Images from Spiritual Practice 2022
In January and February of 2022, nine students and three program staff gathered online twice a week to explore spiritual disciplines and the role of spiritual practice in ministry and leadership. We explored theology, spirituality, and spiritual practices in the Christian tradition. Over the course of six weeks, students introduced each other to practices of solitude, scripture reading, meditation, forgiveness, pilgrimage, honouring the body, celebration, submission, simplicity, and observing the sabbath. We reflected on silence, on awe, and the embodied nature of practice. Anglican priest, Andrew Rampton, introduced us to the practice of singing the psalms, and special guests Margaret Clarke, Betty Currie, and Fenella Temmerman shared their experiences of using the labyrinth as part of the ministry of St. Peter’s Anglican Church. A student-led session took us deeper into the practice of prayer, exploring various ways of praying, and the sometimes awkwardness of praying for others or being prayed for by others. Participants commented on how useful this learning circle was in grounding them for future ministry. To close the circle, students shared their own theologies of spiritual practice in whatever form they chose – through art, poetry, storytelling, or song. (See “Wool for Sale” below.)
In reflecting on the search for an appropriate and meaningful spiritual practice and trying to articulate her theology of practice, CCS student Kim Inglis, wrote this poem:
Wool for Sale
I bought some wool today online, a few skeins of woven coloured tweed, soft, and earthy tones, delicate yet strong. A prayer shawl perhaps for someone in need... So crochet I began, to create, to feel God, the colours so lovingly woven in those first four rows, single, double, and a half double linked stitch of love, what a creative pattern I had chose. But my mind began to wander, I was finding it hard to focus and sit down. Then I wondered, Is crochet a spiritual practice if I do it while watching Father Brown? I bought a paint-by-numbers as a gift, but no one came to mind. Maybe this is how I could create, maybe the absence of a recipient was a sign... A pristine blue sky, over a fields of sunflowers so bright, The colours so lovingly woven together in those first few spots, numbers 3, 4, 27 and 5, I brush with confidence for God’s beauty. What a creative practice, I thought, as I began to fill in the slots. But my mind began to wander, To past projects like this and their downfall. I love to see how others paint and create, but these numbers are ..oh..so...small... Maybe I need to study more in depth, see what the prophets have to say, maybe I can connect with God like that, and wont be so inclined to seek out just play... So I sat with my study books at hand, the book of Jonah, beautifully woven together piece, with Oxford, Harper Collins and Renovare by my side. That’s it perhaps, allowing knowledge to increase... But my mind began to wander, this was too much like work, footnotes, bibliographies, comments by others, my mind was going berserk, Then I just pulled up a spot on the couch and I opened the book and just read, no alternate opinions, no pre-conceived thought, Just me hanging with God and Jonah, like we were friends. Chapters one two three - what a great ascent! The action, the intrigue, God’s faith is somewhat clear, Jonah listens finally to God’s call, a call to which he would finally adhere But wait, it didn’t stop there, I read on to Chapter 4, Jonah slips again, he is a mess like me, I have to read more... And so again I read the book, immersed in God’s Word. It's so much more than a tale of Jonah and a whale. I wonder what's up with Micah? By the way, I have some wool for sale...