Two opportunities for spiritual growth started at St. Andrew’s Grimsby
Like so many other parishes in this diocese, my parish, St. Andrew’s, Grimsby has recently held a series of Mission Action Plan (MAP) meetings. St. Andrew’s is a very old church, established in 1794. These meetings were very well attended by new and longtime members alike. Thoughts were shared, concerns were brought forward, and new ideas were expressed.
For all those gathered there was a deep feeling of gratitude for who we are as a community and what we have to offer to others. Some expressed a longing to deepen our involvement within our greater community, to deepen our own faith, and others wanted to become more involved in our own church community.
One question asked was, “How do we let the greater community know what we have to offer?” We are aware that there are some areas in which we fall a little short. From these meetings a couple of ideas rose to the top. One was to host a small spirituality group, and the other was to provide an open church from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. through the week. Below are what two of our parishioners have to say about what they experienced through what was initiated since those meetings.
Here is what Melita Frketic, who led a retreat day for our small spirituality group, has to say about our new initiative:
“An opportunity for deeper, intentional faith formation was noticed and sparked a vision to create space and invitation for individuals to gather and to open to divine encounter through contemplative practice in a retreat experience. St. Andrew’s hosted the first in a series of four seasonal retreats in early November. The theme of the of the collective gatherings is ‘Living in Presence throughout the yearʼ. A group of eight participants gathered in a circle to pause, rest, and listen, looking to the wisdom available to us within the season of Autumn. Hearts were opened through the sharing of stories, deep listening, and experience of holy presence through breath prayer, meditation, labyrinth walk, and the prayer of examen. The time together was holy and beautiful. We look forward to what will unfold for us as individuals and community in future retreats.”
Here is what Angela Bromley, who has organized the Quiet Time teams and schedules, has to say about Quiet Time in the church.
“‘Be still and know that I am God.ʼ I will journey with you until the ends of the earth.
A time of quiet is a much-needed concept in today’s world. Sitting with God, a time of quiet to reconnect, and find peace. Praying for your neighbours, friends, colleagues, family members, people in need, and the whole world as we see it. Quiet Time at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Grimsby provides a space to just be. A place to be ourselves, to let go of what is in our hearts, and to help clear the way forward. An environment to guide us where we need to go and what we need to do, to be our true selves. Helping us understand the way forward and simply to be in the moment to breathe. Breathe in the breath of God. Being one with God, going out into the world sharing love, kindness, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
We know there is much more we can be doing. We look forward to helping more and getting to know the migrant workers in our area by working with St. Albanʼs on Thursday evenings, and with more thought and prayers we will be ready for whatever God calls us to do.