Myrna Adams West facilitates “Writing as Spiritual Practice” first Sundays at 9:15 am in the Sofa/Couch Room in the Founders Wing behind the sanctuary. This group offers an opportunity to explore spiritual expression through various genres.

Rev. Alison said in her sermon “Going Beyond, Going Within,” and I’m paraphrasing here, spiritual practice takes one outside of self or within self.  It transcends the everyday attempts to put into words that which cannot be named or spoken.  It is communication–pick one or more or make up your own word–with God or self or nature or the universe.  When we engage in spiritual practice, we go beyond self-interest and give self away.  

Overarching Theme for 2018-2019 Program Year:  We’re Making Room for . . . 

Each Sunday the topic for the worship services will relate to that month’s theme, not as a series, but just another angle on a subject to deepen the exploration of that particular theme. The suggested prompts for Writing as Spiritual Practice assignments will follow the monthly worship themes.

Gathering time: 9:15 am. Next gathering: February 3 in the Sofa/Couch Room behind the sanctuary.

The theme for February 3 is “We’re Making Room for Listening.”

Choose one or more of the following or make up your own assignment:

  1. What makes listening different from hearing? Explain. Give some examples.
  2. When you listen in the midst of “winter silence,” what do you hear? Describe. Email Myrna for a copy of the poem “Winter” by David O. Rankin for inspiration.
  3. How does listening enhance the other senses? Explain with examples.  Email Myrna for a copy of the poem “Winter” by David O. Rankin for inspiration.
  4. “Appreciative listening” is one of many types of listening. According to a Google search, “Appreciative listening is exactly what the name implies — listening to enjoy the story, music or information you hear.” What do you think you would hear if you truly listened when people talk to you? Would it be different from what you hear when you don’t turn off your “how should I respond” or “here’s what I have to say” mode? Why? Explain.
  5. Put on your favorite music—instrumental or vocal. Then sit down and just listen. Try to focus on the music and filter out other sounds, images, thoughts. What do you hear? Be specific.
  6. Make a list of things you listened to when you were a child that you don’t pay much attention to now? Why did you listen then? Why don’t you listen now?  Email Myrna for a copy of “HUM, HUM,” by Mary Oliver for some inspiration.
  7. What—or whom—did you listen to when you were a child that you wish you had not listened to? Why?
  8. What—or whom—did you not listen to when you were younger that you wish you had listened to? Why?
  9. Why do you need to make room for listening? How can you do that? Be specific.
  10. Email Myrna for a copy of David S. Blanchard’s essay, “Listening for Our Song.” After reading it, answer the following questions: When have you heard your song? How is it different from the song that others would like you to sing? Explain.

For more information or for copies of inspirational pieces for this assignment, contact Myrna.