Adult Formation

Adult Formation

Praying with the Celtic Psalter: Does prayer fit into your day, or does your day fit into your prayer?

As part of our exploration of Celtic Spirituality, Mother Barbara has invited all of us to pray daily (morning and evening) with the book, Sounds of the Eternal: A Celtic Psalter by John Phillip Newell. Here’s a reflection by Jeanine Goodwin on her experience in preparation for our group conversation. Wanting to get an idea of what this next flight of formation would bring, about two weeks ago I engaged in the prayers in John Phillip Newell’s psalter, Sounds of…

Approaching the Gospels Together

This morning a group of us gathered with an ease of being together, with a shared sense of wanting to learn from each other, and with a desire to look closely at our scriptures. We read the text of Jesus’ baptism in the three synoptic gospels (seeing with one view or eye): Mark, Matthew, and Luke. We begin by reading the text in Mark (the first of the synoptic gospels written) and then read the same story from Matthew and…

Contemplative Practices: Mary Oliver Poetry

In the dimming light of the evening, draw together by the flame of an oil lamp, we gathered in a circle and read Mary Oliver’s poetry, in a contemplative way, pausing after each reading, allowing time for the words to settle into our souls. We found her poetry to be beautiful, shocking, challenging, descriptive of the journey of the soul, and the images of nature to be stunning. We all left a bit calmer, a bit more tuned into the…

The Work of the People: The Ridiculous Journey of Following Jesus

A number of us gathered on Wednesday evening for a time of sharing a meal, hearing new ideas, and sharing our thoughts in a safe and caring space. We began our 6-week program on following Jesus through the use of videos by a number of theologians. We began our study by reading scripture connected with the evening’s topic, since we as Episcopalians are people rooted in scripture. We listened to and engaged with the story of the Good Samaritan. We…

An Advent Journey with your Anglican Prayer Beads

As we anticipate the season of Advent, we are standing at a threshold, ready to go deeper into the mystery and presence of God. Intentionally poising our hearts to receive Christ in a brand new way is exciting, a bit scary, and always filled with wonder. We don’t know when or how it will happen, we just know that it will. However, often we miss this opportunity to receive the revelation of Christ, for we become so busy in the…

The essential paradox: Christ the King on the cross

This Sunday we celebrate the Feast Day of Christ the King. We end this liturgical year hearing the story of Jesus’ crucifixion. This has got to be the greatest paradox in all of our Christian faith and narrative. Have you ever wondered how the words “crucifixion of Jesus” are connected to “Christ the King”? What about this association could possibly make sense? In the gospel of Luke, a simple statement announces this dramatic act: Jesus is crucified, set between two…

Resurrection. Restoration. Reorientation.

After 24 hours of traveling from Jerusalem to Shippensburg, I arrived safely home. In the tiredness I feel this morning, and in light of the comments yesterday by others in our group that “I need a vacation from my vacation!”, I realize there’s a significant distinction between restoration, which we often get from a relaxing and restful vacation, and a pilgrimage which has led us to our place of resurrection. In my pondering, I believe restoration or renewal returns us,…

Ready to come home.

This morning I took with me the altar veil (the cloth which covers the chalice and paten) which was made out of Gretchen’s wedding dress. I chose this item to bring from St. Andrew’s, since it represented to me a true understanding of community and communion, the giving of oneself to the greater good and the glory of God. It represented to me so much of what I found as the place of my resurrection: self-emptying, surrender, commitment, and dedication…

Stay close to the cross.

We gathered in the morning light, with the lingering clouds highlighted in a rose hue above the cross which adorns St. George’s Cathedral, and we listened to the instructions of our guide, Iyad, as we headed into the city of Jerusalem to walk the stations of the cross. The various stations are strategically placed throughout the city and many pilgrims traverse the Via Dolrosa. The instructions Iyad offered us seemed to be mere logistical considerations, yet they were much more…

On the move with Jesus.

We were on the move with Jesus these past few days! The evening before, when we saw the 1st century grotto where Jesus must have spent time, either because it was his family’s home or his relatives, something shifted inside of me. I could see it. I could see the reality of what we spoke of in seminary as “the historical Jesus”. This was the real person who played and prayed, who visited relatives, met new people, created his own…

Jesus lived in a cave.

We saw this cave this evening. We’re in Nazareth and after a rather ordinary day of travel and nothing totally remarkable happening or requiring processing, we went down below the convent where we’re staying. My soul is both too silent for words to express my reaction to this sight and also too stirred up to ever be the same. I will need to process this a bit with you as I return, to begin to make sense of what I…

My cup runneth over.

” ….thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” (Psalm 23) There seems to be a common thread being woven through my pilgrimage: surrender. The word I would add today to that core reacquaintance with “the place of my resurrection” would be abundance. My cup runneth over today. Joy and light and love and…