ELEMENTS of a Contemplative Reformation

This summer and fall we will reflect on contemplative reformation within the context of Grace Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta–and the broader community of which we are a part. Elements and practices of theological reflection are essential as we lean more into this deeper, contemplative tradition within our parishes and communities. To that end, we are offering space for conversation, study, and practice.

Summer School

On three Sunday evenings from 6:00 - 7:30 - June 24, July 22 and August 19 - we will share conversation and reflection on components of contemplative practice and ways to embody a posture of silence, listening, and discernment. We will use these key texts to help frame our conversations.

Learn more about each of them in the column to the left. Participants are invited to purchase and read these texts in this order:

  • for June 24: Embracing the Call to Spiritual Depth and Everything Belongs 
  • for July 22: Word into Silence
  • for August 19: Pilgrimage of a Soul and The Soul of a Leader

This trajectory takes us from a space of language and images to practice to embodiment within life and leadership. You are welcome to share in the conversations even if you don’t read the books, but having the language and images will help. The texts and our reflections on them will help us prepare for the fall workshops.

Fall Workshops

On three Saturdays this fall, we will share focused conversation around the key theme of “Elements of a Contemplative Reformation.” The workshops are arranged in a progression, so try to attend all three if you can. To cover costs of meals and honoraria, there is a fee of $40 for one workshop, $80 for two, or $100 if you attend all three.

» Registration is now open.

1: PRACTICE
The Grounding of Contemplative Practice

Saturday, September 15, 2018 from 9:00 AM—2:00 PM
with Rev. Dr. Tilden Edwards and Rev. Dr. Sharon Hiers

We will focus on the importance of contemplative practices, grounding ourselves in silence and an openness to the Spirit’s presence within our hearts. It is essential that we delve more deeply into the contemplative tradition within Christianity as we recognize the pressures we face in today's world. By anchoring ourselves in dedicated times of silence, resting in God’s presence, we encounter a “spaciousness” in which we can find our true selves, beyond our ego-grasping mind.

Tilden will join us via video conference to share conversations and reflections on the importance of silence and contemplative practice. Sharon will share her own experience of meditation as an example and encouragement for daily life.

2: POSTURE
Dynamics of a Contemplative Posture

Saturday, October 13, 2018 from 9:00 AM—2:00 PM
with The Rev. Dr. Margaret Benefiel and Rev. Sarah Fisher

We will share conversations with parishioners from Grace and other colleagues who are experimenting with a contemplative posture in their parishes and ministries. A guiding question for us to explore is this: how can a contemplative posture nurture a prayerful response to the challenges we face–rather than reacting out of anger and an ego-grasping mind? How can a contemplative posture provide the nourishing taproot for our leadership–in whatever ministry God invites us to share in?

We are grateful that Margaret will join us via video conference to reflect on leadership and community. Sarah will be here to share thoughts on how a contemplative posture nurtures a healthy, sustainable practice of stewardship.

3: PROMISE
The Promise of a Contemplative Life

Saturday, November 3, 2018 from 9:00 AM—2:00 PM
with Fr. Richard Rohr and Rev. Brian Sullivan

We will have explored the grounding of contemplative practices which anchors us in a spirit of discipline and willingness to the Spirit’s movement; and the dynamics of a contemplative posture out of which we embody compassion and leadership in our vocations and ministry. At this point, we look toward the promise of a contemplative life. What does it mean to be open to the guiding presence of the Spirit of Christ that invites us toward transformation? What risks and resistances do we encounter? What possibilities for grace do we yearn for?

We are thrilled to welcome Fr. Richard, who will join us via video conference to share a time of reflection. Brian will share his experience of how a contemplative posture has nurtured his own vocation and discernment as a priest and head of school.

     

page last updated on 05.31.18