Friday, April 10, 2009

My Spiritual Oasis

About 4 years ago I became a member of Integrity Saskatoon. It has been such a spiritually nurturing place and I give thanks to God for their presence in my life.

I thought I would share some pictures of this group. These pictures can also be seen on their blog site.

The first is a picture of one of our summer BBQs. During Fall, Winter, and Spring we meet at St. James Anglican Church, Saskatoon, to share in the Eucharist and to have fellowship with coffee and goodies afterward. This latter is also where we celebrate events in each other's lives such as birthdays, anniversary, retirements, transitions etc. We break for June, July, and August but gather at various members houses to eat and share fellowship. These times usually take the form of a potluck BBQ.

We experimented with where to meet. We met in the sanctuary but felt that some people were not comfortable with that space. We meet in the basement now. We celebrate in the round. It is not a very formal service although we do use the Book of Alternative Services. We read one lesson, generally the gospel. Whoever is presiding will make a few comments and then the floor is open to others to offer their reflections. Each person if offered a non-threatening opportunity to pray. We pass an item around - usually my folded stole. The group is told that they may hold on to the stole and pray aloud, or pray silently, while the rest of us hold that individual and their prayer in our hearts, or they can simply pass the stole to the next person. The stole acts as a "talking stick" so that whoever holds it is the only one to speak at that moment. During the eucharist we administer the bread and wine to each other.

As chaplain I try to arrange for various different people to preside at the eucharist. This helps us network with the various churches in the diocese. In the fall we are hoping to extend this networking ecumenically and I will be inviting representatives from other denominations to preside.

Integrity Saskatoon is an amazing group of caring and committed people. I have learned so much from them and have been given such life through my connection with them. I give thanks to God for their presence in my life.

Love and Prayers,
Ann Marie

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