Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17
1 Thessalonians 2:1-8
Saturday lector: Steve Raftery
Sunday lectors: LaWayne Williams, Penny Mandziara
Sunday intercessor: Tameica Williams
Sunday chalice bearers: Hank Handziara, Connie Nicholson
I don’t often post “in my own words” on the church blog, but hope to occasionally add more news from the wider Church, especially as we approach General Convention and contemplate welcoming a new Presiding Bishop. Also, there will be news items of interest to all people of faith, along with “Episcopaliana” or links to content that highlight who we are and what we’re about.
First up, how often do you pick up the Book of Common Prayer? Are you comfortable “winging it” when praying privately, or “in common” with others? Did you know there’s an online version? There’s even a (paid) app for that, although you can download a free PDF from the Episcopal Church site and another version called iBCP.
Sometimes when you feel the need to pray about something, saying the words that so many before you have said is comforting and adds a sense of “we’re all in this together;” many lives and many souls all yearning to express the same things: healing, comfort, thanksgiving, and support.
A personal favorite of mine is the prayer for those who struggle with addiction, which I repeated many, many times for a fellow choir member who departed this life some years ago after struggling with alcoholisim his entire adult life. His name was Tim Black, and we in the choir still miss him and his cheerful willingness to help others even as he struggled to help himself. As we’re getting ready to put out a Christmas CD, it turned out that the image that worked best for the CD cover was one from Tim’s last Christmas Eve service – we missed him so much last year. However, none of the pictures from Christmas 2013 really worked for the square CD format, but an older one did (it was taken by my husband David Gibbs in the semi-darkness, with the glorious Angel Tree glowing softly). And there to the side of the tree is Tim, singing “Silent Night” with us for what turned out to be the last time.
I still think of him, and repeat this prayer now in thanksgiving that he has risen in glory and no longer struggles with his addictions, and in supplication for those who still struggle with theirs.
O blessed Lord, you ministered to all who came to you: Look
with compassion upon all who through addiction have lost
their health and freedom. Restore to them the assurance of
your unfailing mercy; remove from them the fears that beset
them; strengthen them in the work of their recovery; and to
those who care for them, give patient understanding and
persevering love. Amen.
Webmistress and Chorister
Move closer to God in silence and prayer
The following post is provided courtesy of Contemplative Outreach of Chicago:
For years, Christians from various denominations have engaged in the ancient practice of Centering Prayer. All are invited to be part of an introductory workshop being held in nearby Western Springs. If you have an interest and desire in getting to better understand what Centering Prayer is all about, please join in this transformative workshop.
Centering Prayer Workshop Offered November 1 in Western Springs
Many Episcopalians and other Christians are finding that a method called “Centering Prayer” helps them move toward a closer and more meaningful relationship with God. Centering Prayer is a well-grounded method of silent prayer and meditation that prepares us to experience God’s presence within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than consciousness itself. Contemplative Outreach, an organization founded in 1984 to serve those interested in Centering Prayer, is offering an introductory workshop on the method on Saturday November 1 in Western Springs, Illinois. Workshops on related topics are also part of the day’s agenda, including sessions on the Transformative Power of Dreams, Healing Touch, and “Emptiness” as a posture that helps us be open to the full indwelling of God’s presence. All are welcome. For further information or to register, please visit www.centeringprayerchicago.org or contact Phil Jackson, firstname.lastname@example.org, (847) 778-1022.
Background on Centering Prayer
In the early 1970s, Trappist monk and priest Thomas Keating and two other Trappists, Fr. William Meninger and the late Fr. Basil Pennington, worked to bring people living outside monasteries a form of silent prayer now known as Centering Prayer. With roots in the fourteenth century book, The Cloud of Unknowing, this kind of prayer allows people to sit silently and become receptive to God’s gift of contemplation.
Of course, contemplation has been an important part of Christianity from the beginning. Centering Prayer presents the teachings of earlier times in an updated form. This method of prayer is both a relationship with God and a discipline to foster that relationship.
Centering Prayer is not meant to replace other kinds of prayer. Rather, it adds depth of meaning to all prayer and facilitates the movement from more active modes of prayer – verbal, mental or affective prayer – into a receptive prayer of resting in God. Centering Prayer emphasizes prayer as a personal relationship with God and as a movement beyond conversation with Christ to communion with Him.
Background on Contemplative Outreach, Chicago
Contemplative Outreach of Chicago has been serving the contemplative community in northeastern Illinois and northwestern Indiana since 1989. We are a chapter of Contemplative Outreach, Ltd., an international spiritual network with offices in Butler, N.J. Our mission is to teach the method of Centering Prayer and to support those whose Spiritual Journey includes a practice of this prayer. The volunteers in our chapter are grounded in contemplative service – “God in us serving God in others.”