Monday, February 24, 2014

Pathways to Prayer: A Lenten Series 
Holy Cross Episcopal Church, Trussville, Alabama
by Dn. Steve

Two people are walking along a pathway together. As we watch, we can see the changing relationship between them. Sometimes they talk animatedly together, but at other times they travel in silence. Sometimes they seem to be arguing. At other times they seem close and as in love as any two people. Sometimes they appear to lose contact altogether... but then they are reunited and travel on together.  

Our Christian life is a journey, but it's not a journey that we make alone. As we journey, we have God as our companion. Everything that passes between us and God as we travel our path is what we call prayer. Prayer is the road we travel on, and it is our occupation on the journey.  

However, our prayer can take many forms. Christian spirituality offers not one but many pathways by which to come to God. Each pathway has been formed in Christian communities through the centuries, and each has depth, wisdom, and experience to offer in approaching God through prayer.   

For five Wednesdays in Lent we will explore the why, what, and how of various disciplines of prayer. Each evening there will be child care provided and we will begin with a common meal that will be available between 6:00pm - 6:30pm. The night's program will follow and we will be done by no later than 7:30pm. The facilitators and topics are: 

Wednesday, March 12, Dn. Steve, Prayer 101 & The Daily Examen - will provide an overview of the Lenten series, and then learn about and practice the Prayer of Examen. This a technique described by St. Ignatius in his Spiritual Exercises and is a prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect Gods presence and discern his direction for us.  The Examen is an ancient practice in the Church that can help us see Gods hand at work in our whole experience.  

Wednesday, March 19th, Justin Finch (organist & choirmaster) & Dn. Steve, Taizé - a style of worship with prayer and song that has grown out of this ecumenical community in France where thousands of youth and young adults gather together each summer to live, work, and worship together. Justin has lived in community at Taizé, and is an experienced worship leader. 

Wednesday, March 26th, Elaine Tindill-Rohr & Dn. Steve, Labyrinth - Elaine's gift to our community this Lent is the temporary installation of a Labyrinth. Prayer through walking the labyrinth is a sacred pattern that leads us on a prescribed path to its center and back out again. Walking the labyrinth is a way of praying with the body that invites the divine presence into an active conversation with the heart and soul. By engaging in this walking meditation, we are fully engaging our minds, bodies, and spirits at the same time. 

Wednesday, April 2nd, Amanda Griesdorn & Dn. Steve, Lectio Divina & Centering Prayer - Lectio Divina is a traditional Benedictine practice of scriptural reading, meditation, and prayer intended to promote communion with God and to increase the knowledge of God's Word by treating Scripture as the Living Word. Centering Prayer is a method of silent prayer that is both a relationship with God and a discipline to foster that relationship. Amanda facilitates the Centering Prayer group here at Holy Cross.  

Wednesday, April 9th, Fr. Aaron & Dn. Steve, Community Prayer - exploring and practicing prayer forms from the Book of Common Prayer including The Daily Offices.  

We are all different, and each of us finds some types of prayer more helpful than others. The aim of this Lenten series is to offer participants insights into five types of prayer - five journeys - five pathways.

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