St. Paul's Cathedral, Dunedin. Nikon D300 and a Nikkor 28-200 lens A minimal amount of post processing - levels tweaked, desaturation and a couple of small objects removed. Nothing to do with what follows but I quite like the picture.I spent much of last week conducting a five day Centering Prayer retreat. I have taught meditation before, and I've led retreats but I've never done both at the same time. We held it at Holy Cross where the food is superb and the bedrooms adequate and the old chapel is lovely. There weren't a lot of people. I gave nine addresses over the 4 1/2 days, led worship and had some fairly significant conversations.
The development of spirituality is central to all we are trying to do here in the South. About a year ago, I wrote to the diocese telling them of the fragile state we are in. Since then, things have changed. It's not that there has been a radical revival of our fortunes but rather a growing determination to change and grow, and a strenghtening sense of purpose. Central to this shift in morale is the recognition that at the base of all our ministry is transformation: the gradual drawing of us all into the image of God.
This retreat was about me playing a small role in that. In the everyday routines of my daily life I seem to often play a small role in lots of lives. Over this past week I played, for a few days anyway, a larger role for a small number of folk, and I hope that what John Franklin and I shared will have lasting effects on at least some of them. In teaching small groups and talking one on one I revisited the things I like most about being a priest. In teaching Centering Prayer I helped myself to clarify the concepts I have been living with for a few years now. For my sake, probably more than anyone else's I hope I can run at least one other Centering Prayer retreats sometime in the new year.