Center for Prayer & Spirituality
The Center's mission is to encourage and support an interest in Christian spirituality and integrate mind, body, and spirit by offering contemplative practices, classes, lectures, workshops and direction.
We hope to foster connection, understanding and compassion for self, others and the mystery that beautifully and expansively holds us all.
Beginning a New Church Season
Easter is a very real beginning, a new season, and it also feels like a fresh year, in 2021. The pandemic has tested us in ways that offer new understanding and if we are willing, offer fresh possibilities.
We are fragile and need each other’s encouragement and goodwill. Living is not a solo operation, or even one limited to a few choice friends.
The links between us are tender. They are delicate and to be treasured. They require ongoing nurture and care.
There is enormous beauty in creation. To experience it, we must get out of our own way sometimes, to see the larger picture.
With Easter, we bring new resolve to be available to beauty, to pain and need, and to the Creator’s whisper in the most ordinary-seeming moments. We will seek new ways to be attentive to God and each other in love, nourishing each other on our journey. A recent book by Padraig O’Tuama titled In the Shelter is inspiring us to explore more deeply how we provide for and are sheltered in community.
Please note several adjustments this Spring:
The Dooly Library will move downstairs in Cathedral House to Dean Kate’s former office. (We old-timers will miss the “treehouse” feel of our early space, but the new space will offer special benefits, too.) Packing will begin after Easter and we hope for the new space to be calm and welcoming in early May, with masks and social distancing.
Posts will continue, at a rate of roughly two per month. Posts from summer 2020-Lent 2021 are being placed in an accessible archive found in the “Additional Resources” section below.
Weekly offerings including contemplative Eucharist, yoga and E-words continue. Please check below for access information for the Quiet Garden Movement and Contemplative Outreach.
In-person gatherings remain daunting. Please consider Joe O’Shield’s offering on April 10 in Cummings Chapel. In a sense, it is a condensed Quiet Garden Morning format: shorter ( 9:30-11 a.m. instead of a full morning), omitting Eucharist. We are inviting you to gather masked and socially distanced to explore James Martin’s new book Learning To Pray: A Guide For Everyone.
The ideas in the book are quite engaging; the big question is whether we as a community feel ready to gather for meaningful in-person conversation during the pandemic.
As we go through spring and summer please let us know what was helpful and what you believe improvement might look like. (Contact Susan at [email protected]).
May Easter blessings be close and dear to you for the six weeks of Easter, and beyond.
“Sophie Churchill’s Creed”
We believe in one God,
Who gave birth to the cosmos and to us,
Creating out of nothing but will
A world of rocks, plants and human longing;
Whose eyes will not fail
To cry for it all.
We believe in one God,
Who redeems the waste of all things good,
Weaving from the griefs of our freedom,
New and unhoped-for things
Whose mercy will not fail
To heal it all.
We believe in one God,
Who lives among all people in all places,
Calling us from our despair and sleep
To live out Easter in our generation?
Whose love will not fail
To hold us all.
from Earth Gospel, by Sam Hamilton-Poore
"A Prayer for Reconciliation"
Where there is separation,
there is pain.
And where there is pain,
there is story.
And where there is story,
there is understanding,
and not listening.
May we---separated peoples, estranged strangers,
unfriended families, divided communities---
turn toward each other,
and turn toward our stories,
with argument and acceptance,
with challenge, change
Because if God is to be found,
God will be found
in the space
Amen Padraig O Tuama
Saturday, April 10, 9:30-11 a.m.
Exploring “Learning to Pray”
Joe O’Shields discussion leader
An opportunity to engage with James Martin’s ideas about the connections and rich fruits in an active prayer life. Drawn from Learning to Pray: A Guide for Everyone, 2020.
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s 2021 Easter message
These e-mailed observations by religious leaders, philosophers, authors and poets are selected to inspire,invite reflection, and encourage prayer. Sign up for the weekly email here, and choose CPS Events and Weekly e-Word.
Friday Contemplative Eucharist
This lunch-hour service combines silence, prayer and holy communion. The acoustics in Cummings Chapel are especially adaptable as we gather with masks and social distancing.
Led by Father Raja Zabaneh and assisted by Marsha Hohimer
Cummings Chapel, 12:10 p.m.
Cathedral Bookstore and Gift Shop, 221 E. Church Street...An excellent resource for books on prayer and reflection, inspirational material, Prayer Books and Bibles. Books can be ordered and mailed/delivered directly to you during the pandemic. The Bookstore also hosts “First Monday Book Group”. Get the bi-weekly bookstore newsletter "The Herald" by signing up here, and choose Cathedral Bookstore.
Contact Bookstore Manager Kathryn Bissette at (904) 632-9104, extension 152, or email [email protected] to learn more.
Pause, News and Views from the Quiet Garden Movement www.quietgarden.org
For Inspiration and Reflection
Pilgrims' Journeys with Owene Philips Weber Courtney