Join Us for Advent Meditations
I am excited to tell you about an idea that's been hatching the last couple weeks and for which I hope you'll join us.
My dear friend Jan Richardson has just released a new book, Circle of Grace, that is a book of blessings for the different seasons of the church year. If you are unfamiliar with Jan's work, you will be dazzled by what you discover, as she is a gifted visual artist and writer. And if you are familiar with her work, you know she is particularly known for her ability to write astoundingly gorgeous blessings. (Here is just one of many examples.)
I had the great, good fortune to work with Jan on this book the last few months — something I count among the absolute joys of my year — and it was through working on the book that this idea hatched itself.
I hadn't planned on creating an Advent offering for you. As you know, Kirk and I are in a season of listening our way into the new year, where Still Forming is concerned.
But as I was in the later stages of my portion of the work on Jan's book, I noticed that the more I read the blessings contained in it, the more I wanted to spend time with each one.
These are blessings that beg to be savored, to roll around in your mouth so they can make their way to your heart.
It reminded me of my experience with our two Still Forming Village Groups earlier this year. At the beginning of each gathering, we would spend 5 minutes or so with a meditation. The meditations were taken from different poems or short readings that lent themselves toward deeper noticing.
I would invite the group into a restful posture, read the meditation piece aloud one or two times, and then invite them to notice their response with a few contemplative questions.
Then we would move into the sharing portion of our time together.
Almost without fail, what each member chose to share during their time of speaking was the way the meditation intersected with their life at the moment — the way the language spoke to them or how the contemplative questions invited them deeper into the reality of their heart and daily life.
I loved the experience of finding those meditations for the group and offering them in the moment. I especially loved hearing how each meditation started walking around inside their real lives.
Which is to say: it's time to extend a similar offering to you.
We have been waiting for the right next step for the Still Forming community — the right way, especially, to help you meet each other — and this is turning out to be it. We are going to walk through Advent together, using Jan's book as our foundation and recorded audio meditations as our process. (Our Sunday and Wednesday letters will be Advent-themed through the season, and you'll get to interact with them, too, as a group.)
I'm calling it Advent Meditations.
The experience is free, and it will take place in a private Facebook group. You do not have to purchase the book in order to participate (though I have a hunch you won't want to go without your own copy of the book for long!).
I created a little intro video to tell you about it:
And while we won't officially start until next Sunday, when Advent begins, you are welcome to join the group now.
Jan's blessings are most poignant for the ways they meet us in the cracks and crevices of life, helping us find or notice the light in dark places. During a time when the world feels full of darkness, and in a season — Advent — when we are watching and waiting for the light to come, I cannot imagine a better gift than to let her remarkable blessings speak to our hearts and find our way forward.
Will you join us?
Watching with you for the light,
PS: You may wonder if you can invite your friends to join us. The answer is yes! The more, the merrier.
PPS: If you'd like to join our email list, Kirk and I send letters twice a week, on Sundays and Wednesdays, that help you center, savor, pause, and remember who you are. Sign up here: