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Blue Water

CONTEMPLATION

“Contemplation is the practice of being fully present – in heart, mind, and body – to what is in a way that allows you to creatively respond and work toward what could be” (Center for Action and Contemplation). Through practices such as centering prayer, meditation, and Lectio Divina, we learn to
hold all things lightly, to be silent, and to welcome each moment as it comes. For more information on contemplation and contemplative practices, click here.

Current Offerings

The Storm

A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat
into the boat,
so that the boat was already being swamped.…
They said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
—Mark 4.37-38

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Whether we’re watching the news or living through health challenges, whether we’re concerned about international conflicts or dealing with family issues, we often feel like we’re caught in a great storm. We’re swamped, sinking, perishing. We call out in deep lament, “Don’t you care that we’re perishing?” Steve Garnaas-Holmes (https://unfoldinglight.net/2024/06/17/storm/ ) wrote:

The howling winds of political angst scream in our ears,
and make it hard to hear each other, hard to steady the world's rigging.
Our little paddles are nothing against the tide of greed and fear.
The staggering seas of a changed climate batter us.
Waves of fear of war and unrest, nuclear threat, microplastics,
species loss and “forever chemicals” swamp the boat of our future.
It's not unreasonable to think of catastrophe, of collapse.
We are afraid we are perishing.

It is true, there is great urgency.
Jesus can't make sane our politics or cool the earth,
vanquish pollution or banish all war.

And yet the Graceful One says, “Peace. Be still.”
We are not perishing.
We are in the boat with Jesus. God's boat.
There is a greater goodness to which we belong—
not a scheme for saving us, but a mystery in which already
we are abiding with God forever,
sharing in God's unfolding of life.

Even in trying times we act with both urgency and hope,
both boldness and peace.
We are not perishing. We are facing the storm
with the Guide of the Universe.

During this season of storms, Centering Space is offering a variety of opportunities to help us all cry out, reach out, and move deeply into the unfathomable ground of God. This week, we invite you to spend time with the spiritual practice of visio divina as you gaze at the painting above or visit it here.  If you click on the link, you can view the image online and then enlarge sections to see parts of the image more clearly. Kathy Keary offers these steps for visio divina.

Step 1

Place the image so that it is accessible for viewing. Then pick a comfortable place where you will not be disturbed or distracted. Relax. Close your eyes and focus on your breath to center yourself in the divine.

Step 2

Gaze at the entire picture. Notice the shapes, the colors, and the lighting. Notice the detail of both the foreground and background. Once you have visually canvased the artwork, note what has drawn your attention. If you view the picture from the web address, you can move your cursor over the picture to enlarge sections that may be difficult to see clearly in the image from the weekly email. Just like in Lectio Divina, it is God that is luring you to a treasure meant just for you.

Step 3

Meditate on the part of the picture that has drawn your attention. How is God speaking to you? Why do you think God drew your attention to this particular part? Is a message conveyed that pertains to your life today? Do you sense an invitation? Do you hear a call? Is a memory aroused? Allow these thoughts to descend to your heart. What emotion is evoked? What word describes your inner stirring as you embrace this feeling? Allow God’s communication to touch you deep within where the Spirit dwells.

Step 4

God has been speaking to you as you meditated on this artwork. It’s now time for you to respond to the divine. Allow your words to be born in the recesses of your soul. What is your response? What is your prayer? Articulate any yearnings or desires that arise. Give voice to the emotion that is whirling within.

Step 5

Words are never sufficient to express our deepest selves. Turn to silence to simply rest in communion with our Creator – the One who kissed your soul before placing it in your body – the One who loves you beyond measure. Savor the stillness. Be soothed by Love.


__________________
Weather Report

Severe storm warning.
Resist the temptation to shelter inside.
Go out into it,
and bring calm steadiness.
It will change the storm.
 

Steve Garnaas-Holmes (https://unfoldinglight.net/2024/06/17/storm/ )

Personal Retreat

Taking a step back from the demands of daily life for an hour, a morning or afternoon, or perhaps even a longer day, can help to refresh and restore us. Such a retreat might include a time of prayer, reading, music and movement using the resources such as the labyrinth and meditation walk. You can find a guide for a personal retreat here

Image by Fa Barboza
Labyrinth

Labyrinth

A labyrinth is an ancient tool used by people around the world.  The pattern of pathways offers a contemplative journey as you move towards the center and the wind your way back out into the world.  Labyrinths are created in all sizes and in a variety of patterns.  An outdoor labyrinth is located on the grounds of Trinity Presbyterian Church. An indoor labyrinth and small handheld labyrinths are located in Centering Space with guides to support contemplation.

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Meditation Walk

Trinity is blessed with beautiful grounds and places designed to encourage getting centered in creation. We've compiled a self-guided meditation walk around the grounds with a number of stops along the way. You may download the full guide here , find an online version here, or find hard copies by our Memorial Garden to be used while you walk around the grounds. You'll also find QR codes at many of the stations, which will take you to the full walk and individual stations.

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Lectio

Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina is a spiritual discipline designed to help us see past our presumptions by examining
small pieces of holy text with great care. We practice this discipline in small groups so that each
of us can see the text, and the piece of God it represents, with eyes other than our own. You
may participate at 5:45 on Wednesday and/or Friday mornings. Meeting details can be found
on the Calendar page. Feel free to email Mark Dewey for questions or additional details.

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