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Horses, Spirituality, & Mindfulness: Empowering Your Authentic Self

Mindfulness means paying attention to what is happening right now, in this moment, rather than dwelling on past events or anticipating something that may or may not take place in the future. It is nonjudgmental awareness of your present experience. For most of us, mindfulness does not come naturally. Yet, it is a skill we can learn. Mindfulness techniques help us discern what our bodies and minds most need in the present, providing us in-sight to better care for ourselves. 

Horses, due to their unique animal nature, can be mirrors for our inner selves. Acting as breathing, thinking, living, biofeedback interpreters, horses allow for a truthful, non-judgmental reflection of how we feel in the moment. Through their awareness of subtle body language, heightened instinctual senses, and focus on the present, horses are excellent teachers of mindful-ness, spirituality and self-care. 

When working with the animals, we ask that you wear closed-toe shoes and if possible, no dangling jewelry. 

Vowed members of the Wesleyan Contemplative Order, individual Band members, and guests are welcome to attend the retreat. 

Cost: Vowed members: FREE; Band members and guests: $10. 

REGISTER: Lisa Marion / ourphalt@gmail.com or 828-234-8122

  • Space is limited to 24. 
  • Deadline to register: September 1, 2018. 
  • Location: Home (and barn) of Lisa and Todd Marion - 122 Walnut Hill Court, Mooresville, NC 28115 
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Creating a Sacred Rhythm / Rule of Life

“A personal Rule of Life is simply the structure that enables us to say yes to the process of transformation, day in and day out. A Rule of Life responds to two interplay questions: ‘How do I want to live so I can be who I want to be,’” writes Ruth Haley Barton. 

This short class will focus on developing a regular spiritual routine that weaves a few spiritual practices into the fabric of your everyday living; practices that nourish your soul and form your character into Christlikeness; practices that you lean in to and long for out of desire, not duty. 

  • Presented by Ann Starrette and others
  • Hosted by Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 1900 The Plaza, Charlotte NC
  • Contact: Sally Daggett — sdaggett@roadrunner.com or (704) 604-7102
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Cultivating Spiritual Discernment

I have long been fascinated with the story of “The Cloud and the Fire” in Numbers 9:15-23. It is a story of how the Lord guided the Israelites. When the cloud rested upon them, they would not set out of camp, but when it lifted, they would set out. 

Learning to look for and rely on directions by God is one of the key elements in the spiritual life - individually and as a community. But how do we do that in a real and practical sense? 

This retreat offers a contemplative approach to help us become more open, receptive, and responsive to the Holy Spirit’s wisdom. You will learn three contemplative movements of discernment and how to put them into practice in daily life. 

  • The practice of seven steps that starts with kenosis - the emptying of self. 
  • The process of moving from my will to God’s will - and it is a process! 
  • The prayer of consent to welcome and call forth the guidance of the Holy Spirit. 

Every movement - and every event - plants something in the soul. Most of these unnumbered seeds perish and are lost because men are not prepared to receive them: for such seeds as these cannot spring up anywhere except in the good soil of freedom, spontaneity and love. 
~ Thomas Merton

You will leave with a new understanding of how to RECEIVE God’s gift of guidance. God wants to raise our awareness of the importance of cooperating with him and what he wants to do in our lives. Come learn, grow, and cultivate discernment with us! 

  • Space is limited to 24 participants. 
  • Presented by Ann Starrette and others. 
  • Directions to this private space, Starrette Farm Retreat Center in Statesville, will follow your registration. 
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Centering Prayer Workshop

Do you seek the still, quiet voice of God? 

Join us for a prayerful day when we will explore the benefits of Centering Prayer in ordinary life and experience periods of Centering Prayer practice. Centering Prayer is a method of silent prayer that prepares us to receive the gift of contemplative prayer, prayer in which we experience God's presence within us - closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than conscious-ness itself. This method of prayer is both a relationship with God and a discipline to foster that relationship. It is drawn from ancient prayer practices of the Christian contemplative heritage, notably the Fathers and Mothers of the Desert, Lectio Divina (praying the Scriptures), The Cloud of Unknowing, and the writings of St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila. 

This workshop is an opportunity to be introduced to or to renew your prayer practice - to be with God beyond concepts, words, and images; listening with “the ear of the heart”. All are welcome to attend. 

Presenter: Deborah Conner is a Presbyterian minister in the PCUSA currently serving Myers Park Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC as the Associate Pastor of Congregational Care. With nearly 30 years’ experience in pastoral ministry, Deborah is a long time practitioner of Centering Prayer who is interested in helping people cultivate emotionally healthy spirituality in their lives. 

Workshop Fee: $35 before August 18; $40 for late registration (includes lunch). 

Location: Myers Park Presbyterian Church - 2501 Oxford Place, Charlotte, NC 2820 

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