Julian Group June 2021
Julian Group June 2021
Dear Julian Friend,
Despite the delay in releasing lockdown restraints, we have decided to press ahead with our Meeting in St. Andrew’s on Monday 21st June at 10 a.m. We hope you will be able to join us for this simple Meeting of our fellowship, albeit under present lockdown rules as they apply to Services in Church. In other words please observe the requirement to wear a face mask and maintain social distancing directions in pews and on entering and leaving Church. Directional signs will be obvious and Revd. Margaret Hayward will be in attendance to advise if necessary. We will not serve refreshments on this occasion but hope to soon, as we also hope for relaxation in the rules presently applicable.
If you are not comfortable with attending personally, or you are one of our welcome participants at a distance we will on this occasion supply some resources to aid your participation at or about the same time. Suffice it to say that we have been most grateful and nourished by our remote fellowship together during the many months since our last physical meeting. As always, we are pleased to hear from you if you have any comments or suggestions.
Last month we drew heavily on the resources offered by our Julian Meetings organisation in the quarterly magazine April 2021. We do the same this month because the materials are so apposite as we enjoy the full flourishing of our own gardens or a favoured public garden to which you have access. The said Magazine has a very good article about the Quiet Garden Movement which nurtures access to outdoor space for prayer, reflection, and rest. The quoted offerings from that QGM autumn newsletter chime extremely well with our own movement's aims. They may be helpful as we settle for our half-hour or so of contemplative silent prayer together.
With our love and hopes to see you soon.
Liz and Tony.
“My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming”. Psalm 27, v8.
“At the core of the Quiet Garden Movement is the understanding that silence is profoundly important for our health and well-being, as well as our spiritual development. Time spent in silence outdoors seems to particularly nourish the soul. So what do we mean by silence? Why is it important? What can help you experience silence and stillness?
In daily life, we rarely encounter a complete lack of sound. However remote we are likely to hear a bird, animal, natural and mechanical noise at some point. A total absence of noise is rare. Quiet stillness can almost be interpreted as a symphony of silence. By silence we mean, not a complete absence of sound, but rather the state of being quiet or still: a time/space without intentional noise, but accepting that there will be some internal/ambient sound. The experience has been called: inner silence, internal silence, contemplation stillness. These suggest more than an absence of sound. ‘Being in silence’ calms our ‘chattering mind’- and is less about absence and more about presence and being aware.” (QGM newsletter)
QGM also have something to say about what we know as ‘Anchors’- they use the same term even. This ........ “ One of the many tools to help us is an ‘anchor’. When practicing contemplation you use your anchor to help you return to the stillness whenever you notice you have been distracted.
Anchors take many forms:
*Simply use the breath: sit comfortably, remain silent, and notice your breath as you inhale and exhale. Each time your mind wanders, gently bring it back to noticing your breath.
*Focus on an object held in your hand. If you realise your mind is wandering, just return to feeling (or looking at) the object in your hand.
*Repeat a prayer or a phrase. For example, MARANATHA which means ‘Come Lord Jesus’ in Aramaic......... The most well-known phrase is the ‘Jesus Prayer’— “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner”. This can be repeated to the rhythm of your breathing, inhaling and exhaling.”
Excellent advice, all of it, from QGM, whom we thank.
So , now to Coming out .......... very slowly, after being in the inner silence with God for half an hour or so.
Again, breathe deeply and rhythmically, to return to the present. Perhaps offer the following prayer, or your own simple “Thanks be to God” for being in silence and stillness with you.
“Holy and awesome One, May I let go of my inner self and allow you to fully transform me , that I would embody a Christlike character in an authentic and real way. May your presence within me affect those around me, simply by You being in me and I being with them.” Amen.
(David Cole, New Daylight, BRF).