A Workshop on Communal Contemplative Spirituality
With Michael Battle
Saturday, January 22nd, 2022 / 9 AM to Noon Central Time [10 AM to 1 PM Eastern Time]
Co-sponsored by Contemplative Outreach Chicago
and Contemplative Outreach Atlanta
Michael Battle points out something we all may have noticed: that events and organizations working to encourage Christian spirituality and contemplative life seem to attract a certain demographic, predominantly white and westernized. Those who look, act, and seem different from this demographic often find no access point. Publishers, spiritual leaders, and socially conscious folks are deeply aware of this binding apart and often grieve the fact that many Christians do not pray together.
In this workshop, it is our hope to bring together people from diverse backgrounds who share an interest in contemplation. Together we will pray through, think about and practice how to be more Communally diverse in Contemplative Spirituality — how to release the natural unity the Holy Spirit constantly offers the world.
Providing an indication of where the workshop will take us, Rev. Battle quotes St. John of the Cross:
The soul that is attached to anything however much good there may be in it, will not arrive at the liberty of divine union.
For whether it be a strong wire rope or a slender and delicate thread that holds the bird, it matters not, if it really holds it fast,
For, until the cord be broken the bird cannot fly.
(Ascent of Mt. Carmel, Book One, 11)
The workshop will begin with a 20-30 minute contemplative experience led by Contemplative Outreach. This will include Centering Prayer as well as a brief guided meditation to expand our experience and open our hearts.
Then, building on St. John’s powerful insight, Rev. Battle will lead an interactive and deeply spiritual workshop incorporating presentations, art, music, and pauses for reflection. The intention is to uncover, describe and practice approaches that can help us begin to “break the cord,” removing constraints and divisions within our own individual hearts and across the wider contemplative movement. There will be pauses for silence, small group sharing, and discernment about what God may be inviting our community into with regard to spiritual/racial union.
In Centering Prayer and other contemplative practices, we find a path that opens us up to oneness, while the racial divide denies this reality, insisting instead on the “otherness” of those who may be different from us in appearance or culture. As we open to a greater and more connected state of awareness, it is essential to do so communally, rather than just individually — to share our being more openly with others, including others of different backgrounds.
We invite you to join us on this sacred journey toward Communal Contemplative Spirituality.
About Michael Battle
A featured keynote speaker and leader of many clergy and lay retreats, the Very Rev. Michael Battle, Ph.D. is currently appointed as Herbert Thompson Professor of Church and Society and Director of the Desmond Tutu Center at General Theological Seminary in New York,
In his PeaceBattle Institute he works on subjects of diversity, spirituality, prayer, race and reconciliation. He has also served as chaplain to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Congressman John Lewis, the House of Bishops and, in 2008, was chaplain to the Lambeth Conference of Anglican Bishops.
Battle has published eleven books, including his latest: Desmond Tutu: A Spiritual Biography of South Africa’s Confessor. He has an undergraduate degree from Duke University, received his master’s of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, a master’s of Sacred Theology from Yale University and a PhD in theology and ethics, also from Duke University. He was ordained a priest by Archbishop Tutu in 1993.
To Register, Click Here
This will be a Zoom meeting workshop. A video recording of the event will be made available to all who register, in case you cannot attend on the 22nd or wish to review the workshop at a later date.
Recommended donation is $50 for the workshop. For those who prefer to donate more to financially support our mission and assist with scholarships, there is a $100 ticket tier. For those who have a need, there is a $30 ticket tier. All tiers provide the same workshop experience.
Scholarships are available, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Registration will close January 21st @ 6:00 PM (US Central Time).
The Zoom link will be emailed by 6 PM (Central) on January 21st.
Please email email@example.com for any questions.