minutes of meditation
- Communal prayers of gratitude and petition
- Closing prayer
The service is relaxed and informal, a chance to be still with God and fill ourselves spiritually for the week to come.
If you would like more information, please contact me: Erika Scheurer firstname.lastname@example.org
First and Third Sundays, 7pm
For the upcoming contemplative service (Sunday May 15, 7 p.m.) we will be trying something a little different. Instead of sharing two readings and two longer periods of silent meditation (10 minutes and 15 minutes), we will have five daily reflection prompts from the Jesuit “method,” each followed by a five-minute meditation.
The prompts encourage us to reflect on the day, including choices we have made, moments of gratitude, and experiences of God’s presence. Please join us on Pentecost for candlelight, incense, and silent communion with God.
Do you long for a quiet space to slow down and reconnect with yourself, with God, and with your community?
The distinguishing characteristic of our contemplative service is silence.
As we are bathed in the glow of candlelight and prompted by the singing bowl’s deep chime, our diverse lay leaders share readings and prayers framing two periods of silent meditation (ten minutes and 15 minutes).
Come in the doors on Laurel and up the stairs into the sanctuary. You will find a warm welcome in the far front of the church in the lovely chapel behind the wooden screen.