Thursday, September 25, 2008

Susan Komis Explains Wisdom Circles

Living Flame Meeting

Hello Community out there! I'm Marge Rafftery of St. Petersburg, Florida and the national coordinator of the Living Flame Program ( ). I too have been recruited by our blog host, Ron Barnett, to share with you some of my impressions of this wonderful conference. It is such a gift to have all of you aboard. All here are in awe of this latest techno-adventure and excited to have all of you here with us!

Tonight we just had a smashing meeting of over 50 people interested in learning more about this 14 year old national Contemplative Outreach offering. Please see the above website for more detailed information - too much for our precise blog. The enthusiasm by those there who have presented it in the past (Los Angeles and Long Island); those currently presenting it (San Diego); and those starting it in 2009 (Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and Cleveland) was fantastic! There was much excitement and interest in the room - I left very energized and full of gratitude for the growth in the room because of this blessed program. Stay tuned . . .

Widsom Circles

"Wisdom Circles" are small (25 person) groups offered at three times during this first part of the Conference. Apart from exploring important topics (Centering Prayer Groups/Facilitators, Chapters and New Technology, Consensus, National Level Programs, International Committees, Servant-Leadership, Unity Statement) this format is giving me a chance for meaningful face-to-face interactions with other members.

The "Chapters and New Technology" which I attended had a sharing of communication pathways and challenges from email to web pages to shared templates to real-time presentations of meetings. I was filled with thankfulness for the leaders among us that are bringing us through this, especially Ron Barnett, Anita Donnan and Pamela Begeman who is working on new developments for the main Contemplative Outreach web page. It is comforting to me that along with admiration and excitement about the tech advances, we still champion the importance of our personal journey with the small prayer groups.

Posted by Ron Barnett for Vivien Michals

Amazing Grace and Abundant Blessings

This morning Fr. Thomas captured in such a beautiful way the meaning of our Contemplative Outreach Vision and Theological Principles and our desire as an organization to give ourselves more and more, moment by moment to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to renew, reclaim and reappropiate the Christian contemplative heritage for our times. A charism that was not sought after - one that was given as a movement of grace. Transformation of heart is what Centering Prayer is at ever deepening levels of relationship with God, which prompts one to love God with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our strength and with all our minds and our neighbor as ourselves. We seek to listen and to address the cries of our common suffering and divided world. We seek to listen to the promptings of the Spirit and to listen in the silence of our hearts and through this practice allow God to transform our hearts and ultimately the common heart of all our creation. In all humility we are so grateful to all those who spend time in silence each day and sprinkle this amazing grace in mysterious ways around the world. I am delighted to be a part of this whirl of the Spirit and to have this opportunity to share this reflection with all of you this day. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

AM Centering Prayer

200 hearts united in Silence...

in God...

in Love

Be still and know that I am God

Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler Welcomes


Fr. Thomas's Opening Talk

In this 10 minute talk Fr. Thomas welcomes conference attendees and speaking on oneness in contemplation sets an insipirational tone for the conference.

Conference Opening Talk by Fr. Thomas Keating.