Posted in Adult Enrichment

Advent Blessings at Walden

  • December 19, 2016

Cold and crisp air….warm sun’s glow….crunchy snow beneath our feet….and the sight of “swans a-swimming”.   These are a few of the advent blessings we experienced this morning on our prayer walk at Walden Pond.  We’ll meet again in the new year on Monday, January 2nd at 9:30am.  Newcomers are always welcome!

The Risk of Birth, An Advent Poem by Madeleine L’Engle (1973)

 This is no time for a child to be born,
With the earth betrayed by war & hate
And a comet slashing the sky to warn
That time runs out & the sun burns late.

That was no time for a child to be born,
In a land in the crushing grip of Rome;
Honour & truth were trampled by scorn-
Yet here did the Saviour make his home.

When is the time for love to be born?
The inn is full on the planet earth,
And by a comet the sky is torn-
Yet Love still takes the risk of birth.img_7976 img_7980 img_7972 img_7983 img_7982

Advent Light Comes to Walden Pond

  • November 29, 2016

The Spirit is alive and well during our Monday morning prayer walks at scenic Walden Pond.  As the season turns from fall to winter, we’ve noticed the changing leaves, the cooling temperatures, and increased wind, and at times, the frozen path.  And yet, the Light remains.  And with it, our hope for more love, peace, and joy in this world grows with each step we take.  The power of God in nature, in friendship, and in prayer walking continues to bless us beyond measure.

img_7886img_7915

 

img_1869

How the Light Coimg_7888mes

I cannot tell you how the light comes.

What I know is that it is more ancient than imagining.

That it travels across an astounding expanse to reach us.

That it loves searching out

what is hidden,

what is lost,

what is forgotten

or in peril or in pain.img_8677

That it has a fondness for the body,

for finding its way toward flesh,

for tracing the edges of form,

for shining forth through the eye,

the hand,

the heart.

I cannot tell you how the light comes, but that it does.

That it will.

That it works its way into the deepest dark that enfolds you,

though it may seem long ages in comingimg_7920

or arrive in a shape you did not foresee.

And so may we this day turn ourselves toward it.

 

May we lift our faces to let it find us.

May we bend our bodies to follow the arc it makes.

May we open and open more and open still

to the blessed light that comes.

—Jan Richardson

from Circle of Grace

img_7919

Walking Prayer at Walden

  • November 8, 2016

We continue to witness God’s beauty in nature, in silence, in sounds, and in shared reflections.  Join us for walking prayer at Walden on Monday mornings @ 9:30am.  Newcomers welcome!

Walking Early on a Monday Morning, by Linda Watskin

What is there about walking around Walden Pond—silently
Could be the way the water moves across the pondimg_7819

Maybe it’s the swimmers on a cold autumn day

Could be the cairns built on the edge of the pond

Maybe it’s the red foliage

Could  be the reflections in the water

Maybe it’s the half submerged branch

Could be the sand beach

or the children with pails at the water’s edgeimg_7731

or the fisherman with three poles simply waiting

Maybe it’s the two ducks at one end of the pond

or the sound of the wind weaving a path through leaves

or a bird sound you can’t identify

Maybe it’s the sound of your sneakers

on the hard packed sandfullsizerender-4

Could be the way you relax into the day

and wear the goodness like a shawl

 

 img_7821

 

 

 

from Joyce Rupp’s A Star in my Heart:

Leaf by Leaf

Leaf by leaf by leaf
They tumble and fallwalden-in-fall-2016
All my haggard hurts.

Like a cottonwood tree
Ever so slowly letting go,
So the heartache of my heart.

There goes a bit of sadness,
Now a leaf of anger flies;
Then it’s the dropping of self-pity.

The leaf of unforgiveness
Takes forever to fall,
Almost as long as non-trusting.

Leaf by leaf by leaf
They fall from my heartimg_7773
Like a tree in its own time.

Old wounds don’t heal quickly,
They drop in despairing slowness,
Never looking at the clock.

It seems a forever process,
This healing of the hurt,
And I am none too patient.

But a quiet day finally comes
When the old tree with no leaves,fullsizerender-3
is decidedly ready for the new.

And in my waiting heart,
The branches with no leaves
Have just a hint of green.

img_4091fullsizerender-3 walden-in-fall-2-2016

Hebrews 12:1-2a
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith…

Magical Morning Meditations at Walden Pond

  • October 18, 2016

img_7725 Blessed by nature, silence, exercise, and spirit filled sharing, WCUC prayer walkers continue to delight in God’s creation and relish in the company of one another.  Each week we gather to share some of life’s joys and sorrows,  walk in silence with intention around beautiful Walden Pond, and then close with observations, insights, and reflections.  Join us on Mondays at 9:30am…newcomers are always welcome!

“Living in the center of the ache and awe.”
From Carrie Newcomer’s song, Throw Me a Line

 

fullsizerender-4A blessing offered by Amy Gleason on 10/10:

I wish you enough

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how grey the day may appear.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.

Bob Perks

A poem shared by Linda Watskin on 10/17:

Prayers Like Shoes

I wear prayers like shoesfullsizerender-3
pull em on quiet each morning
take me through the uncertain day
don’t know
what knock me off course
sit up in bed
pull on the right
then the left
before shower before teeth
my mama’s gift
to walk me through lifeimg_7727
she wore strong ones
the kind steady your ankles
i know
cause when her man left/ her children
gone/ her eldest son without goodbye
they the only ones keep her
standing
i saw her
still standing
mama passed
some things to me
ma  smile   sense of discipline
ma
subtle behindimg_7731
but best passed on
girl you go to God
and get you some good shoes
cause this life ain’t steady ground
now I don’t wear hers
you take em with you you know
but i suspect they made by the same company
pull em on each morning
first the right   then the left
best piece a dress
i got

Ruth Forman

More wisdom shared by Cathryn Armstrong on 10/17:
passionate

 

Monday Meditation: Prayer Walks at Walden Pond

  • September 27, 2016

img_7626 img_7631

We are walking in the light of God.  Come join us on Mondays @ 9:30am for some contemplative exercise as we walk together in silence, soak in the sights and sounds of nature, and listen for the voice of the Spirit.  Contact joycedegreeff@gmail.com for more information.

img_7626img_7628

This week, we concluded our time together with a poem by Carrie Newcomer:

Blessing

May you wake with a sense of play,
An exultation of the possible.
May you rest without guilt,
Satisfied at the end of a day well done.
May all of the rough edges be smoothed,
If to smooth is to heal,
And the edges be left rough,
When the unpolished is more true
And infinitely more interesting.
May you wear your years like a well-tailored coat
Or a brave sassy scarf.
May every year yet to come
Be one more bright button
Sewn on a hat you wear at a tilt.
May the friendships you’ve sown
Grow tall as summer corn.
And the things you’ve left behind,
Rest quietly in the unchangeable past.
May you embrace this day,
Not just as any old day,
But as this day.
Your day.
Held in trust
By you,
In a singular place,
Called now.