When was the last time that you had half an hour of total quiet to yourself? Last week? Last month? Last Year? Or perhaps it is a long distant memory before the kids came along. In a world that is increasingly busy and stressful it can seem quite indulgent to take time out for yourself. But we all need time to recharge our batteries and for Christians spending time alone with God is central to our faith. And so with this in mind we are going to start a Julian Prayer Group at 2pm on the 2nd Thursday of each month in the Edward King Chapel at Ripon College, Cuddesdon. Each session will last about 45 minutes. To lead us into our time of prayer one of us will do a 10 minute reflection. This will not be anything too heavy and is just to get us slowly into our quiet space. It could be listening to a piece of music, a reading from a book or a simple talk.Previous subjects at Julian Groups I have attended have included a priest who died on 9/11, a favourite poem and a great one about God being like a favourite pillow! But please note that no one will be asked to lead a sessin who doesn’t want to. It is about listening to God nd having some space and peace in our lives. When the presentation is over then we will spend half an hour in silent prayer.
I was at first daunted by the thought of this but it is surprising how quickly you get into it. I remember my first time and as everything became quiet and still, my mind was filled with thoughts of my daily life: the kids, shopping lists, had I switched the iron off? But after a while your mind empties and you begin to listen and it is a wonderful thing. I am not saying that you will be filled by some revelation straight from God, But who knows, you may get clarity about a problem, you may get peace for a while in an otherwise hectic world or you may simply listen to the birds and think of other times. When our prayer time ends then people can stay and chat or I know that some people like to go off with their own thoughts and that is totally fine. The only important thing is that people feel comfortable and get something from the session. I really enjoy the experience. It relaxes me, refreshes may and keeps me close to God and we are fortunate that we can use the beautiful Chapel. But this is my no means only for those people studying or working at the College.This Julian Group is for everyone in all communities and I hope that people who attend will get something from it. There is no commitment, if you give it a go and find that it is not for you then that’s fine. One more thing, why is this article called Parsnips and Prayers? Well my apologies, I couldn’t really think of an exciting headline and I thought that the title might have got peole to read it, sorry.
If you are interested and would like any further information then please contact Revd. Emma Pennington 0n 01865 361 381 or Darren Bell on 01865 701354. With Blessings, Darren
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