North Highland United Methodist Church
Friday, February 26, 2021
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

February 2011 Column

The Spiritual Discipline of SILENCE
February 2011
“Communal Silence”
I often attend the Academy for Spiritual Formation. It is a 5 day event, very structured day with worship 3 times, good meals, time to rest and/or enjoy the outdoors, 2 learning sessions and THREE TIMES OF SILENCE. The entire community goes into silence. The first year I attended I could not believe my ears when after night prayer the leader said “and now we will keep silence until morning prayer.” I thought “oh no.” I am a person of words, often too many! I didn’t know I could possibly keep quiet for 12 hours even though I would be sleeping during some of them. I did it. And now? I yearn for that time of going into silence together with others. There is something sacred being silent together.
In our worship services at NHUMC we are offered times of community silence. We are invited to quiet ourselves to listen to the prelude. In that silent time we are invited to prepare our hearts TOGETHER. There is something wonderful, AWE filled when we are silent together. There is space between the prayers of the people...that tiny sliver of silence. We are also invited to offer our own prayers in silence. We are silent together for a few minutes.
What would the world be like if it were to observe community silence for 24 hours ?
Would that be a glimpse of the Kingdom?
May we hear the Holy Spirit in the Silence.
Peace, Pastor Sheila
Psalm 62:1-2 (NRSV Pew Bibles)