The Pilgrim - February 26, 2017
Churches pray. Do we pray because we are a church? Or, are we a church because we pray?
Or, what if we don’t pray, because praying is uncomfortable or unfamiliar to us?
Prayer is often challenging for progressive people and those who have more humanistic theologies. But the riches of a prayer life can be real for people no matter where they rest - or are restless - on a theological map.
Prayer is not just for those who grew up praying, and it doesn’t all fit into one tidy box – much like people at First Church!
This is why the Diaconate and Sacred Practices have joined with me to invite the Rev. Dr. Scott Landis to lead A Prayer Retreat for People Who Think Praying Is Weird on March 25 here at First Church.
John Forrest and I tried to come up with a more serious-sounding event name: Prayer for Progressive People, Prayer / Meditation / Good Vibes … but the heart of the matter is that praying isn’t second nature to everyone. It might take practice! Prayer can be a meaningful spiritual practice in a variety of forms for a variety of people. It’s a practice that any of us can try, and this Lent, we are welcoming Dr. Landis to give us a sampler. Together, we can experience guided meditation, reflective writing, labyrinth walks, and more in a friendly and non-judgmental environment.
Scott is a United Church of Christ minister, spiritual director, contemplative, and avid swimmer. He received his B.A. from Temple University in Philadelphia, M.Div. from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and D.Min. from Princeton Theological Seminary. Ordained for over 35 years, he is currently the (Senior) Pastor of Mission Hills UCC in San Diego, which is an Open and Affirming congregation. Scott is faculty for UCC CREDO and our SoCal/Nevada Conference’s Communities of Practice programs. He is married to Randy Spicocchi and has three grown children and one granddaughter who has stolen his heart. “Whether you are a social justice person or a worship-wonk, everyone has their own spiritual style, and there is a prayer practice that can help you connect with the Creator, Spirit, or ‘Divine Other,’” says Scott.
A Prayer Retreat for People Who Think Praying Is Weird
Saturday, March 25, 2017
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. @FCCLB
$25 per person, includes morning coffee and lunch
No one will be turned away for lack of funds;
childcare will happily be provided upon request.
RSVP required to the church office by March 20.
Pay online at www.firstchurchlb.org
or reserve your seat at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Lent, we will have many wonderful opportunities to serve the community, celebrate the arts, and work for justice in challenging times … make sure you are also nurturing your inner self, and consider coming to pray/meditate/vibe with us!
The Rev. Elena Larssen