As we move through Creation Time, seeing God in all of creation and worshipping God with all creation, we are accompanied by a new 6-week series, “Be Beguiled by Beauty: Cultivating a life of contemplation and compassion.”

 

There is a lot that is not beautiful in the world. We might even want worship to be an escape from all of that; a time and place of quiet peacefulness. But this new series in Creation Time is not about disconnecting. Rather, it’s about connecting to the essential beauty and integrity of all creation and in doing so finding the courage to actually engage our world from a place of profound compassion. Without significant and deep resources, the crisis, difficulty and need of our world will be too much to bear. And so this new worship series offers us the opportunity to practice simple contemplative ways for us to connect our spirit to the beauty of creation and to our own sacred worth!

Spiritual Practices for a Contemplative Life

Each week we will add more contemplative practices

“Watering.”

Each day... pour yourself a glass of water.

As you drink it, think about how water sustains us and is a source of LIFE!

And then refill that same glass and water another living thing, eg. water a plant, fill a bird bath...

Consider creating a reminder note that says,

“Water is life.

Water your life so you can water other life…

for the beauty of the earth.

"Lectio Divina"

In the Christian tradition contemplative reading is known as lectio divina (“divine reading,” in Latin). Through a process of close, contemplative reading, the simple words on the page become clearer and more meaningful. It brings greater understanding and connection, something easily missed by a superficial, quick reading.

  • Select a passage of scripture (perhaps start with a short Gospel reading). Read it through twice.

  • Recall the story...interactions...encounters

  • Close your eyes and reconstruct the scene in your imagination... who is there? what's being said? what does it look like? See yourself present in that scene.

  • Take your time... engage with Christ in the story, say what comes from your heart

"Warming"

This week’s contemplative action is a time of “warming.”

Set a reminder each day to sit in the sun or wrap yourself in the warmth of a blanket. Allow yourself a few moments to be “warmed” by the sun or blanket. As you do so, allow your mind to slow, your heart to open, your eyes to drink in your surroundings.

Be warmth to someone or something – HUGS (maybe if in your "bubble") send a note, card, letter, make a call – remind those you share your warmth GOD loves them!

Consider creating a reminder note that says,

“Warmth is love,

the very presence of divine love. Offer that warmth to others…

for the beauty of the earth.”

Walk the Labyrinth

There is a beautiful permanent Labyrinth at Holy Trinity Anglican Church (North Saanich), right opposite Patricia Bay. Take your time to walk it.

There are three stages to the walk:

1. Releasing (as you walk towards the centre) - A releasing or letting go of the details of your life. This is the act of shedding thoughts and distractions. A time to open the heart and quiet the mind.

2. Receiving - When you reach the centre, stay there as long as you like. It is a place of meditation and prayer. Receive what is there for you to receive.

3. Returning - As you leave, following the same path out of the centre as you came in, you take back the healing your have received our into the world with God. 

Guidelines for the walk: Try to quiet your mind and become aware of your breath. Allow yourself to find the pace your body wants to go. Since the path is two-way, those going in will meet those coming out. You may “pass” people or let others step around you. If there are others walking the Labyrinth at the same time as you, please wear a face mask. 

St Paul's United Church, 2410 Malaview Avenue, Sidney, BC, V8L 2G4

Tel: 250-656-3213

E-mail: stpauluc@telus.net