Contemplative Practices

Contemplative Practices

Worship service for June 21st

To access a bulletin so you can sing along to the hymns and know the verbal responses, please click below. To listen to the homily only, please click below. To learn about the spiritual practice of creating peace prayer flags, please click below.

An Evening Eucharist

We gathered in our own homes, in our comfy and sacred spaces and entered into the presence of the Holy with intention and care. Through music, calming voices, beautiful artistry, and the soothing words of the Eucharistic Prayer, which always draws us into the presence of the Risen Christ, we found a place of peace and holiness. Although we cannot physically receive the sacrament at this time, we can engage in the prayer of spiritual communion, which is available to…

Taize Contemplative Service

We gathered in candlelight, turned our hearts toward the holiness drawn near to us by the harpist, and settled into holy and sacred space. Through chanting, prayer, quiet, intimacy, and the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, we found a new expression of the love of God made real to us in community. We offer these Taize Contemplative Eucharists on the first Saturday of every other month as a way to draw those of us who find God through contemplative practices…

Blue Christmas Service

We began our beautiful service tonight with the following prayer: God of abundant mercy, you have given us grace to pray with one heart and one voice, even though our hearts are broken and our voices tremble with grief and sorrow. Comfort, comfort, Lord, your holy people. Comfort those of us who sit in darkness, mourning beneath our sorrow’s load. Speak to us of the peace that awaits us, of the balm of healing for our weary and wounded souls.…

Candlelight vigil for Brian Helman

In the beauty of our candlelit sanctuary, in the midst of people from within and beyond our parish community, in the “active and alive” silence shared by people in prayer, and in companionship of grief, we prayed for Brian Helman, our church musician who was severely injured two weeks ago. This prayer vigil was organized as an effort of love with Brian’s family, St. Andrew’s, the Cumberland Valley School of Music. This time of silent prayer felt like a thin…

Taize Worship service

In the vesper light, in the presence of the Spirit, in the calling of our hearts through music deeper into the holy, we gathered together to experience God in the simplicity of prayer, chant, silence, and communion. It was a time of a gathering of hearts turned toward God and it was beautiful. We then gathered for an amazing dinner, so we could carry the sense of communion into our community. Our hosts for the evening meal, Susan and Keith,…

Ways to Pray Formation Series

We shared the results of our Spiritual Type Inventory, which helps us know how to deepen our prayer life and understand the most natural way for us to grow into our relationship with God.

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…

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…

Our young people make beads too!

This past Sunday, our young people joined in the fun and created their own beads for their Anglican Prayer Bead sets. We are so grateful they are interested in exploring different ways to pray and always feel welcome to do whatever it is the adults are doing. I just love these intergenerational events!

Praying with our beads.

With our prayer beads in hand, the fire crackling in the chiminea, and the stars glistening above, we sat outside and prayed our beads. We prayed three different forms of prayers, as we worked our way around the beads we had created and strung. We all left in a quiet contented place, prepared to pray the beads ourselves, in the quiet of our homes. We will gather all the beads one Sunday and bless them all and then use them…

Stringing beads for prayer

This evening we gathered for companionship along the way, for nourishment for our lives and souls, and we strung our beads, some of which we created last week out of clay, to create our own personalized Anglican Prayer Beads. We all used olive wood beads from the Holy Land for our “Weeks beads” (the 7 between each cruciform beads). Seven is an important number in the Bible and symbolizes completion. We also chose from a number of colors the spacer…
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