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What are we feeding the spiritually hungry?

What are we feeding the spiritually hungry?

Does your parish offer any organized teaching about, exposure to, or immersion in any Christian spiritual practices? Lectio Divina? Centering Prayer? The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius? The writings of the great Carmelite mystics? I have a vague sense that most people who come through our doors for the first time are looking for something that they can’t find elsewhere, and that we don’t provide it in a consistent fashion.

Thoughts? Experiences?

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Laura Osborne

The less corporate forms of prayer have been much on my mind since my church, Trinity Morgan City, LA, began offering a Lectio Divina group for women with children. I had consistently resisted bible study and women’s Christian reading groups until this group. The Lectio Divina process launched me into exploring centering prayer, labyrinth meditation, body prayer, Ignatian examination, journalling and ultimately to a spiritual director. I am working on a presentation to our ECW deanery group entitled “Praying Outside the Box” which discusses these alternative forms of prayer, as well as other ways of looking at more traditional prayer practices. In cooperation with my rector, we hope to translate this presentation into a weekly series much like those mentioned in some of your posts. I think people are hungry for adding meaning to their lives in less traditional ways that speak personally to them. I am heartened that the Episcopal church is comfortable enough with its spirituality that it embraces these forms of prayer rather than casting them away as not of or from God.

A Facebook User

As the person mainly responsible for organizing adult education in my parish, I have tried offering classes on various spiritual practices (usually over a three week period, in a come to one or come to all format). The offering that consistently draws the biggest crowd is classic Bible study, where we focus on a passage, people offer comments and insights and I throw in a few scholarly facts. Somehow my attempts at introducing Franciscan spirituality or Ignatian Contemplation have met with little success. I wish I could find a way to draw people in to these wonderful aspects of our catholic heritage, but it just doesn’t fly, although for the few who do show up I hope it is helpful!

Please sign your name next time. Thanks for commenting. ~Ed.

Kathy Schlecht

This is a huge issue, and a prime reason ,as a cradle episcopalian, I am in an ELCA church….there are not other Episcopal choices where I live.I still grieve, but spiritually I am fed by a variety of resources and real community there. Where I live in SE mass, diocese of Mass,there isn’t much,and the Diocese only supports Boston and the North Shore.My greatest wish for churches is increase of teaching, community, and pastoral care.

Nicholas Knisely

We do weekly centering prayer, we have a lectio group, and we’re creating an intentional community that is spiritually centered on St. Benedict’s rule.

Plus compline on Sunday’s, daily office daily, and an active intercessors ministry.

We’re starting a project of thinking through the implications of preaching and parish leadership as a form of group spiritual direction, and that has me particularly excited.

Rosalindhughes

I offered Friday “sabbath time” in Advent and will do again in Lent, giving time and space to practice spirituality and prayer. It’s a mixture of information and practice, but heavily weighted towards practice. At the moment, it’s kind of a sampling menu – lectio, Anglican rosary, guided meditation, labyrinth walks etc week by week – but hopefully something will “take” and present itself as ripe for development.

Rosalind Hughes

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