Dear Friends in Christ,
I’ve never been much of a spa guy. It is a rare day when you’ll find me on a massage table or in a mineral bath or wrapped in seaweed. But, I have always been a fan of rest and relaxation – I’m not averse to feeling pampered. So, it was with great appreciation that I stepped in to the nave of St. John’s last night to find it dimly lit, candles flickering all the way up the chancel steps, and a wisp of incense hovering above the choir stalls.
Keely and her team of liturgists had appointed the space just so, making it feel as though I had stepped out of the buzzing world into a spa… for the soul. There was nothing unique about last night’s service, just Anglicanism at its best– the daily office at the close of the day, prayers, scripture, chanting, simplicity and mystery. I left feeling like my world was back in line, having shed the worries of life, having blessed the Lord and feeling blessed in return. These sung Compline services will continue throughout the rest of the year and into the spring one Thursday night (7PM) per month with the other 3 or 4 Thursdays being spoken Compline. I encourage you to treat your self, your body and soul, to this little spiritual retreat.
We’ve been doing a lot of “retreating” around St. John’s this month. The vestry met this past Saturday for a morning retreat exploring and developing our vision for leading St. John’s into the next chapter of our life as a faith community. Meanwhile, there was a mother’s retreat going on all morning and into the afternoon. Mother’s of all ages got together to share their stories, to be supported in their ministry of raising children, and to step out of the fray for a moment to take some time for rest and prayer. Rest and retreat are an essential component of our life in faith. A component which is so often neglected in our hectic and fast-paced world. At St. John’s we hope to continue to offer more opportunities for more people to engage in this important practice of spiritual retreat. There are already plans in the works for another Vestry Retreat and Mother’s retreat. There will be an Advent Retreat advertised soon, and I’m sure others will be in the offing. If you crave time to be still, to listen for God in your life, and to pray and meditate, I encourage you to take advantage of one of these opportunities at St. John’s or to set a time to meet with one of the lay or ordained ministers on our staff to talk about ways to work Sabbath time into your regular life.
Please remember that we are still in the midst of our annual stewardship campaign. You can find out more or pledge online by clicking on www.stjohnsstpaul.org.
I’ll see you in church!