Congregational Programs

Living Fire Ministries brings spiritual formation to your congregation by offering programs that range from classes on a desired topic to weekend retreats.  Below are some of the more popular congregational programs, but programs tailored to your specific congregation are also available.  Feel free to contact us with you specific requests.

Why retreat? I hear the protests now. You're too busy.

We're all too busy -- and that's the very reason we should take a retreat on a regular basis.  Not a vacation -- a spiritual retreat. A good spiritual retreat has some of the same features as a vacation: to get away, to leave work behind, to refresh our outlooks. But a good spiritual retreat will also give us tools to use as we return to our hectic lives.  ~ Kristin Berkey Abbott

Prayerful Leadership: a one-day retreat for congregation councils

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Retreat Day for Men and Women

You are invited to participate in a day of personal renewal as we celebrate the change of seasons.  Experience the prayer practice of Lectio Divina – an ancient monastic practice of deep listening to and praying with Scripture. Enjoy discovering some of the ancient symbols of peoples of all times and all cultures – Universal Life Signs that are deeply shared symbols which still have meaning & rich wisdom for our spiritual journey today. The day will also include time for Centering prayer and Faith sharing & labyrinth walking meditation (for those sites which have an outdoor/indoor labyrinth.  Come, join us for a day of prayerful sharing and personal deepening; a time for the inner spirit to be enlivened and refreshed. 

 Lectio Divina as Foundational to Bible Study

Movement from Text to Contemplation  

Learn the practice of an ancient prayer that runs counter to our 21st c culture of immediate results, three- second sound bites to summarize complex theories or years of study, surface rather than depth, & immediate understanding and answers, commentaries rather than original sources…Lectio is radical. if we wish to be nourished directly by the Scriptures without seeking a predigested substitute, then we will probably need to develop new skills: deep listening, patience, fidelity, calming down, making time, regularity, repetition (not getting to the end quickly), It’s about perseverance, concentration and intention, deep reverence for the Word and practice, while being in touch with our feelings ( desert spirituality term “compunction” – being moved –usually moved to tears). This interior movement is about the journey into God:  seeking God in contemplative communion (growing in union with God). See how praying the scriptures makes a difference in how one studies the scriptures.

The experience of Impasse in Congregations and Individuals

Impasse is not an easy experience for those of us who have grown up in families where we were told to just try harder, get more organized, or think smarter and we’d be able to figure it out. Trying to communicate in all of our usual ways did not seem helpful and were often counterproductive.  The teaching for moving through Impasse or Dark Night for well over 2,000 years has been this: Nothing less than contemplation which touches into our deepest core and stirs our God given creativity will help us to imagine new ways of responding in love. We must learn and practice ways of opening ourselves to receive the gift of contemplation individually and in community. This session will explore this concept through the teaching of 16th c Spanish spiritual teacher, John of the Cross  to see what meaning it brings to the contemporary experience of Impasse which comes upon us uninvited.

This session is for anyone who is interested in living in a more conscious awareness of the presence of God in daily life. During our time together we will learn about and experience the prayer of awareness or what today is called Centering Prayer, which is wordless prayer that opens our hearts and our persons to the presence of God in Faith. It is a way of prayer that fosters a deep awareness of God’s dynamic presence in our lives and a non-anxious presence to others.  We will also explore some of the obstacles & helps to living in the presence of God, our neighbor and all creation.

Introduction and Practice:  

This workshop offers an experience of Centering Prayer as it flows from the ancient Scriptural prayer of Lectio Divina (Sacred or Divine Reading of Scripture).  Centering Prayer is a prayer of silent receptivity, a prayer of a quiet mind and an open heart. Centering Prayer assists in changing patterns of behavior that are generational. It is Divine therapy that opens us to a change of motivations and behaviors in order to lessen the reactivity within individuals and congregations.  Practice and theory of Centering Prayer/Lectio Divina as counter-cultural spiritual disciplines will be the focus of our time together.