Center for Prayer and Spirituality

We are each invited to experience the indwelling of the Divine every day. The Center for Prayer and Spirituality at St. Mary’s introduces the parish and the wider community to those contemplative prayer and spiritual practices that foster a deeper relationship with God by offering classes, workshops, lectures, and opportunities to pray and practice together. Contact Lauren Graeber lcgraeber@gmail.com or Diane Popalis popalis5@gmail.com for more information.

Upcoming Offerings

Introduction to Centering Prayer
Session One: September 18, 2021 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 pm, St. Mary’s Parish Hall
Sessions Two through Seven: Thursday evenings, September 23 – October 28, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m., St. Mary’s Miller Common Room

This seven week series is designed to for you learn and establish a Centering Prayer practice. Because the series is designed for participants to attend the entire program, we have one sign-up for all dates. Together, we examine how Centering Prayer will deepen our relationship with God, with others, and with ourselves. We will be introduced to the theological background of Centering Prayer, what Centering Prayer is and is not, and how through the practice of Centering Prayer, the Fruits of the Holy Spirit will be manifested in our daily lives. A $40.00 registration fee includes a boxed lunch for September 18 and a copy of Thomas Keating’s Open Mind, Open Heart. For detailed information and to register, please email Diane Popalis, commissioned presenter for Contemplative Outreach.

The Welcoming Prayer: November 20, 2021 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm.  The Welcoming Prayer is sometimes referred to as “consent on the go” and is considered the companion prayer practice to Centering Prayer.  This workshop is offered in conjunction with Contemplative Outreach and will be presented by Tom Benson.

Writing as a Spiritual Practice: This fall, join with folks from our parish and the broader community to cultivate writing as a spiritual practice. Each week we will use exercises that help us to notice the details of our lives and build our capacities for wonder and curiosity. No writing experience is necessary. Time and dates TBA.  

Previous Offerings

Writing as a Spiritual Practice Workshops Gathering in person and online, we engage in a variety of writing exercises that help us connect with God, ourselves, and each other. Workshops have been offered during Advent, Lent, and as part of the parish’s ongoing spiritual life.

Quiet Day for the Parish Using the Prayers of the People within our Episcopal Liturgy, we explore how our own stories might be written into the community’s collective prayers.

The Spiritual Practice of Centering Prayer Centering Prayer is a method of praying that goes beyond our thoughts and words to simply resting in God’s presence. It is based on the wisdom saying of Jesus, “When you pray, go to your inner room, close the door and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you”(MT 6:6). Jesus is telling us to go into the private room of our hearts, shut the door to the busy world around us, and to pray to God from the depths of our hearts. Centering Prayer does not take the place of other forms of prayer, and it will most certainly deepen and enrich your relationship with God in profound ways.

Introduction to Centering Prayer Workshop This workshop introduces participants to the practice of Centering Prayer and is conducted annually at St. Mary’s.

The Spiritual Practice of Icon Writing St. Mary’s Center for Prayer and Spirituality hosted nationally known iconographer, Teresa Harrison, for a five day Icon Writing Retreat. Participants learned the prayerful practice of painting or “writing” a Byzantine style icon.

Walking the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Practice A labyrinth is a sacred and ancient pattern that leads you on a prescribed path to a center. The spiraling course takes you into the center and back out again.  Historically, Christian pilgrims used it as a means to make a spiritual pilgrimage, symbolizing the journey to Jerusalem. The labyrinth at St. Mary’s is made available during Advent and Lent, liturgical seasons that encourage each of us to deepen our faith and explore spiritual practices. The goal of walking this ancient meditative path is that you leave with renewed vision and a refreshed spirit as you prepare for the birth and resurrection of our Lord.