News Blog

Lectio Devina – A Brief Guide and Some Resources

Posted by on Sunday, May 4th, 2014 in Minister

Today, at St. Andrew's Hespeler, I did not really preach a sermon. Instead I introduced a method that people can use to read the scriptures for themselves and to discover God in their reading. This method of Christian reflection is called Lectio Divina. Here is an excerpt from my message:

So what I'd like to do today is give you a simple and straightforward way to approach the Biblical text all on your own. The method is called Lectio Divina. It was developed mostly in the Middle Ages by St. Benedict but, in some ways, it is as ancient as Scripture itself – it is the kind of approach to the Bible that is spoken of in that passage in Joshua and in the part of Psalm 119 we read this morning. It is so old that the method itself and the steps in the method are still referred to in the Latin language.
The first step in Lectio Divina, is called the lectio -- which is Latin for reading. During this time you simply read a given passage. But the reading may be a little bit different from your usual reading practice. It's not like reading a newspaper or a novel. You read a short passage slowly and read it over several times. And you pay special attention to the things that jump out at you as you read it. Often there is a word or a phrase that just seems to be louder or more insistent as you read. Don't worry, for the moment, about why those things grab your attention. Just take note of them and write them down.
The next step is called meditatioor meditation. This is when you start to look closer at the things that stood out for you in the passage. Ask yourself questions like, "Why did that jump out to me? Is there something going on in my life or something that happened to me recently that that word or phrase might be speaking to?" Think about these things and, once again, write down your reflections. This is also the time to make use of other resources, if you have them, to better understand some of the things about the passage that might puzzle you. The meditatio might lead you in many directions.
The next part of the Lectio Divina is the oratio – which is Latin for prayer. But think of it as prayer in the simplest sense. It is just talking back to God – reflecting back the things that you have seen in the passage, that have caught your attention and maybe focussed your attention on what's going on in your life. It's kind of like what happens sometimes when you talk with your really good friend. You can share with them what you're going through, just talk it out with them and they don't even have to say very much, but you come away from that talk with a better understanding of what your problems really are. That's the kind of talking to God that you do.
After the oratio comes the contemplatio or contemplation. This ends the entire exercise by taking some time to simply sit in silence – to turn off your mind as much as possible and wait expectantly to meet with God. Various spiritual exercises like the centring prayer that we will discuss in a few weeks can be used to open the mind to hear what God might have to say.
I promised that I would post for the congregation some tools and links that they can use to continue their own personal experiment in Lectio Divina.

This link, Lectio Divina: Divine Reading, offers another description of the method and usefulness of the Lectio Divina.

This link, Lectio Divina Guides, will take you to a page that includes scores of links to documents in pdf format. Each document is a printable page including a Bible text that well suited lectio divina as well as some instructions and prayers that you can use. If you you work your way through all of these guides, you will quickly become very proficient at Lectio Divina.

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News for our STARS!

Posted by on Tuesday, April 29th, 2014 in News

Calling all of our STARS!

We have managed to find a way to record another 2 episodes this Sunday, May 4th!  
Our final taping will be on Sunday, May 18th.

Please meet us on the second floor after worship.  Bring your friends, too.  
All new actors are very welcome to come and help us.

See you Sunday.
~ Joni
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Gold/Silver Party

Posted by on Tuesday, April 29th, 2014 in News

Do you have some old jewellery or silver dishes that you don't use anymore? 
Come out and have them weighed, tested, and priced and go home with cash instead!  
There is no obligation to take the deal.

Thursday, June 5th; 5:00 - 8:00 pm, in the foyer.

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After the election

Posted by on Monday, April 28th, 2014 in Minister

This morning I spent way more time than I ever expected transcribing the results of the election of deacons and elders held yesterday. I will soon begin the long and somewhat complicated process of contacting those who were elected by their peers in the church.

(The process gets complicated precisely because we are electing both deacons and elders at the same time. This means that some people may be nominated for both positions at the same time and (depending on whether all the positions have been filled yet) they may be able to have a choice whether they prefer to serve in one place or the other. So if, say, someone were to come off at the top of voting for elder and just a little lower on deacons, i might have to wait to see if there is still a need for deacons when i get to them on the list before I want to call them to ask them to serve as an elder because I want to be able to give them the choice between deacon and elder if they want. Never mind, it is actually too complicated to explain!)

Anyways, I just wanted to say, before I began contacting anyone, how much I do appreciate this process. I am amazed once again by the wisdom that has been shown by the people of the congregation and by the respect in which they hold  their brothers and sisters in Christ. The best part of this is that I get to call up people in the congregation and tell them that they are loved and respected and that people have great confidence in their wisdom and ability to care for others. I wish I could tell everyone who's name figures on the lists that because it really is amazing to see. Unfortunately not all will have to be contacted so I wanted to send out a general message now to everyone.

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