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.
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