This year the theme for Synod, “Let us Hear”, was based on the parable of the Sower passage in Matthew 13:9 – “Whoever has ears, let them hear”. The Synod worship committee, chaired by Bishop Mark Vainikka, applied this theme throughout the weekend by inviting attendees to join in a range of contemplative worship practices. The purpose was to adopt a reflective, open listening posture and quieten the busy noise of the world around, that we might better be attentive to the still, small voice of God.
To do this the Committee incorporated gentle contemplative practices such as breath prayers, Taizé, lectio divina and the examen into the Synod worship services which led the congregation into periods of reflective silence. These ancient rhythms of grace which have been practiced by Christians throughout the ages are proven ways to help still our internal noise, to move our attention from our head to our heart. Silent prayer helps us to release our own agendas, our need for control and create space for God’s activity rather than filling it with our own.
It is only when we slow down, when we stop and are still, when we sit in the silence, that the sediment in our soul starts to settle and we can see things more clearly, we are able to hear gentle nudges, words of encouragement and grace. It is in the silence, when our bodies, minds and souls are quiet that we can hear the gentle whisper. When our lives are full of distractions and noise there is no space for God. Silence creates that space, where the peace of God passes all understanding.
Dr Margy Heuschele, a member of the District Worship Committee and passionate contemplative spirituality advocate is keen to share her love of spiritual disciplines and would like to offer to lead contemplative services or other activities in LCAQD congregations with Bishop Mark’s blessing. While she is happy to volunteer her time, a donation toward the cost of travel (from Toowoomba) would be much appreciated. If you are interested in organising a visit or would simply like to know more, please email Margy on firstname.lastname@example.org or text on 0429361047.