At Westminster, we continue to discern new ways to introduce contemplative spirituality/mindful living to the congregation and others beyond our church family. The intent of these varied offerings is to invite and encourage you to enrich your spiritual life. We invite you to join others who want to hear the voice within and thus live out of their spiritual hearts, emboldened to be fully present and actively engaged in the world.
Explore these wonderful opportunities as you feel led. Ask a friend or two to join you as a way of deepening your friendships and spiritual life.
Westminster's Quiet Garden
Located at the end of the church parking lot. Follow the path to a bench in the woods or to a chair in the backyard of the Redington house property. Visit before or after worship or a meeting as a time of transition or visit anytime just to enjoy a quiet place to pause and let your body and mind rest and your heart awaken. "Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10.
Ongoing Local Contemplative Opportunities
- Lenten Light and Lunch:
From Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday we observe the season of Lent—a time of self-examination, reflection, and preparation for Holy Week and Easter. Each Monday during Lent (February 19—March 26) you are invited to share in the fellowship of a contemplative gathering as we seek the light of God’s word for us through Scripture reading, reflection, and prayer in the Chapel from 12pm—12:30pm. Plan to bring a bag lunch and continue the fellowship as we share a meal together in room 200. Beverages will be provided. Contact Butch Sherrill (email@example.com) for more information
- Nexus Journey - Sponsors annuals retreats and one-day workshops on Centering Prayer in or near Greensboro.
- Servant Leadership School - Based at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church downtown, but open to the community, The Servant Leadership School of Greensboro offers a variety of classes and retreats throughout the Spring and Fall semesters.
- Healing Ground - Summerfield. A Quiet Day in the Quiet Garden. Join any first Friday from 10am – 3pm. Beverages and snacks provided; please bring a bag lunch or something to share. Suggested donation: $20.
- StillPoint Taize Service, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church Chapel, Greene Street, every Wednesday, 5:30 p.m. September-May.
Upcoming Contemplative Offerings Near and Far
Retreat: Mindful Living: spiritual practices for journeying with God. April 20-22, 2018, St. Francis Springs Prayer and Retreat Center, Stoneville, NC.
As events in the world pull us in many directions, it often feels difficult to be in touch with our deep yearnings, our desire to remain connected to God and others. The intent of this retreat is to help us awaken our innermost self so that we might engage more fully in healing our world. Participants will be invited to explore practices that enable deep listening, acting in the world, developing mindful relationships, engaging with the natural world, grounding oneself in the ordinary, and finding your path to the spiritual heart. Through these practices—extended periods of silence and reflection, small group listening circles, trail and labyrinth walks, music and worship—we will seek together to deepen our spiritual journey with God. Registration begins February 19. For more information, contact Jane Sharp at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Iona: A Contemplative Pilgrimage, May 31-June 10, 2018 - Iona, a small island off the coast of Scotland, has drawn spiritual seekers to its haunting beauty and simplicity for centuries. A pilgrimage to this sacred isle invites you to draw deeply from this wellspring of spiritual vitality. Sponsored by the Shalem Institute.
- Silence and Centering Prayer E-Course: Available on demand and as a gift. $49. Led by Carl J. Arico and Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler. This retreat brings together two founding principals of Contemplative Outreach to offer the conceptual background, the method, and insights into Centering Prayer as a way of life. Sponsored by Contemplative Outreach.
Howard Thurman, Quiet Day: A one day retreat available online anytime between now and April 4, 2018. Through audio teaching, guided meditation, reflection questions and invitations into silence, Lerita Coleman Brown invites you into intentional quiet space to reflect on the life and work of Howard Thurman, spiritual guide to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. $49 regular price, $44 if you gather a group of 3 or more. Sponsored by the Shalem Institute.
Forgiveness: A Growth in Love: This is an online course available on demand from Contemplative Outreach that focuses on learning and practicing The Prayer of Forgiveness in various relationships and life events. Choose your own start and end date. $49.
Contemplative Earth Awareness: A one day retreat online anytime between April 4-May 31, 2018. This season is a time of awakening and connection. Shalem’s retreat day with staff member Ann Dean is an opportunity to notice the loving presence all around us and to deepen our awareness of the oneness of life. Using poetry, meditations, reflection questions and invitations into silence, Ann creates a space for appreciating our connection to the natural world. $49 regular price, $44 if you gather a group of 3 or more.
Practicing Compassion: On line e-course from Upper Room available indefinitely after purchase. Through rich and moving stories of people from various faiths, Dr. Frank Rogers shows ways to incorporate compassion in our daily lives. Getting in touch with our breath, with our own belovedness, and grounding ourselves in the midst of tumultuous emotions is where we start our practice of extending compassion to the world. $19.
Contemplative Voices Suggested Readings:
Westminster’s Library has a collection of almost 70 wonderful books by leading contemplative writers. As you enter the library, look for a laminated sheet on the checkout table that catalogues the collection. Also, look for the Contemplative Voices shelf in the library for featured titles.
Recommended Readings from Westminster members:
Seven Sacred Pauses by Macrina Wiederkehr: Recommended by Mary Ann Shaver
The Naked Now - Learning to See as the Mystics See by Richard Rohr. Recommended by Terri Burleson.
Letters by a Modern Mystic by Frank C. Laubach. Recommended by Claire Haskins.
Putting on the Mind of Christ by Jim Marion. Recommended by Scott Young.
Breathing Under Water by Richard Rohr. Recommended by Frannie Motley
- The Center for Action and Contemplation seeks to empower individuals to live out their sacred soul tasks in service to the world through contemplative programs and resources. Features online educational offerings, Richard Rohr’s daily email reflections, hosts the annual CONSPIRE conference, and is home to the Living School, a two-year spiritual training program.
- The Shalem Institute - Founded in 1973, the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, provides resources for contemplative living, prayerful reading, invitations to silence, retreat weekends, online courses, speakers and events, and long-term programs for clergy seeking to go deeper, aspiring spiritual directors, contemplative retreat and prayer group leaders, and executives seeking to lead from the heart.
- Contemplative Outreach is a spiritual network of individuals and small faith communities committed to living the contemplative dimension of the Gospel. Centering Prayer and other contemplative practices are taught through workshops and retreats, while a large selection of resources, including the wisdom teachings of Father Thomas Keating are available on line. Most offerings are self-guided and available on an on-going basis. Examples include courses on Centering Prayer, The Welcoming Prayer, Forgiveness, and Contemplative Discernment.
- A Network for Grateful Living is a global organization offering online and community-based educational programs and practices which inspire and guide a commitment to grateful living, and catalyze the transformative power of personal and societal responsibility.
- Unfolding Light is a daily reflection by Methodist pastor Steve Garnaas-Holmes rooted in a contemplative, creation-centered spirituality.
- Spirituality and Practice - This multifaith website, founded by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, is devoted to providing a variety of resources for the spiritual journey. Resources included e-courses, reviews of books, art, film, daily quotes and readings, and instructions on spiritual practices.
- Painted Prayer Book - With original artwork by Jan Richardson, this blog explores the intersections of writing, art, and faith, plus a few other things besides. Its pages include a weekly reflection on a text from the lectionary (the three-year cycle of readings that take us through much of the Bible). These lectionary reflections emerge from a process of lectio divina , the ancient art of praying with sacred texts, including the text of our own life. The art pieces that appear with the weekly lectionary reflections are painted paper collages that Jan creates as part of the process of doing lectio with the texts.
- The Abbey of the Arts is a virtual global online monastery offering pilgrimages, online classes & retreats, reflections, and resources, which integrate contemplative spiritual practice and creative expression. Founded by Christine Valters Painter, author of The Artist’s Rule, and her husband, John Valters Painter, the offerings draw from the desert mothers and fathers, Celtic Christianity and the Benedictine Rule.
- On Being - Features Krista Tippett’s award winning podcasts, along with blogs, a weekly newsletter and essays from spiritual leaders.
- Author Carl McColman blogs on contemplative faith.
The Handbell Choir is back at Westminster in the Traditional service! If you can read rhythm and can commit to weekly rehearsals, consider joining us. We’re always looking for substitutes. Or, if you’re interested in ringing handbells but don’t want the pressure of presenting during worship, there are also opportunities for you to get involved, too.