Contemplative Silence – A daily routine

To find the still point within our own soul is to find that space where God’s ground meets our ground. To intentionally take regular (preferably daily) time in that space is to discover God’s ‘still small voice’ which we hear through the ‘ear of the heart’ as Saint Benedict describes it. Over time, if we are committed to listening and attending to this voice we find ourselves changing from within. It may not be even noticeable at first, only as we look back over time do we realise that our patterns of responding to the world have changed. We may generally feel more at peace, less likely to judge, more able to let go of our defences and more able to see the world from another’s perspective. Indeed we are becoming more ‘comfortable in our own home’ as Henri Nouwen puts it. Our soul is becoming a more hospitable place for God and for the world.

As our spiritual chemistry changes, we move increasingly towards a non dual perspective. God no longer seems separate. We begin to feel a fusion as the boundaries between God’s ground and our ground becomes more porous. We also begin to feel less separate from others. Although we understand ourselves to be distinct from God and others (including all creation) there is nevertheless a burgeoning sense of wholeness that pervades and we feel ourselves to be at one with all being. Compassion develops, wisdom speaks, and our inner senses develop such as; intuitive understanding, creative expression and most importantly a call to serve. Contrary to what many believe the contemplative path is ultimately about serving the world and not withdrawing from it!

The most noticeable change perhaps is the conscious awakening to the experience of God being fully present within us (even if we struggle to reciprocate at times) and an increasing sense of that fusion between God’s ground and our own ground – the movement towards union.

Committing to daily practice is not easy, the busyness of life takes over and such a practice is seen as the least urgent of the many things that we have to attend to. But to create a daily ‘habit’ so that it becomes as automatic as showering or brushing teeth will, overtime, change the spiritual chemistry as I have described. We are all mystics in the making…the secret is to regularly attend to the ever present God within you as if it were the most important thing in your daily routine.

Of course it may be that you do not feel this inner path is for you. It doesn’t mean that God is not fully present within you, that is a given! Sometimes its just about timing or God working with you in different ways. You will know intuitively whether the contemplative path is right for you or not at this time…just trust your own knowing. Jayne

Happy New Year

Well, here we are again, a whole new Methodist year!

It kicked off yesterday evening with a welcome service for the three new ministers being welcomed into the Gloucestershire circuit – one of whom is our new superintendent Rev. John Hellyer and also Revd’s Rachel Leather and John McNeill.

As of today there is a change in our own section as we say goodbye to Hartpury and Tibberton who will both be going into the central circuit. We also welcome Winchcombe whom together with Apperley and Tewkesbury will form a new section…north east of the circuit. Please remember that on 14th September there will be afternoon tea at TMC for those leaving and those joining the section.

This coming Saturday we have a whole new group starting called Viriditas where we will be looking at all aspects of caring for the environment both from a practical and spiritual perspective. This will be held in church at TMC and will begin at 10.00. As this is the first meeting we will most likely be setting the agenda for the coming year and sharing ideas for events, speakers and so on. All are welcome.

Looking slightly ahead in the Year we have an inclusivity workshop at TMC on 23rd November led by Simon Culley. Please let myself or a steward know at TMC if you would like to attend it will start at 1.45 and finish at 4.15. This is all part of our ongoing commitment to be included in the Inclusive Churches register.

Looking much further ahead in this coming connexional year we have booked another house group retreat which will this time be held at Holland House (pictured above) on 13th June 2020. Please see Peter Dickenson to book.

So this is just a taster, on this first day of the New Year, of what is to come. There are many other events, festivals, services and activities planned for the coming year so watch this space and, of course, check the website.

Blessings, Jayne