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Explore Quiet Spaces September-December 2018:

Contents

About Quiet Spaces

Taking you into quiet spaces to meet with God...

Published three times a year, each issue of Quiet Spaces provides four months' worth of inspiration for your quiet time, presented in fortnightly sections. This material can be used in daily portions throughout the week or all in one sitting as a 'quiet day', perhaps at the weekend. Within each section there are twelve elements comprising reflections inspired by different traditions, creative activities, liturgy, Bible reading and ideas for meditation. Also included is a chapter taken from As a Child by Phil Steer, which explores Jesus' words about becoming like little children and what this means for our faith journey.

The Editor writes

Welcome to Quiet Spaces!

I wonder: what is your image of God? Our perceptions of who God is affect our relationship with God, our worship and our service. A view of a judgemental God will lead to an element of fear and anxiety to please and obey. An overemphasis on a loving God may lead to a reduction of awe and wonder at the mystery and might of God. I am always challenged at Christmas as I imagine holding the baby Jesus, fully human yet fully God, in my arms. How can I relate to a baby as the all-powerful and all-knowing God I worship?

Recently, I was also challenged to reconsider my reactions to God as female. I have previously thought that I didn't need to think of God as mother. I had a good relationship with my father and this enabled me to have a positive relationship with my heavenly Father - so why change that? Surely Mother God was for those who couldn't (for whatever valid reason) relate to a male God? Or maybe I was wrong! It was put to me that God is neither male nor female, so maybe I should be thinking of God as both male and female. Now there was a completely different approach. I had the opportunity to join in some worship that addressed God entirely as female and I discovered a whole new side of God.

It can be a useful exercise to consider who you think God is, and what your image of God is. But then to allow yourself to be challenged by that image. What isn't included in there? Consider some of the opposites to your usual ideas and then live with them for a week or so. You may find you deepen your relationship with the God you already know, but you may find you discover a previously hidden facet of a God we can never fully know and who holds great surprises for each of us.

As you work with this issue of Quiet Spaces, my prayer is that you may meet with God in new and surprising ways.

Sally Smith

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In this issue:

'Prayer' by George Herbert
Lisa Cherrett
13-16 September


The earth is the Lord's
Fiona Stratta
17-30 September


Hinds' Feet on High Places
Sally Smith
1-14 October


Living lightly
Sally Welch
15-28 October


Grateful
Dorinda Miller
29 October - 11 November


Winter food for thought
Janet Lunt
12-25 November


The saints of Advent
Anne Noble
26 November-9 December


Advent: anticipation and preparation
Liz Hoare
10-23 December


See amid the winter's snow
Andrea Skevington
24-30 December


As a Child: Hinder
Phil Steer


Retreat in the city
Clare Black

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About the contributors in this issue

Lisa Cherrett is Production Editor at Bible Society, having worked as an editor at BRF for 19 years. She sings in a choir, writes haiku poetry when the inspiration strikes and enjoys making her own perfume. She blogs at lisannie44.wordpress.com.

Fiona Stratta is a Speech and Language therapist and Speech and Drama teacher. She has written Walking with Gospel Women, Walking with Old Testament Women and Walking with Biblical Women of Courage for BRF. In her writing, she desires to connect readers' spiritual journeys more closely with their daily lives.

Sally Smith enjoys creating spaces that enable encounters with God through leading Quiet Days and creating prayer corners and stations. She has led prayer groups inher local church, works as a spiritual director and writes and produces educational materials.

Sally Welch is Vicar of Charlbury with Shorthampton and Area Dean of Chipping Norton in the Diocese of Oxford. She is a writer and lecturer on spirituality, and is particularly interested in pilgrimage and labyrinth. She has made many pilgrimages both in England and Europe.

Dorinda Miller has been leading Quiet Days and retreats in the UK and overseas, across denominations, for many years. As well as running Staying in the Vine, a six-week course on prayer and spiritual disciplines, she is currently developing audio meditation resources for www.into-deeper-waters.com.

Janet Luntcreates and leads Quiet Days which often incorporate multisensory prayer stations. She is a musician, active in the musical aspect of worship, playing and composing, and runs St Peter's Hospice Community Choir in Bristol.

Anne Noble grew up on Merseyside and studied geology at Oxford and Toronto. She is an Associate Minister at Colton in the diocese of Lichfield and is married with two grown-up daughters. She still enjoys geology, reflecting on what we can hear and see of the God of all time through rocks. In her spare time, she loves gardening.

Liz Hoare is tutor in spiritual formation at Wycliffe Hall in Oxford. She teaches discipleship and prayer and has a special interest in spiritual direction. She is married to Toddy, a sculptor, and they have a son. Liz enjoys baking, the English countryside and looking after her chickens.

Andrea Skevington lives in Suffolk with her family. She writes for both adults and children, winning the Christian Book of the Year award (Speaking Volumes) for her retelling, The Lion Classic Bible (Lion Hudson, 2011). She also enjoys storytelling for children and running creative writing seminars for adults.

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