CONTEMPLATIVE MINISTRIES


"Be still and know that I am God!"

Psalm 46:10a

"Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you."

James 4:8
One of the ways that we grow as disciples of Jesus is by spending time in his presence—praying and listening to God speak to us through Scripture, nature, one another, and many other ways as we slow down and attune ourselves to God’s divine voice. Spiritual practices, including many that are contemplative or reflective in nature can open us up to how God’s Holy Spirit wants to work in and through our lives. We hope the events, resources, and guided spiritual practices on this page will help you draw near to God and be open to the work of the Holy Spirit in you.

UPCOMING EVENTS

PRACTICING GOD'S PRESENCE

Connect with God through scripture, prayer, and one another.

Next date TBD

SILENT RETREAT

A weekend of rest, quiet, and listening to God.

 

SPIRITUAL PRACTICES

We’ve prepared some guided spiritual practices for you to use as an individual or in groups. These practices are intended to create space for you to pay attention to God, yourself, your story. They are meant to be used as often as you’d like as prompts for prayer and contemplation. Because they guide you into being present with God just as you are in the moment, each time you engage in any given practice will be different. We encourage you to experiment with these practices to see if they are helpful to you in this season of your life. If a practice is not working for you, please feel free to stop the recording.

John 15 Guided Prayer

An 8-minute guided meditation to help you relax and rest in God by reflecting on John 15:4,9.

Anchored & Calm

A meditation, grounded in Christian principles, to use when you’re anxious Clinical Psychologist and LCPC Member, Scott Symington, leads you in less than 4 minutes through 3 steps that help anchor you by expanding your awareness of the present moment, helping bring a sense of calm to your body and mind.

Prayer of Examen

A guided prayer exercise, 8 minutes in length, that helps you walk through your day in the presence of God noticing that which was life-giving and life-limiting. Regularly praying the Examen helps you notice God in your daily life and helps you be attentive to how God is leading you.

Simple ACTS Prayer

A guided silent prayer that leads you through incorporating Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication in your prayers. This short 3½ minute prayer is helpful if your mind wanders when you pray or you’d like to move beyond prayer as merely asking God for things (supplication).
There may be some things that come up for you as you participate in a practice that you would like to talk with someone about. Here are resources La Cañada Presbyterian Church provides.

Spiritual Direction is a classical Christian practice in which a trained spiritual mentor walks with an individual on (generally) a monthly basis to help them look for signs of the presence, guidance and call of God in their lives.

Contact Betsy Merchant, merchantbetsy@ yahoo.com

This is a ministry of para-professional counseling offered to our church congregation and local community. The Lay Counselors are supervised by Christian mental health professionals. They provide no-cost, intermediate level counseling.

LCPC Lay Counseling Ministries, call 818 790-6708, x 430

Stephen Ministry provides lay-pastoral care ministry in life-challenging situations such as: hospitalization, bereavement, new life stages, illness, disability, unemployment, separation, divorce, going overseas in wartime, or imprisonment.

LCPC Stephen Ministries, please call 818 790 6708, x 231

BOOKS & RESOURCES

“The Practice of the Presence of God” by Brother Lawrence
This is a Christian classic that gives both blessing and instruction on the art of practicing the presence of God and of feeling His loving presence throughout each day. As the publisher writes in the preface, it is “a collection of spiritual insights into the heart of God, as revealed through his letters, conversation, and…
“Space for God” by Don Postema
This is a great introduction to a contemplative practice of gratitude as it walks you step by step into taking regular time for prayer and silence. It is peppered with stories, quotes, and illustrations (especially from Van Gogh) that help your right brain enter into these concepts of gratitude and belonging to God.
“Sleeping with Bread, Holding What Gives You Life” By Dennis Linn, Sheila Fabricant Linn, and Matthew Linn
This book may look like a children’s book, but it’s not! It invites and instructs you into the process of asking questions that help you notice and identify moments of consolation and desolation; what you are most grateful for and least grateful for. This process of prayer is the examen and is a simple way…
“Seasons of Your Heart, Prayers & Reflections” Revised and Expanded by Macrina Wiederkehr
This book, as Macrina Wiederkehr writes in the introduction, “…is an invitation to a journey within. There’s a road that runs straight through your heart. Walk along that road and you may at any moment stumble upon the Mystery that there is no other name for, save God.” This book was recommended to me by…
“Sacred Rhythms” by Ruth Haley Barton
A gentle and compelling invitation into exploring spiritual practices as a way of deepening your connection to God.
“Pray As You Go” Daily Audio Devotional
A daily audio devotion containing questions, silence, and spiritual music from around the globe to help you spend time consider the Scripture passage of the day.  Each lasts about 10 minutes. A resource from the Jesuit community. Delivered as an app or a podcast.
“Life of the Beloved, Spiritual Living in a Secular World” by Henri J.M. Nouwen
This is a book written as if a letter to a dear friend, one who is a fellow traveler searching for life, light, and truth. Nouwen’s greatest desire in writing this book is for the reader to hear the words “You are the Beloved” as spoken to you with all the tenderness and force that…
“Centering Prayers” by Peter Traben Haas
A collection of simple prayers that can be used for contemplation and deeper reflection, on a daily basis.
“Celtic Benediction, Morning and Night Prayer” by J Philip Newell
Simple prayers for all throughout the day, based on the Celtic tradition of prayer.  J Philip Newell is considered the premier expert on Celtic Spirituality.