Something good is happening at Cincinnati Friends Meeting. Beloved community is forming. We see it in worship, we feel it in fellowship, and we experienced it at the Spiritual Nurture & Gifts Retreat on November 4.
I have participated in spiritual nurture groups at Cincinnati Friends Meeting since I first began attending around 2005. Our pastor at the time, Dan Kasztelan, recruited me in no uncertain terms and offered me a selection of groups, all named after a breed of cow, or the opportunity to start one myself, as long as I named it after a cow.
I chose the latter option, although I do not remember what cow it was named after. It was focused on the book Awareness by Anthony De Mello. Since then I have been in nurture groups on Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism), Sacred Dance, Quaker Spirituality, Rex Ambler’s “Experiment with Light,” Parker Palmer’s Hidden Wholeness, and many more. Currently I am involved in the Spiritual Book Study group and two Dao study/nurture groups.
Spiritual nurture—along with worship, fellowship, and the work of the meeting—is one of the pillars of Cincinnati Friends Meeting. All of which is to say how just plain good it felt to see the array of nurture groups on offer this Fall. Something good is happening, reflected in the four existing groups that are continuing—Everyday Mysticism has had quite a run now—and amplified by a plethora of delightful new opportunities, many of which emphasize community. A Friendly Fellowship group will be attending events such as an open mic night, and another group will be going to coffee shops for faith-filled conversations that explore spirituality. There’s a new group on reading and writing poetry, one on encouraging spiritual practices using Parker Palmer’s On the Brink of Everything as a springboard, and another focusing on the Daniel Plan, a spiritually oriented healthy lifestyle program.
Something good is happening, and if you are not already involved in a spiritual nurture group, I’m recruiting you in no uncertain terms.