The Shallowford Presbyterian Church Ministry Page

Up-coming Courses in 2020...

Survey of Contemplative & Mystic Spirituality

Dates:   Sundays from 12:15-3 PM — February 16, 23, & March 1
Christian mysticism is about exploring the mystery of God’s love revealed to us in Jesus Christ. The love is a mystery not because it is kept hidden - the love of God is proclaimed every Lord’s Day - but rather because the whole truth about the depth and breadth of God’s love lies beyond our capacity to know completely. Mystics search for a deeper understanding of that love not so much through reason and intellect as through relationship and imagination. Beyond that they point us to the path of “Unknowing” which is mysterious itself. This would be a general survey of mystics and mysticism through the centuries. We will dabble in the teachings/works of people like: Evelyn Underhill, St. John of the Cross, Dame Julian of Norwich, St. Teresa of Avila, and others. This course is meant to whet our appetite with the idea that we might later spend an entire course on one of the mystics.

BOOKS † = best to read Underhill, Evelyn The Ways of the Spirit
(Crossroad: New York, 1990)
† McColman, Carl The Big Book of Christian Mysticism (Hampton Roads: Charlottesville VA, 2010)
John of the Cross John of the Cross - Selected Writings (Paulist Press: New York, 1987)
Julian of Norwich trans. John Skinner Revelations of Love (Image Books: New York, 1996)

How To Complete This Course:
1) Attend the classes and participate.
2) For 30 days following the course reflect prayerfully about the mystics you have learned about. At the end of your thirty days of praxis, write a reflection (one page or so) and send to Jeff OR sign up to visit with Paul during the Day of Reflection TBA.
Day of Reflection for this Course — 
To sign up for the day of reflection fill out the form below.

Spirituality of Landscape

Dates:   May 15-17 at St. Francis Retreat Center
The earth & sky around us communicate something of the nature of God.  Saint Columba named God “Lord of the elements.”  The landscape has a way of shaping our thoughts about God, whether it is the barren desert, the empty moors of Britain, the drama of a coastline, or the wild vigor of an old established forest.  In this course we will study the works of theologian and author Belden Lane and wonder about how we might come to see and know and love God more fully by becoming more open to the beauty and power of our many various landscapes.  The 2020 pilgrimage is to the landscape of eastern NC where the land and water meet. This course is a prerequisite of the 2020 travel pilgrimage.

†Belden Lane - Ravished by Beauty: The Surprising Legacy of Reformed Spirituality
†Belden Lane - The Solace of Fierce Landscapes: Exploring Desert and Mountain Spirituality
†Belden Lane - The Great Conversation: Nature and the Care of the Soul
†Belden Lane - Landscapes of the Sacred: Geography and Narrative in American Spirituality

Day of Reflection for this Course — TBA
To sign up for the day of reflection fill out the form below.

When True Simplicity Is Gained

Dates:   Sundays July 26. 8:15-11:00 AM — , AND August 2, from 12:15-3:00 PM

This course will explore the gift of simplicity and its concomitant blessing — contentment.  First we will see how simplicity & contentment form a reliable partnership in helping us to avoid the seven “deadly” sins.  Then we will turn to three practical applications of simplicity & contentment in the life of a disciple:  
1.Economic simplicity
2.Social simplicity
3.Temporal simplicity

†Richard J. Foster - Freedom of Simplicity
†Martin & Micah Marty - When True Simplicity Is Gained

Day of Reflection for this Course — TBA.
To sign up for the day of reflection fill out the form below.
The Day of Reflection is when you choose to visit with pastor Jeff briefly about the experience you had with a course and reflect on the reading and/or praxis you did in the course.  It is the last required element of completing a course.  If you prefer, you may write a single page reflection and submit the paper rather than arranging a face-to-face.  You can either attach the paper to an email to pastor Jeff or bring a hard copy to the office.