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Contemplation: An alternative worship experience | Church Corner

Have you ever considered that we all have the same amount of time? Time, as we know it, is a human concept. Sure, we could tell the changing of one day to another or the changing of seasons even if we were not so accustomed to our 24 hour days, our seven day weeks. But we are all tied to time; I am sure that everyone who reads this article feels the pinch of days too packed with work, appointments, home obligations and family needs.

Then, what about the time we try to set aside to draw closer to God? I admit to praying on the run: snatches of prayers in the car, at work or at bedtime. Even church services follow a set pattern and we have just so much time devoted to each of the segments of worship. This is not a criticism of worship; it’s just a comment on the way in which we make room for God in our lives. Yet, scripture reminds us

“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

Now, imagine yourself in a quiet space, with light coming from candles. Soft music is playing in the background. You have entered into a space to pray and reflect on scripture with enough time and quiet moments to let the messages from God begin to sink into your innermost places. You are practicing the discipline of being still.

There is such an experience available to us here in Enumclaw. Maybe you have seen the ads that have appeared in the paper about the Contemplative Worship Experience.  About six months ago a small group of us from local churches planned these worship experiences. Once a month all are invited to attend.  There are times for private reflection and for guided prayer. The goal is to give us time to slow down and communicate with God in silence and to be  open to hearing what God has to say to us.

Like most all of us, I pack my days. I have often come to the services frazzled and thinking that I did not need one more thing to add to my day.  But, it never fails, after such a quiet time, I am always glad I participated. Some of the insights that come from this kind of introspective prayer have been surprising, cathartic, and always filled with grace. It has been my personal experience to come away from contemplative worship deeply relaxed. The ancients who practiced this kind of reflection knew what they were doing when they created this kind of spiritual discipline.

Let me offer you an invitation to come to one of these contemplative worship experiences. They are held on the first Sunday of each month at 5 p.m. The locations rotate through different churches.

In January, the service will be held at Calvary Presbyterian Church.

Come to me, all you that are weary and carrying heavy burdens,  and I will give you rest.

Come to me, all you that are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28

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