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Praying for Mellowness of Heart and Spirit

with Bishop Porter Taylor

In person and on Zoom

Monday, Oct. 11, 2021

7:30PM to 9:00PM

Ron Rolheiser asserts that there are four “nonnegotiable essentials” to the Christian life:

  1. Private Prayer and Private Morality

  2. A Commitment to Social Justice

  3. Community as a Constitutive Element of True Worship

  4. Mellowness of Heart and of the Spirit


Other theologians agree on the first three essentials, often labelled as the journeys inward, outward, and together. Rolheiser offers the unique “Mellowness of Heart and Spirit.”  We will explore what a tender heart looks like and why it is essential both for our individual journey and for our corporate identity.  According to Rolheiser, “Sanctity is as much about having a mellow heart as it is about believing and doing the right things, as much about proper energy as about truth.” How might we be agents of unity in these times?  What is the heart work that is required of us?  How can mellow hearts enable us to be instruments of a Holy Communion?



~ Bishop Taylor joined the Diocese of Virginia as Assisting Bishop in July 1, 2020 after retiring as Bishop of the Diocese of Western North Carolina in 2016. In retirement, he also joined the faculty of Wake Forest University Divinity School. Bishop Taylor holds a Master of Divinity, a Ph.D. in Theology and Literature, and a B.A. and M. A. in English. He and his wife Jo, an artist, are based in both Arlington, VA, and Asheville, NC ~

Email the Center at to request the Zoom link


St. Aidan’s has two labyrinths for walking prayer and meditation. The outdoor labyrinth, located between the memorial garden and Riverside Road, is always available. The labyrinth in the church is available most of the year and is used during special services and retreats. We can also arrange to open the church at other times for those who would like to walk the labyrinth.

Up Next
Nov. 17 at 7:30 pm

An Evening with
Steve Garnaas-Holmes of Unfolding Light.

Continuing Classes and Offerings

Sacred Ground:

A Series of Conversations on Race and Faith

Sept. 12, 26

Oct. 10, 24

Nov. 7, 14


We invite you to join in Sacred Ground, a curriculum that calls us to read, watch and learn about the history of race and racism in America. In six sessions this fall, we will explore together an online curriculum that focuses on Indigenous, Black, Latino and Asian/Pacific Americans as their histories intersect with European American history, and the impact of it all on our world today.  To register, email

Meditations on
the Gospel of Thomas

1st and 3rd Thursdays, 7:30 pm  Zoom

The Gospel of Thomas is new to most of us and it is at the same time ancient.  It may well be the oldest of the gospel writings.  This gathering of sayings of Jesus seems to have been a source for the writers of the canonical gospels.  The sayings from this text, which was found in a cave in Egypt in 1945, have contributed to a new appreciation of Jesus as a wisdom teacher in the Eastern tradition.  We meet twice a month to work with one or two of the 114 sayings through lectio divina, or sacred listening.  All are welcome for this reflection/meditation/discussion gathering.  You do not need to have attended previous meetings to participate.  
Soul Circle 
2nd and 4th Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.  Zoom

We gather on these Thursdays for conversation about the Spiritual Life.  We meet in this community of others who, with us, long to become the sound, whole persons our traditions tell us we were created to become.  The leader for the evening opens with a reading, we share the guidelines for welcoming conversation, then those who wish to are invited to speak about the experience of trying to live intentionally the life to which they feel called.
Silent Prayer, & Meditation

In the Sanctuary on Tuesday mornings

via Zoom on Friday mornings

at 8:00 am

We light a candle and spend 25 minutes in silence. The last person out of the room blows out the candle. It is that simple. Those who seek to include meditation in their weekly practice often find it easier to do so in the company of others.

 Spiritual Direction
Group Spiritual Direction
New groups will be forming in January, 2022
Contact Lisa Richard at 
if you are interested in joining a group or in learning more.
The singular intention of spiritual direction is companionship and support in our relationship with the “something greater” that we sense at work in our lives. In group spiritual direction, we form a community with others who share our desire for connection to the divine other. We agree to accompany and support one another on our spiritual journeys.
The process centers around silence. Trusting that the spirit is present within and among us, we weave into the sharing of our stories and experiences quiet space to sense that presence. Group members may offer a question or a reflection that comes out of our prayerful listening. At other times, silent prayer for the other will be the richest offering. 
If you feel you may be called to go deeper by discerning in community, or if you have questions and would like to know more, contact Lisa Richard. One group has already begun and meets on a monthly basis. Additional groups of three to five people may form at any time during the year when there is interest.
One-on-One Spiritual Direction
Tilden Edwards writes in Spiritual Director, Spiritual Companion of our yearning “…for a soul-friend with whom we can share our desire for the Holy One and with whom we can try to identify and embrace the hints of divine Presence and invitation in our lives. Neither soul-friends nor anyone else can fully enter our deep soul space. However, they can listen to our articulations of it, silently open these to God as soon as they are heard, and occasionally speak when something is heard in that openness that seems to be meant for [us].”
A spiritual director (or guide, or companion, or friend) is someone who holds a space for our stories of the journey and listens with us for the workings of that greater “something.” The work of the Spirit in our lives can often be heard in our own voices--seen in our own faces and our own eyes. Companions on the journey can hold up the mirror that lets us see it. 
If you feel you may be called to one-on-one spiritual direction, or if you have questions and would like to know more, contact Lisa Richard . We have contact information for a number of local directors and can help you connect with them. Note that directors generally meet with people once a month; some charge a fee, while others do not. Each director’s approach is different, so it can help to talk with more than one before you make your decision.