Friday, July 29, 2011

Prayer: Yoga Meditation

As you know from previous posts, I love to do yoga. I find it to be a great gateway to meditation and so I am always looking for new ways to practice it. I recently picked up Tara Stiles new yoga book and found her YouTube channel and her work inspired today's meditation. The question she posed for our guide today was, "If you are always running trying to get where you are going or escape your past, where are you right now?" So, after doing her routine for meditation, flexibility and relaxation, I held that question up in prayer. It was very fruitful and I left feeling like the "now" I am in is grace-filled and loving. Where are you right now? I would love to hear some answers to this one!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Prayer: Color a Mandala

Today I needed a little centering, so I chose I new mandala pattern to color. It was very relaxing. Mandalas are a wonderful way to help turn off our busy minds and add colors to represent our prayers.  Here is the pattern I used:

The triangles reminded me of the Trinity. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Worship: Christmas in July!

Get ready for Christmas in July! We will be celebrating the joy of the
Incarnation this Sunday at the 9:30 service with all kinds of fun
festivities. Please bring your favorite Holiday cookies or snacks to share
at the coffee hour where we will be singing carols around the tree. Don't
forget to wear your Christmas finest and/or your tackiest Christmas sweater
for a "Christmas Clothing Contest!" The Joy of Christmas knows no season!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Prayer, Worship, Service: St. Benedict's Rule

On July 11, a number of Christian denominations will commemorate the feast day of St. Benedict of Nursia, often called "The Father of Western Monasticism". In his Rule, written in the mid-sixth century, St. Benedict describes a balanced way of life, dedicated to guiding a community to live in Christ. With its recommendations for work, prayer, study of Scripture, rest, and life together, Benedict seeks to create a school for God's service. In some ways, he might be the patron saint of this blog!

St. Benedict's Rule has been a model for many Western Christian monastic orders. But it also provides a wise foundation for any person's life in Christ. Or for a parish.

His sensible, and sensitive, approach to spirituality is more popular than ever. Keeping in mind that there are cultural differences between our world and the world of the 6th century, a reading of this tiny book, composed with a great number of quotes from Scripture, can help us structure our lives to "prefer nothing whatsoever to Christ. And may he bring us altogether into eternal life." (The Rule of St. Benedict, Chapter 73)

Read more about The Rule at the Order of St. Benedict's bibliographic page on The Rule.

Sr. Joan Chittister has written an excellent book with a contemporary translation of The Rule, and some commentary. Selections are available online The Rule of St. Benedict: Insight for the Ages.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Prayer: Remembering Our Saints

This morning the Anglican Communion News Service published this little blip:

Today in History: On July 7, 1220, Thomas Becket's shrine was dedicated in Canterbury and became a popular pilgrim attraction.

Now Thomas Becket is my patron saint and this is A Very Important Date. Without it and the attendant popularity of his cult for pilgrims all over the then known world, some of what we know about his story might have been lost.

We sometimes remember the saints who have had an important influence on our spiritual lives only on the Feast of All Saints. Or on their official feast days. But if we look at their histories, we might find many days when it would be appropriate to commemorate them. The saints are living, vital threads in the wonder-ful and sacred Christian tradition. We do well to remember them not only as historical figures but as faithful models who accompany and help us on our journey to God.

And, yes, I'll be singing some of the medieval chants from the Office for St. Thomas on July 7.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Prayer: Online Meditation

Reflection: A few months ago, Ellyn, our former director of Christian Education sent me a link to this great website called The d365 found here. This site features a daily devotional series which were "written especially for students and seek to provide reflections on themes that impact our faith journey. [It is the] hope that in the midst of busy or boring days, this site will create a quiet space in your life for contemplation and prayer." Enjoy this break right from your desk!