Today I visited St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church in Boulder for both the 8:15 and 10:00 a.m. services. I went to announce the start up of a new Listening to… group there and to talk about what topic might be of most interest to the folks in the congregation. The list of possibilities includes (but is not limited to) Listening to Stress, Listening to the Blues, Listening to Money, Listening to the Noise of the World, Listening to Parenthood, Listening to Uncertainty, or Listening to Creativity. Several folks expressed interest so I expect that a new group will begin just after Easter. (If you would be interested in one of those topics email me.) After I hear from those who would like participate, I will select a time and make the announcement here, in the new newsletter, The Listener, and in local bulletins.
Listening to Parenthood will start after Easter at St. Ambrose Episcopal Church in Boulder. I will announce dates and times for this group soon. I spent the last four Wednesday nights participating in the Lenten program with folks there. Each evening started with Centering Prayer, then the Eucharist with an emphasis on a different form of prayer. After the service, folks gathered for a potluck dinner (the food was so good that I bought a cookbook the Altar Guild was selling that featured many of the recipes served) and then one of three programs. I led Listening with Expectation; the other two offered sounded wonderful too…one about journaling, another about forgiveness. What a delight to meet new people and to participate in their Lenten program! I look forward to having Listening to Parenthood meet there.
And this Thursday Listening to Uncertainty will begin in my home parish, St. Aidan’s. It is such a pleasure that the time I spend at other local churches only strengthens my connection there.
Of course, people from other churches and the community can participate in the Listening to... groups; they are not just for the local congregants. There are no restrictions on who may attend the groups. The churches are kind and generous to offer their facilities so the groups can meet. They also do a lot of work to let folks know about the Listening to… offerings. I appreciate their support in helping this work begin.
I’ve been to services at various churches in the Boulder area and I feel part of every one. Each has its own personality, character and spiritual emphases, offering in the collective a broader view of what community is all about.
I went this morning to make an announcement, but I left with so much more. I worshiped in that glorious setting open to the Foothills, heard words familiar yet individualized, experienced a heart felt homily, spent time with folks I didn’t know. And this happens every Sunday…isn’t that wonderous?