Contemplative Life Ministry
The Contemplative Life Ministry aims to encourage parishioners to participate in the contemplative heart of our parish. All are welcome to attend our gatherings, which take place on most third Mondays. Meetings are held in the Chapel or the choir area of the Nave, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Each meeting involves about 40 minutes of readings, silent prayer and quiet conversation, followed by 20 minutes of snacks and fellowship in Keith Hall. Our hope is that the time frame will make it possible for parishioners to attend and still get home for dinner and/or time with family. All are welcome.
The ministry also plans occasional offerings for the parish aimed at supporting individual and congregational spiritual development. During 2016-2017, the ministry is planning four Saturday Quiet Mornings. We will also maintain a connection with the members of Episcopal monastic orders through regular communication, occasional time spent in monastery guest houses, and through the shared life of prayer.
Below are some readings we have used in prior meetings to focus our attention in shared reflection. A pamphlet of Selected Readings and Prayers will sooon be available at the church and on the website as a resource to those drawn in a contemplative direction. In addition to participating in the Monday meetings, we encourage parishioners to consider arriving early for Sunday liturgies and the Daily Office for a time of quiet listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Christ Church is blessed in its opportunities for peaceful stillness in beautiful holy spaces.
A church should be a place of spiritual nourishment, a power-house of spiritual growth, and this should involve the provision of space for silence and solitude…The conditions of the desert -- a place of silence, of attention to God in simplicity and faith -- should be made accessible in each parish community. How can we utilize our space so that it becomes a pressure and an impetus, rather than a hindrance, to the growth of prayerfulness? Kenneth Leech
If our church communities are going to flourish, we must find ways of being together that respect each person’s solitude while offering ample support for the arduous inward journey. Monasticism offers a model of this sort of community. The possibilities for adapting it to our own circumstances are limited only by our imaginations. Parker Palmer
Our ministries demand silence for their integrity, in particular our speaking to others and our listening to them in Christ’s name. Without silence words become empty. Without silence our hearts would find the burdens the secrets and the pain of those we seek to help intolerable and overwhelming. And our ethos of silence is itself a healing gift to those who come to us seeking newness of life. The Rule of the Society of St. John the Evangelist.