Contemplative Life Ministry

Contemplative prayer strikes some as a bewildering concept and, in many ways, it is distinct from both corporate liturgical prayer on the one hand and individual prayers of petition, intercession, and thanksgiving on the other. It is most often silent and tends to involve resting in God’s presence and opening oneself to the “still, small voice.” This generally requires that one set aside one’s own agenda, perhaps sitting with a phrase, an image, or a narrative from scripture, poetry, or some other type of literature. While there are many approaches with deep roots in Christian tradition, the contemplative framework is surprisingly simple. All are capable of some degree of contemplative prayer and living.

The Contemplative Life Ministry at Christ Church aims to provide parishioners and others with the opportunity to learn about and experience various forms of contemplative practice. Ministry leaders work with the parish clergy to develop periodic opportunities which support individual and congregational spiritual growth.

Several Saturday Quiet Mornings will be offered during the 2017-2018 program year. The purpose of these gatherings is to offer insight into contemplative tradition, to shed light on some of its leading voices, and, through periods of quiet spaciousness, to provide an experience of drawing closer to God and to the depths of our own being. For information about Quiet Mornings at Christ Church, contact the Reverend Elizabeth Keeler, Assistant to the Rector, or the parishioners listed below.

Members of the Contemplative Life Ministry maintain connections with Episcopal monastic communities through time spent at their retreat houses, regular communication, and the shared life of prayer. In addition, parishioners are encouraged to consider arriving early for Sunday liturgies and participating in the Daily Office in the Chapel of Saint Jude. Both of these practices offer the opportunity for prayerful discernment and quiet alertness to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Christ Church is blessed in its opportunities for peaceful stillness in beautiful, holy spaces.

A pamphlet of selected readings and prayers, a resource for those who are drawn to the practice of contemplative prayer, will soon be available at the church and on this website. For more information about the Contemplative Life Ministry at Christ Church, contact parishioners Merrill Carrington, Bill Burns, or Missy Daniel.