At least since 1992 when I began to live into my calling as a staff chaplain at Harris Hospital, I have considered myself to be a “contemplative-evangelical” or an “evangelical-contemplative.”
I don’t think it matters which word comes first, but at the heart of it is a belief that, through God’s grace, there is a healing and wholeness beneath all of our brokenness, and that we are all called to live through this grace and share this good news. Over the years I’ve had a growing sense that my calling is to help others listen to their unique callings.
In a noisy world filled with distractions that separate and isolate us, we tend to have “eyes that fail to see and ears that fail to hear.” (Mark 8:18)
To me, “contemplative practices” refers to many different ways that we can become inwardly at peace… enough to become more deeply aware of God’s Presence and connected in community. That in turn energizes us to do all sorts of service ministry in a broken world. It can be helpful to think of a “contemplative practices tree” as the one below, to help us grow ever deeper into what is life giving. It reminds me of what Paul said almost 2000 years ago when he wrote that we are “rooted and grounded in love” (Eph 3:17.)
I invite you to join us Friday August 7th at 7:00 pm in the Sanctuary as we celebrate the life and the life-giving music of Dace Sultanov’s soulmate, former winner of the Van Cliburn Piano Competition, Alexis Sultanov. It will help you be rooted and grounded in love.
And stay tuned for more about the special life-giving pilgrimage on August 16 in Wesley Hall from 12:00 – 3:00 pm.