Godspace Newsletter

January 2

by Christine Sine

by Christine Sine

Welcome to 2024 and all the hope and promise that it holds. This is a time to rethink, refocus and renew. What spiritual practices gave you the strongest connection to God in 2023? How might you adapt, change, refresh them as we begin a new year? The new year seems to hold so many possibilities and it is easy to grab hold of too much and become overwhelmed before January is over. I love the way that June Friesen expressed it in the Facebook Godspacelight Community Group. Each of the 366 days of the year (yes it is a leap year) is a gift. 366 opportunities to embrace life in fullness and I pray that all of us will

In this week’s Monday Meditation – Rethinking 2024 I wrote about the process I use to reorient myself at the beginning of each year. I am very excited about the potential the year holds, in spite of challenges we face in the world around us. I highly recommend that all of us take time at the beginning of the year to reorient in this way, to bask in the sun of new possibilities and new opportunities. In her Freerange Friday – Remember, Lilly Lewin posted another process, an excellent Examen exercise for the beginning of the year. Yesterday Elaine Breckenridge posted another such process in Another Year of Grace. I do hope you will take time to read through each of these, as they all discuss different practices and approaches that you might like to adapt to your own process for discernment at the beginning of the year. I love Elaine’s suggestion of sweeping out the old year last thing at night on December 31st through the back door and then welcoming the new year through the front door at dawn on January 1st. You may have missed the deadline, but it is still a great practice for any day this week.

The 12 days of Christmas are an interesting time, as I find my focus and the focus of many of you is on the new year rather than these days when we should continue our Christmas celebrations. Not surprisingly, that is reflected in the Godspacelight posts from this last week. On Saturday I posted a beautiful poem In Memoriam by Alfred Tennyson, sent to me in words by Tom Balke and musical form by Michael Moore. Such a beautiful addition to the prayers and poems on Godspacelight for the Christmas/New Year season. I really appreciate it when people make me aware of such enriching material that will nurture all of us.

There are two Christmas themed posts that I recommend too. Sheila Hamel wrote a very intriguing post A Christmas Message For Our World – the Rubik’s Cube and June Friesen contributed Bathing in the Son I love the way she uses her photos as a focusing point for reflection and the writing of poetry.

Next on the liturgical calendar is the Feast of Epiphany, celebrated on January 6th. There are lots of practices to consider for this day. In some cultures, this is the day when most gifts are exchanged, usually in conjunction with a yummy Three Kings Cake. I am getting ready to Chalk the Door – and combine it with a house blessing, my favourite practices for the day.

Because discernment and renewal is such a good place to start the year, we will launch our upcoming webinar series with one on Spiritual Discernment. Make sure you have these dates on your calendar.  Spiritual Discernment: Finding Direction in a Confusing World, Saturday January 27th; Lent Quiet Day March 2nd and Spirituality of Gardening – May 11th. I am very aware that Saturday morning Pacfic Time is very inconvenient for those who live in Australia and New Zealand. Please let me know if you would be interested in another event at a better time. I m very happy to arrange one on Friday afternoon for me, which would be Saturday morning in Australia and New Zealand.

A big thank you to those who responded to my questions about Substack. It certainly sounds as though this might initially be a good addition to what I do and probably a switch from mailchimp as it appears to provide more options for interaction. It will also provide me with the opportunity to post what does not make it to Godspace, without dealing with the whims of the Facebook and Instagram algorithms. We will probably try to accomplish that in the next month so stay tuned for future developments.

My big news for January is the launch of my new podcast Liturgical Rebels. Forrest Inslee and I will meet later today to record the first introductory episode and next week I expect to interview Kelly Latimore, Drew Jackson and Scott Erickson. So exciting! No definite launch date yet, but I hope that this will be a birthday celebration for me on January 18th.

I love the freshness and hope that a new year brings. I pray that yours might be as hope filled as well. Perhaps you would like to start with a centering prayer like this one I wrote several years ago and continue to use when I am working through a discernment process.

God of creation, God of the earth
Holy and mighty One
Righteous and faithful One,
I centre myself on you today.
God of the heavens, God of the universe,
Compassionate and generous One,
Gracious and just One,
I centre myself on you today.
I sit in the presence of eternal love.
I breathe in the rhythm of eternal breath.
I delight in the joy of eternal presence.
I centre myself on you today.
My soul is at rest.
My spirit finds peace.
God is in me,
God is around me.
Behind and before, on left and on right.
God is with me wherever I go.

Many blessings

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