Images from Spiritual Practice 2023

Images from Spiritual Practice 2023

The Spiritual Practice learning circle ended yesterday. Four diaconal students spent the week exploring various spiritual practices in the Christian tradition, both for their own spiritual growth and groundedness and for use in their ministry. Students connected with themselves, with each other, and with the Holy.

A session on the practice of silence (conducted mostly in silence) invited participants to create their own “far mosque” for silent contemplation, inspired by a line from the Rumi poem: “Build a far mosque where you can read the book of your soul, and listen to the dreams that grew in the night.” Anglican priest Rev. Andrew Rampton visited to share his experience with the spirituality of beauty and awe, particularly in relation to plainchant and singing the psalms. A trip to St. John’s College at the University of Manitoba allowed us to walk a labyrinth with St. John’s ecumenical chaplain Helen Holbrook.

A student-led session on prayer had us reflect on the kind of words we might (or definitely wouldn’t!) use in prayer, challenged us to pray for each other and be prayed for, and took us on a contemplative walk to the river to discuss politics and prayer and whether prayer should push boundaries.

At the end of each day, a student briefly introduced a different spiritual practice, giving us a taste of lectio divina, honouring the body, sabbath, pilgrimage, and meditation.

Over the course of the week students worked on formulating their theology of spiritual practice, which they shared on the final day of the circle in their own ways (incorporating elements of game, whirling, Veggie-tales style puppetry with leftover snack materials, etc.)