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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 this issue of Quiet Spaces.

There are so many quotes from St Augustine that I hear again and again, and yet they continue to speak to me afresh each time I hear them. For example, he reminds us that God is 'closer to me than I am to myself'. I think it takes a lifetime to begin to comprehend the enormity of this, but try pausing for a moment to take in this truth. You may find yourself imagining zooming inside yourself, or you might just become still, or your head might go into overdrive.

There should be implications from this for us. When we struggle to find God, he is already there; we are not separate from him, whatever it might feel like. Whatever else is going on, God is there in the centre. Sometimes we need to dig deep below all the clutter of our lives to find the hidden depths of ourselves and of God. It should not be a surprise that knowing ourselves better and knowing God better are intertwined. Some find that, as they get to know themselves better, they find they know God better; others find that, as they know God better, they also know themselves better.

It can be easy to forget that God makes his home in us. We are distracted by so many things, most of them not fundamentally bad, but there are just too many of them and there's not enough space. Augustine argues that 'we must fly to our beloved homeland. There the Father is, and there is everything.'

In Quiet Spaces, we mark the season of Lent and of Holy Week; this year, Jean Dwyer leads us through Jesus' seven last words and the mystery of Christ's passion, death and resurrection. You could use her sections to work through Holy Week, taking one each day, with several left for Good Friday, and holding the Great Silence on Saturday. Or you could split the biblical narrative into sections and spend time imagining being part of the action of the week, allowing Christ to speak to you and trying to remain close to him.

I have found that the more I enter into Holy Week, the more I am ready to receive the good gifts God has for us on Easter Day.

So as you work through Quiet Spaces and as you journey through Lent, I suggest you also take time to pause, to remind yourself that God knows you better than you know yourself, that he is closer to you than you are, and in the pause watch for God.

As Augustine also says, 'Why do we rush about… looking for God who is here at home with us, if all we want is to be with him? If only we would be with him.'

So spend some time at home with God, being with him.

Sally Smith

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In this issue:

The feminine face of God
Joy MacCormick
31 December-13 January


The well of life
Janet Fletcher
14-27 January


Writing to the people of Philippi
Sally Smith
28 January-10 February


'The Canticle of Brother Sun'
Janet Lunt
11-24 February


Places of prayer
Lynee Chitty
25 February-10 March


Lent laments
Karen Herrick
11-24 March


Giving up, taking in, giving out
Claire Musters
25 March-7 April


Participating in the saving work of God
Jean Marie Dwyer OP
8 April-21 April


The Emmaus road
Eirene Palmer
22-28 April


As a Child: Blessed
Phil Steer


A secret, homely space
Revd Erika Kirk


Praying through Holy Week
Sally Smith

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About the contributors in this issue

Joy MacCormick, poet and New Zealand Anglican priest, has special concern for those who struggle to reconcile their experience of Holy Mystery with traditional church doctrine and teaching. Now retired from parish ministry, she continues to offer spiritual direction and supervision and to write. She is the author of Moments of Grace (BRF, 2013).

Janet Fletcher is Associate Vicar in Bro Enlli, Bangor Diocese, and a Spirituality Officer with a special brief to explore pilgrimage. She offers spiritual direction and enjoys teaching groups in prayer, spirituality and faith, and leading Quiet Days and retreats.

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 in her local church and works as a spiritual director.

Janet Lunt creates 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.

Lynne Chitty was a deacon at Gloucester Cathedral and now lives in a caravan in the grounds of Mill House Retreats in Devon. She combines leading creative writing courses with times of solitude and has a variety of rescue animals.

Karen Herrick is a freelance textile artist and creative educator, with a passion for drawing people closer to God through creativity. She works in health and social settings to enhance wellbeing through creativity and runs retreats and quiet days across the Midlands and beyond. See harlequinarts.co.uk.

Claire Musters is a freelance writer and editor, mother of two, pastor's wife and school governor. Claire's desire is to help others draw closer to God through her writing, which focuses on marriage, parenting, worship and issues facing women today. To find out more, visit clairemusters.com and @CMusters on Twitter.

Jean Marie Dwyer OP is a Dominican nun of the Queen of Peace Monastery, Squamish, British Columbia, Canada. The monastery is dedicated to silence, prayer, study and intercession for all people. She is the author of The Sacred Place of Prayer (BRF, 2013) and The Unfolding Journey: The God within: Etty Hillesum and Meister Eckhart (Novalis, 2014).

Having retired as a Careers Adviser, Eirene Palmer is now enjoying her voluntary work as Diocesan Spiritual Adviser for the Diocese of Derby. She is also a spiritual accompanier and runs courses on aspects of spirituality. Her other passions are writing, family and music, especially singing.

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