a small group of friends who had been gathering for regular silent payer and conversation began to wonder how we might open our gatherings to a wider group. We were sure there must be many others seeking a community in which to pursue a deeper connection to our inner guide. We began by looking for teachers who could speak about the spiritual life and lead classes and workshops on spiritual practice.
Since January of 2016 the Center has hosted speakers on Centering Prayer, poetry, Jung, body prayer, Teilhard de Chardin, Lectio Divina, and much more. We have hosted art workshops and quiet days, and book study groups focusing on the practice of making art.
What we are coming to understand is that those who attend these events make up a community, one that has to do with the desire for spiritual deepening and whose members may or may not find value in the community commonly known as "church." Our hope is to provide nurture and support for that community.
Those of us who began the Center and work to discern what might be invited as we go forward bring a variety of experiences and interests to this work. From working with non-profits and diverse cultures to formal training in discernment and spiritual direction to seminary training and work with non-traditional church communities, we each have a different focus. We have found that what we plan together and in conversation with the growing CSD community is richer than anything any one of us might envision on our own.
A long-time spiritual journeyer, Peg's commitment to the Center is based on a deep desire for people to find their own path, to be free spiritually to work out whatever relationship they and God find together. Through contemplative practice, reading and reflection she seeks to deepen her own understanding of the incredible outpouring of the heart of God into the universe.
In 2010, Lisa Richard was invited to be trained with a small committee in the practice of spiritual discernment. The experience of listening with others for the Spirit’s leading became a call, a ministry, and way of life; she is now a discernment facilitator for the Diocese of Virginia, in addition to leading discernment workshops for church boards and leadership groups. Lisa is also a Shalem-trained spiritual director, spending time one-on-one with others seeking support and companionship on their spiritual journeys. The community at St. Aidan’s has been her spiritual home since 2002.
John is an Episcopal priest who found his calling in the church 25 years ago when he served a congregation that intentionally welcomed skeptics, agnostics, and those who had been turned off by their experience of the church. He tells people who ask what they need to believe in order to participate in the church that they don't have to believe anything. "If you want to be here, just show up and see what you and God work out together." He is humbled by the courage of those who approach religion looking for something they can not name. HIs interest in spiritual practice grows out of the search for that "something" that calls us to deeper connection with our best selves, with our God and with our community.
What is the Center for
I want to be intentional in choosing the life I will live, what matters, where I invest my energy, what kind of person I will be. I believe I can choose to live in love, caring for others, responding to people and events around me from the grounded-ness of wisdom rather than reacting in ways that add to the world’s pain. Spiritual deepening is the means by which I hope to gain clarity and support for my intention to live well. Through its offerings, the Center for Spiritual Deepening brings me into contact with ancient traditions that teach the way of growing in love. The Center for Spiritual Deepening is a Community of others like me who long to become the sound, whole persons all those traditions tell us we were created to become.