Author Archives: Laura Mullet Koop

Labyrinth Walk tomorrow

If you’ve been hanging around Quest Christian Community you will have probably heard me rave about the Labyrinth as a tool for prayer and meditation. Tomorrow, March 26, St. George’s Anglican Church (on Church Street at the end of Carlisle in St. Catharines) is hosting a labyrinth walk from 9:30am-12pm. It is located in their gym which you can access from the back parking lot off of Raymond. Look for a very small sign on a door that says ‘labyrinth’. Finding it might feel like a maze, but remember the labyrinth is NOT a maze, but a single path that winds it’s way to the center and then back out. Check out www.veriditas.org for more information on what the labyrinth is and guidelines for walking it. Take some time to explore this ancient form of prayer.

What I have learned from my experiences on the labyrinth:

Every walk is different. In some ways I hesitate to share my experiences because of the fact that every person’s experience is so different and because one of the biggest barriers to walking the labyrinth can be expectations of what the experience will hold. So…remembering that this represents my very personal experience and is in no way a formula for walking I will share…..

Basically the walk is characterized by the way in, the center and the way out. Sometimes I take a particular issue/problem/concern with me on the walk and in the walking practice surrender and openness to the movement of the Divine. I usually find that the walk in to the center is a time for noting the thoughts that have been crowding my mind or lying in wait below the surface. I have found the safety of the path – not needing to make decisions about where to walk, comforting and purposeful, the twists and turns representing my experience of life. Usually by the time I reach the center I feel open and ready to sit in the Presence of the Divine and receive whatever is meant for me to receive. Sometimes a new level of stillness greets me, sometimes an insight, sometimes nothing, sometimes a strong sense of Presence and Love. The walk out is often a time of empowerment and clarity. I like to journal immediately afterward to remember the prayers, thoughts, insights that have come to me during the walk.

If you get a chance to try it out, please share your experiences!

Reflections on love and connection

We lit the love candle tonight at Collective, the fourth in the series of advent. I love the practice of lighting advent candles in our faith community and in our home. It is an intentional way of slowing down the season and invites us into a reflective posture to contemplate and rediscover the longing and fulfillment of the Christmas story and what it means for us today. The stories around the birth begin the illustration of the unusual, countercultural, boundary breaking way of life that Jesus would lead and invite us into. It fits with the tone of the prophets throughout the Old Testament who were always ‘swimming upstream’ culturally. Choosing to follow the way of Jesus in our place and time puts us in line with this tradition of the unusual and countercultural. At least we are invited into that – I think it is just as astounding today as it was then to take the posture of Mary and say, ‘Let it be as you have said’, and let the Spirit have it’s way with us. One aspect that makes the Jesus way so countercultural is that it is concerned with the inner life of a person without regard for the outer circumstances. It seems to me that it is a rare thing in our society to find people who have the time or inclination to really see and care about a person’s heart without their external appearance or situation getting in the way. This is a huge challenge for me.

As we are making connections with family and friends this holiday, slow down enough to listen to a person’s heart, particularly if they are someone who you find it hard to be around. What would happen in our more challenging relationships if we could cut through the external habits and mannerisms that put us off or frustrate us and pay attention to what is happening inside? What if we let the Spirit have it’s way with us?

Love yourself, love others, love God.

Love came down

This is the hymn that we used tonight which is a Christina Rosetti poem put to music. Some of the lyrics have been modified and updated from the original poem, but the meaning remains the same.

Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
Love incarnate, love divine;
Worship we our Jesus:
What shall be our sacred sign?

 

Love shall be our token,
Love be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and neighbor,
Love for pray’r and gift and sign.
Christina Rosetti

Gratitude Practices

We have been focusing on gratitude in these 6 weeks before Thanksgiving. What are your gratitude stories and experiences? Here are some of the prayers we have been using for your own reference and personal use.

From all that distracts us from the beauty of life

Lead us into gratitude

From all that frustrates us with dissatisfaction

Lead us into gratitude

From all that drives us to feel less than enough

Lead us into gratitude

From all that tempts us to take life for granted

Lead us into gratitude


There is a time for every purpose under heaven.

A time for gratitude….

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