Life for many of us – for me, certainly – is full of distraction. Every day is filled with competing claims on my attention. If I want to be still and know that God is God, it can be hard to find the space for it. And when I do manage find some, it can, sometimes, seem strangely empty
The idea of the Breathing Space service is to offer a worshipful, shared space, in which to reflect, to gather ourselves before another busy week, to connect with ourselves and with God. Each service will explore a theme through some readings, some reflections, some guided prayer or meditation, some music, some silence. It will be unashamedly eclectic, drawing on various Christian prayer traditions, on practices from Celtic spirituality, and so on. We will explore some different ways of praying, of attuning ourselves to God, of responding to God. Some things may be familiar; others may be new. The invitation is simply to come participate, but only as you feel comfortable. There will be some structure – we all need a bit of structure – but there will also be room to breathe.
Paradoxically, perhaps, it’s about drawing aside so that we can better find God in the midst of life, within our own experience.
Breathing Space is something I’ve been thinking about for some time now, and I am very grateful to Rachel for being brave and gracious enough to let me try it out. I am also grateful to her for the title. I was struggling to find one, but the moment she said ‘Breathing Space’, the words seemed to settle in. A different quality of space was exactly what I had in mind – to create some conditions and then to see what they invoked. Breath, meanwhile, is brilliant word that takes us both in the direction of the spirit – it’s synonymous with the word for ‘spirit’ in the Bible – and roots us in the body. Equally, if all you want to do, or if all you can do at the moment, is to come and simply breathe – that will be absolutely fine.
It may not be for everyone, but if it sounds at all interesting to you, then do come along. You will be most welcome.
The monthly informal service – with the invitation to bring readings and music on a theme – will continue on fourth Sundays.
Breathing Space will be at 8 o’clock on the second Sunday of each month.
NB There will be no service on 11 November, as St Mark’s will be joining with members of the German Lutheran church for a special Service of Peace and Reconciliation. The next Breathing Space will be on 9 December.
Debbie Whitton Spriggs