Tuesday, 6 May 2014


April showers bring May flowers: and there will be a spiritual bouquet of three beautiful flowers blooming at the May Consonantia Program, Friday evening and all day Saturday, May 9-10, at St Andrew's United Church in North Vancouver.
Friday evening, Lynne McNaughton, rector of St Clement's Anglican Church in North Van, will share with us some of her learnings from many years of leading pilgrimages to the Celtic lands of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Brittany. It's only in recent years that we have reawakened to the spiritual vitality of the form of Christianity that predated the Roman form in those lands. One of the factors in that reawakening has been the ecological crisis in which we find ourselves, and the veneration of the Celts, pre-Christian and Christian, for the sacredness of the earth connects strongly with that. They called the earth "God's other book," and Lynne will encourage us to read more deeply what it has to say.
Then Saturday, and once again two engaging workshops. Joanne Duma, therapist in private practice and longtime member of the TMSC, will give us the opportunity to discover how photography can be contemplative. (She didn't ask us to ask you to bring your camera, but why not!) Essential to contemplation is just sitting still; and of course we all know that if we want to get a great shot, we have to hold the camera still and truly "see" what we want to photograph. There's a strong Zen connection here; and if you want to read how this happened for Merton, have a look at his "quarrel" with Mount Kanchenjunga in the Asian Journal--it starts on page 133 and goes, in intervals, to page 157.
The second workshop is another look at centering prayer. We had a workshop on the same subject last fall; but every time a different facilitator leads us, this beautiful practice reveals a further dimension. This time our facilitator is Kathleen Symons, artist, iconographer and longtime practitioner of centering prayer. Thomas Keating and John Main are two of the spiritual teachers who have sent out a strong call in our time to dare to be silent in God's presence, to know God and know ourselves thereby. It is, as John Greenleaf Whittier says in his beautiful hymn, "the silence of eternity interpreted by love."
So, a beautiful bouquet, a rich feast, another great opportunity to give your soul a good stretching! And, important: this is the last Consonantia Program until the fall. So launch yourself into God's summer by joining us May 9 and 10 at St Andrew's.
Best as always,
Don Grayston

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