Spiritual Practice Committee
The committee will offer an evaluation to attenders of the 2013-2014 series on Quaker Testimonies. The encourage attenders to suggest ideas for future activities. The committee will take a summer break and meet again in August to plan for future sessions.
About two years ago the Las Cruces Friends Meeting decided they would like to learn about and build their spiritual practice in ways which are not possible during the weekly meeting for worship. So they asked for volunteers to join a spiritual formation committee to consider developing a session a month usually following the third Sunday of the month to dedicate to this process. Jean Hansen, Larry Underwood and Karin Wiburg agreed to form this committee. They met several times and choose to develop the first year’s sessions about the theme of The Call, The Search, The Struggle, The Breakthrough, and The Return (need reference Jean). The group also grounded these themes in old and current Quaker thought and values. What evolved was a clearer vision of our meeting’s spiritual practice as well as a monthly meeting that was highly valued by the members. The sessions included an introduction and history of the month’s theme such as The Call in Quaker history and a variety of activities from art and movement activities to interactive conversations. The first couple of sessions also asked participants to share what they especially valued about the Quakers and the Quaker meetings. By the final session the attendees at the spiritual practice sessions had explored the following steps of the spiritual search and had made both a personal journey and a journey for the meeting. The five stages of the spiritual journey covered in the first year’s sessions included the following:
1) The Call
A summons to a new and eternal perspective: a return to knowledge of our most fundamental sense of self.
2) The Search
The initiation of a spiritual journey to discover the answer to the fundamental question: why are we not the person we were meant to be?
3) The Struggle
The place in the spiritual journey where inner growth is triggered and intense self-transformation begins. This struggle often involves pain followed by new wisdom and growth.
Next Spiritual Practice: January 25, 2015
A new Spring series will begin for Spiritual Practice on Sunday, January 25, after Rise of Meeting.
The new series will initiate discussion on the topic of death and dying.
The first session will be an introduction to the topic
followed by a reflective writing exercise. Future sessions will cover various aspects on the topic of death as presented in the award winning film by Marilyn Schlitz and Deepak Chopra: "Death Makes Life Possible".
Tentative date for the
film showing is February 22nd.
Details will be provided at a later time.
Please join us for an introspective and fascinating journey where, as the authors of the film suggest, fear of death may be transformed into an inspiration for living. Please bring your own journal. If you do not have a journal, small notebooks/pens will be provided.
All are invited.
4) The Breakthrough
An experience of heightened awareness and insight that changes the way a person sees himself or herself and the world around them.
5) The Return
An integration of “lessons learned” into our daily lives that enables us to move forward with a new perspective of who we are and who we desire to be.
At the end of the year the meeting voted to continue spiritual practice during the 2013-2014 year.
The second year of spiritual practice used as a theme the traditional Quaker Testimonies: Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, and Equality. Philip Gulley’s book Living the Quaker Way (Convergent Books, 2013) and Listening to the Light (Random House, 1999) by Jim Pym, a Buddhist and a Quaker were tapped for spiritual wisdom as well as many Quaker historical documents. Each of the sessions began with historical and current Quaker thought on the deep meaning of the testimonies, was followed by Queries taken from Gulley’s book and the committee’s discussion, included either a movement or an art activity (from poetry, to sculpture, and Qi Gong), and included time for reflection and sharing.
You are invited to join any of our spiritual practice sessions normally held on the third Sunday of the month after the regular meeting. Please see events in our Newsletter or under events on the web site (lascrucesquakers.org).
Submitted by Karin Wiburg, August 2, 2014
Quaker Community House 622 N. Mesquite Las Cruces New Mexico
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