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How Do Faith Communities Benefit from Becoming More Reflective?

How Do Faith Communities Benefit from Becoming More Reflective?


Welcome to the first in a series of web meetings to HELP DESIGN A NEW CHURCH FOR A NEW WORLD, in our Circle of Discernment & Design.

Multiple sessions over four months gathering Episcopalians, lay and ordained, with strong commitments to designing Episcopal faith communities of the future that are: Faithful - Reflective - Anti-Racist - Mutual - Contextual - Innovative

Today's title is How Do Faith Communities Benefit from Becoming More Reflective?

Our panelists are:

The Rev. Stuart Higginbotham: Rector of Grace Episcopal Church and an author and leader of the contemplative congregational movement.

Mark Grayson: A vestryman developing a strategic plan for a spirituality center embedded in a three-hundred year-old Episcopal church as an approach to evangelism and congregational development.

Kate Eaton: Founder of Mishkhah, which partners with churches and others who are interested in creating worship environments that invite people into rest, beauty, peace, wonder and a renewed relationship with God.

Watch the Full Webinar Recording: YOUTUBE

Listen to the PodCast: SOUNDCLOUD

Edited Transcript of Chat and Resources:

Kate Eaton's website -
Mark Grayson is a regular contributor to the Good Men Project -
Stuart higginbotham's parish website -
Jim Goodmann's reflection reaDING -

Conversation starters for the Breakout Rooms:
'How are you - or might you - create space for the one who “steps near” and begins to speak'?  
'Why would you want to include this in your vision for a New Church for a New World'?

Comments stemming from Breakout Rooms:
JOHN DEBEER:    The connection between contemplative practice and becoming an anti racist chuirch
Monique Worthley:    Fear, reflection, contemplation and truth.
Courtney Cowart:    I would like to talk about the richness of the anglican tradition
Stuart Higginbotham:    Susan's comment was profound: in a community, there may be people who have never listened to anyone without the expectation of being listened to.  To be vulnerable and listen a gift
Mark Grayson:    The change we seek is about learning to listen on so many different levels
PATRICIA DEBEER:    We need contemplative prayer to touch the depth of fear and guilt that keeps racism alive
Joseph Harmon:    Reflection as a continuum between review and centemplation
Kate Eaton:    Covid has given us all a chance to rethink things- different job, different way of working, eating more with family, use of technology
Mark Grayson:    There are many practices within the Anglican tradition that we need to rediscover and tap
Courtney Cowart:    Cherry pie imagery of Kate’s so powerful
Edwin Miller:    Old congregation experiencing forced change, contemplation seems to be a new opportunity to create a new future
Hilary Greer:    Moving from a programmatic focus and not just doing what we used to do “better” - the need to ask what impact we’re having in people’s spiritual lives (and in turn, the ability to live and act for love and justice in the world).
JoAnn Hanson:    We discussed both anti-racism and monuments as well as the opportunities zoom presents for in-depth spiritual conversation.
Susan Yarborough:    Contemplative practice can help people prepare to address racism and navigate change.
Kate Eaton:    Cherry pie comes from the mother lode
Mark Grayson:    We’re talking about a shift in mindset, makes me think of Carol Dwork
Courtney Cowart:    Mark’s reference to “the motherlode” of experience in wisdom hidden in our faith communities
Brian Sellers-Petersen:    community engagement related to new ways we gather during Covid
James M Goodmann:    Beyond the commodity or program replacement culture - to unleashing the Spirit (Stuart)
Stuart Higginbotham:    An awareness of our self, our Self (capital S) enables us to honor the Self of "the other," ...and we find that there is no "other"
Mark Grayson:    Courageous Conversations really require us to listen deeply
Brian Sellers-Petersen:    MBSR and Jon Kabat-Zinn.
James M Goodmann:
JOHN DEBEER:    A resource that is helping me navigate this is a book by Resmaa Menakem,,"My grandmothers hands - Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending our Hearts and Bodies."
James M Goodmann:
Stuart Higginbotham:    In terms of "language" and how we speak of this, Louis Komjathy's work Introduction to Contemplative Studies is a fine work.  also, Constance FitzGerald's article "Impasse and the Dark Night of the Soul", drawing on St. John of the Cross and these moments when we find ourselves in "crisis".  These are very helpful to me.  
Brian Sellers-Petersen:    Guiding simple mindfullness -