August Newsletter

Augustmarked by majestic dignity or grandeur- Webster’s Dictionary
The Creation
By James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) Poet, Songwriter, Civil Rights Activist
      And God stepped out on space, And looked around and said: I’m lonely— I’ll make me a world. And far as the eye of God could see darkness covered everything, blacker than a hundred midnights down in a cypress swamp.
 Then God smiled, and the light broke, and the darkness rolled up on one side, and the light stood shining on the other, and God said: That’s good! Then God reached out and took the light in his hands, and God rolled the light around in his hands until he made the sun; and he set that sun a-blazing in the heavens. and the light that was left from making the sun god gathered it up in a shining ball and flung it against the darkness, spangling the night with the moon and stars. Then down between the darkness and the light he hurled the world; and God said: That’s good! Then God himself stepped down and the sun was on his right hand, and the moon was on his left; the stars were clustered about his head, and the earth was under his feet. And God walked, and where he trod his footsteps hollowed the valleys out and bulged the mountains up. Then he stopped and looked and saw that the earth was hot and barren.
   So God stepped over to the edge of the world and he spat out the seven seas he batted his eyes, and the lightnings flashed he clapped his hands, and the thunders rolled and the waters above the earth came down, the cooling waters came down. Then the green grass sprouted, and the little red flowers blossomed, the pine tree pointed his finger to the sky, and the oak spread out his arms, the lakes cuddled down in the hollows of the ground, and the rivers ran down to the sea; and God smiled again, and the rainbow appeared, and curled itself around his shoulder. Then God raised his arm and he waved his hand over the sea and over the land, and he said: Bring forth! Bring forth! and quicker than God could drop his hand, fishes and fowls and beasts and birds swam the rivers and the seas, roamed the forests and the woods, and split the air with their wings. And God said: That’s good! Then God walked around, and God looked around on all that he had made. He looked at his sun, and he looked at his moon, and he looked at his little stars; God looked on his world with all its living things, and God said: I’m lonely still. Then God sat down on the side of a hill where he could think; by a deep, wide river he sat down; with his head in his hands, God thought and thought, till he thought: I’ll make me a human!
      Up from the bed of the river God scooped the clay; and by the bank of the river God kneeled down; and there the great God Almighty who lit the sun and fixed it in the sky, who flung the stars to the most far corner of the night, who rounded the earth in the middle of his hand; this great God, like a mammy bending over her baby, kneeled down in the dust toiling over a lump of clay till he shaped it in is his own image; then into it he blew the breath of life, and human became a living soul.
Amen.  

Thank you to WPC Lincoln for the being such a receptive and willing audience. We had a wonderful time teaching meditation and Christian Contemplation during July. 

Happenings

Contemplative Movement (Fridays 5:30pm) engages our physical selves in spiritual practice to promote wholeness, balancing activity with stillness.

The practice is accessible by all body types and experience levels. Chairs, mats, cushions, straps, blocks, eye and bolster pillows are available. Each practice may contain elements of body awareness, yoga, prayer walks, breath work, biospiritual focusing, prostration, and silent meditation. Often we mindfully engage all the senses through essential oils, sounds, texture, and mind-body awareness.

When cultivated through regular practice, Contemplative Movement is a holistic body-mind training to ease us into meditation and contemplation. It also helps us to engage our whole selves in our spiritual life.

The practice may draw on the yogic tradition to prepare the body, mind, and spirit for meditation. Our hour long practice will conclude with 20-30 minutes of silent meditation.

***Intergenerational Contemplative Movement happens the third Friday of each month. Children are welcome to accompany a practicing adult. Come play like a child, be present in this moment, and be filled with a youthful spirit. Intergenerational classes are 30-45 minutes in duration and have much shorter periods of silence.
Contemplative Drumming Circle August 8th
Join us for our drumming circle on second Thursdays at 6:30 pm. Bring your drum and join right in. We are all beginners so no expereince necessary. Some small drums will be available to borrow during our time together. read more >>

Sacred Saturday August 17th
Monthly Sacred Saturdays continues August 17th. A half day contemplative retreat of silence, formation, and creativity. 
Theme: DARKNESS & TRANSFORMATION using the tools of centering prayer, bio-spiritual spirituality, and writing. read more >>

House Church Sundays at 4pm
Transformative, conversational, contemplative, and interactive. Join us for this participatory service modeled in the house church tradition. We read scripture, study contemplatives, learn about spiritual growth, learn spiritual practices, worship, pray together, and share our stories of faith. Grow with us in this intimate setting. read more >>
August at Contemplate Lincoln
Monthly Compassion Circle – 2nd Mondays 6:30 pm
Noon-hour Silent Prayer – Weekdays 12:15pm 
Worship Music – Sundays 3:30 pm 
House Church: Integral Worship – 
Sundays 4pm
Taizé Worship Service –  Sunday August 18th 6pm
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Practice: Walking Meditation
By Richard Rohr
CAC WebsiteJonathon Stalls, a Living School student and founder of Walk2Connect, writes about learning how “we share a common journey of wanting to love and be loved; that we want to feel safe, comfortable, and connected; that we want to belong—somewhere. . . . We’re afraid of exposure and vulnerability. We’re afraid of the unknown. We’re afraid to be wrong. We’re afraid of abandonment. We’re afraid of weakness, of truly trusting, and the fragility of letting go.” [1]Stalls offers this wisdom from Thich Nhat Hanh:When we practice [mindfulness], we are liberated from fear, sorrow, and the fires burning inside of us. When mindfulness embraces our joy, our sadness, and all our other mental formations, sooner or later we will see their deep roots. With every mindful step and every mindful breath, we see the roots of our mental formations. Mindfulness shines its light upon them and helps them to transform. [2]Stalls continues:I can’t think of a better way to bring mindfulness practice into our body and into the outside world than through walking, strolling, or rolling at one to three miles an hour. It changes everything. It trains us, both on the inside and the outside, to begin seeing God, the Great Spirit, in ourselves and in others in such foundational ways. This humble posture invites us into the fragile details behind our own breath, the curious creatures high in the trees, and the struggle in being a pedestrian in today’s time. Whether it’s twenty minutes or four hours, mindful walking can invite new ideas, new ways of seeing, and new ways of understanding with every step. [3]I invite you to step outside and walk mindfully, present to God’s presence in all things.
References:
[1] Jonathon Stalls, “What Really Frightens Us?” “Evolutionary Thinking,” Oneing, Vol. 4, No. 2 (CAC: 2016), 99-100. Learn more about Jonathon’s work at walk2connect.com.
[2] Thich Nhat Hanh, The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching (Berkeley: Broadway Books, 1999), 75.
[3] Stalls, “What Really Frightens Us?”, 100.