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Contemplative Ministry

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 Serenity 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.

 Resilience for Activists Workshop: July 23, 1-4 pm. Lake Brandt. 

Co-sponsored with the Micah Connection group, this workshop will provide spiritual support and restoration to those working in the social justice sphere. Dr. Margaret Benefiel, Executive Director of the Shalem Institute of Spiritual Formation, will help us look at “What it would look like for activists to cultivate the inner life, to step off the treadmill, to take time apart for personal reflection in order to be more resilient. What would leadership arising from a core of contemplative grounding and compassion look like?” To register, email ann.comfort@westpreschurch.org by July 16.


Save the date: Westminster's Fall Contemplative Retreat: November 9-11, 2018 at St. Francis Springs

Ongoing Local Contemplative Opportunities

  • 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 

  • CONSPIRE CONFERENCE 2018 webcast:  Available August 31st - Oct 8.   Join Richard Rohr, Brian McLaren, Barbara Brown Taylor, Mirabai Starr, and Barbara Holmes for contemplative teachings and conversation. This year’s theme is the path of descent as the path of transformation in our lives. $59. 
  • Awakening to Gratefulness:  An on-demand eCourse with Br. David Steindl-Rast. Using poetry and stories, Br. David takes a deep and joyous dive into the practice of grateful living. These 8 sessions were recorded when Br. David offered talks to 85 people who cruised with him through Alaska’s inside passage. 
  • Our Life: A Sacred Journey:  Aug 31-Sept 2 at the Trinity Center in Pine Knolls Shore, NC. This Labor Day weekend beach retreat offers a time to slow down and sense the movement of God’s spirit in our lives. Sponsored by the Shalem Institute. $240. 
  • 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.

  • Nexus Journey: “From Silence to Social Justice”. Oct 19-21, 2018 at St. Francis Springs Prayer Center. This year’s annual retreat will focus on transforming our prayer into action and our silence into a tool for social justice. Led by Jeff Olivet and Alice Kunka. Sponsored by Nexus Journey of Greensboro.

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

Online Resources

  • 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.
  • Creative Pilgrimage - Photographer Catherine Anderson, from Charlotte, NC, offers SoulCollage classes, workshops, on-line classes, trips, and retreats on mindful creativity.
  • www.upperroom.org



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.