The Plymouth Contemplatives are an affinity group committed to personal and collective transformation. Together we share in contemplative movement, silence, and group discernment as ways to be present to God dwelling in our hearts, in Plymouth’s congregational life, and in our wider community. We participate in a variety of practices with the common intention of releasing attachments to our smaller selves and consciously consenting to the movement of the Spirit through us. These exercises can help us step off the emotional roller coaster of our times. The practice of focusing on the Spirit’s movement helps us find our way through a topsy-turvy world.
How To Plug-In:
In addition to many offerings through Plymouth’s Spiritual Exploration programs, the Contemplatives host weekly meditation sessions.
For those who feel called to connect more deeply through video conference prayer. All may join:
You can join the online meditation by phone and by zoom with or without video. Meditations usually include a short reading or movement, 20-30 minutes of silence, and a short opportunity to check in with one another. If you’re new to silent meditation, the facilitator will be happy to offer guidance.
The Plymouth Contemplatives meet on the first Monday of every month from 7-9 p.m. We check in with one another, do silent meditation, contemplative movement, and use collective listening and sharing to explore the Spirit’s movement at Plymouth. Everyone is welcome. You can join the email list to receive meeting notices by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
This handbook briefly explains what contemplation is, why it’s important to include contemplation when people gather for church, and how small groups can integrate contemplative practices. It also provides resources for contemplative processes and practices.
The front desk has a basket with a candle, cloth, meditation bell, and other resources for small groups to borrow for meetings.
Little (Mystic) Library
Little (Mystic) Library
A small, curated collection of books is available at the Plymouth Library. It can also travel to events upon request. The collection includes these titles, which are excellent introductions to contemplative thought and practice:
Cynthia Bourgeault, Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening
Cynthia Bourgeault, The Wisdom Way of Knowing
James Finley, Christian Meditation: Experiencing the Presence of God
Thomas Keating, Open Mind, Open HeartMartin Laird, Into the Silent Land
Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation
Richard Rohr, Immortal Diamond
Alan Watts, Behold the Spirit: A Study in the Necessity of Mystical Religion
Dan Wolpert, Creating a Life With God: The Call of Ancient Prayer Practices
Living Water: Contemplation by the water
Fourth Sundays of the Month, 9-10 AM
Lake of the Isles, north side, near Newton Ave S
Wear a mask. Bring a chair.
Living water – what is that? It’s both water and something more. The term “Living Water” can help name one of our deepest thirsts – to find a wellspring of life that can sustain us even through our bleakest moments.
We often feel better when we go to the water, right? All of life goes to the water to be nurtured. Deepening our spiritual relationship with the water can help us move towards the more mystical qualities of Living Water.
A contemplative practice by the water began in the fall of 2020. We sing, sprinkle ourselves lightly with water, sit in silence and offered our prayers through flowers. It is so wonderfully alive – informed by the breeze, birds, trees, and the (physically distant) presence of each other.
Praying by the water is a celebration of how God’s presence is moving towards even greater fullness in our earth and in our bodies. This is the antidote to Armageddon or exit-strategy theology. The invitation is to come into an even deeper relationship with where we live, to more deeply inhabit our bodies, and to come home to ourselves.
Lake of the Isles / Wita Tomna
Lake of the Isles is a body of water near Plymouth and close to many members’ hearts. The Dakota people call it Wita Tomna (“four islands lake”). Indigenous leadership to protect the water – Standing Rock and Nibi Walks, for example – are part of the inspiration to recover our Christian traditions for honoring water so that we can be strong allies to our Indigenous hosts.
Healing the Water, Healing all of Life
Part of the philosophy of this contemplative practice is that if we care of the water, we are caring for all of life. There is no life without water. Our waters are impaired with chemical pollutants. Our waters also carry our bitter memories: our tears, our traumas, the suffering from injustice. Praying by the water and praying for the water are two small contributions towards the complex work of healing our water as well as healing our communities.
This contemplative practice is grounded in the concept of Watershed Discipleship, a term developed by Ched Myers. Watershed Discipleship means that we are people of faith within our watershed, that we honor the watershed as one of our spiritual teachers, and that we understand that we are living in a watershed moment for our planet. Our gathering draws particular inspiration from Eastern Orthodox Christian traditions for blessing the water. A significant amount of our time gathered together is devoted to practicing Centering Prayer (or whatever form of sitting meditation suits you) by the water. This monthly practice is supported by the Board of Worship as well as the Plymouth Contemplatives.
COVID-19 & Weather Considerations
Please wear a mask and practice 12 feet of physical distancing. Our gathering time will change once in-person services resume.
When weather or public health have necessitated it, this practice has been broadcast from the lake over Zoom. Assume this practice is in person unless you hear otherwise.
Sign up to get reminders and updates about the Living Water Contemplative Practice.
Let Emily Jarrett Hughes know you want to get updates at emily(a)wisdomdances.com
Plymouth Congregational Church is a progressive faith community grounded in the Christian tradition. In mutual care and with respect for our diverse understandings of God, we seek to embody the radical love and justice found in the life, teachings and spirit of Jesus.