Center for Spiritual Growth

The St. David’s Center for Spiritual Growth seeks to offer Spirit-filled opportunities to all who desire a deeper encounter with God in Jesus Christ. The Center supports individual and group spiritual direction with trained spiritual directors, educational series throughout the year, retreats, as well as Yoga with Spirit classes, Centering Prayer groups, opportunities to walk the St. David’s Labyrinth, and Exercise in Faith.

For more information about St. David’s Center for Spiritual Growth, please contact Gillian Waldron at centerforspiritualgrowth@stdavidschurch.org.

Come Explore the Center!

We are located on the lower level across from the Choir Room in a lovely, comfortable, warm space perfect for spiritual conversation, quiet spiritual reading and prayer. Pray in solitude or with friends. Listen to sacred music, pray with icons. The door is always open.

Come Explore Our Library!

Our library is stocked with writers from C.S. Lewis to Max Lucado to Richard Rohr to Henri Nouwen. We have a book waiting for you to encourage you wherever you are on your spiritual journey.

Center for Spiritual Growth Offerings:

Please see below for all of the wonderful offerings we have through the Center for Spiritual Growth. If you have any questions, please contact centerforspiritualgrowth@stdavidschurch.org for more information.

Spiritual Direction (Individual and Group)

Buff Barnes

Spiritual direction is an ancient Christian practice offering companionship on the journey of faith and a deeper relationship with the spiritual aspect of being human. At St. David’s, we have trained spiritual directors who meet with others for individual spiritual direction as well as group spiritual direction.

In these sessions, the Holy Spirit is the director. The role of the Spiritual Director is that of a companion, one who walks alongside others helping to notice the movements of God in our everyday lives. A spiritual direction session offers a safe, peaceful and confidential space to become aware of a more conscious experience of God’s presence and love. Spiritual Direction invites you to a closer relationship with God.

Individual spiritual direction sessions take place once a month. You will meet for an hour with your spiritual director, and s/he will listen to whatever you choose to share that day and help you to notice the movements of God. Spiritual directors are not teachers or therapists. They are not there to solve your problems or answer all your questions. The spiritual director acts as a pointer, pointing you in the direction of God and helping you to notice what God might be inviting you to in your life and shared relationship.

Spiritual direction groups also meet once a month. The group consists of four people and a spiritual director. We are together for one and a half to two hours during which time we have a rhythm of silence, sharing and reflection. Each group member has a chance to share what is on her/his heart that day, and the rest of the group then reflects what they have heard both from the person and from God in the silence that surrounds the sharing. In group spiritual direction, we listen to God for and with each other.

Ignatian Spiritual Exercices

Amy Dolan

The Ignatian Spiritual Exercises grew out of Ignatius of Loyola’s personal experience as a man seeking to grow in union with God and to discern God’s will. He kept a journal as he gained spiritual insight and deepened his spiritual experience. He added to these notes as he directed other people and discovered what “worked.” Eventually, Ignatius gathered these prayers, meditations, reflections, and directions into a carefully designed framework of a retreat, which he called “spiritual exercises.”

We can tone our spiritual “muscles” just as we work with our physical muscles as we exercise our bodies. The Ignatian Spiritual Exercises are a 30-week intensive course through which we explore our relationship with God and the choices we are making in life. For the period of the Exercises, you commit to one-hour of prayer and meditation with provided materials six days per week. On the seventh day, you will meet with your spiritual director, Amy Nobles Dolan, for an hour to review your prayer times and to receive the materials for the coming week.

Yoga with Spirit

Amy Dolan

Yoga With Spirit classes are designed to nurture body, mind and spirit. Practicing yoga improves
flexibility, balance, strength and muscle tone while quieting and focusing your mind. This practice in contemplation helps to develop the skills to live a more peaceful, contented, meaningful life right here, right now. All are welcome in these classes. Amy makes it her job to help each student find healthy and safe modifications in all of the postures. We sincerely hope you will come explore this moving meditation. Classes are held in the Undercroft on Tuesday evenings from 5:30-6:30 from the first week of September through Memorial Day. For more information, email amy@yogawithspirit.com

Exercise in Faith

Endre Witthoeft

1st Corinthians 6:19: “Did you know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you…” In Paul’s 1st letter to the Corinthians he informs us that our bodies are like a house that is a home, an indwelling for the Holy Spirit to live. To me, that is amazing! We have the Holy Spirit living in us; therefore, we should build a sturdy house, a solid body for the Spirit to live in. When our physical bodies are healthier we are better able to serve Christ and His larger body, the Church.

Contemplating on this scripture inspired me to start Exercise in Faith twelve years ago. Exercise in Faith is a total body strength training class using trx-straps (body-weight strength training) and bands, while listening to upbeat music. We start off with a prayer, an active stretch/warm-up, and strengthen our bodies for two to three circuits, depending on your fitness level. All levels are welcomed. In fact, everyone is encouraged to listen to their bodies and train in their comfort zone. (Which means you can rest at any time.). We are a fun bunch, friendly, and supportive of one another…join us and strengthen your body, mind, and Spirit, every Saturday at 10am in the undercroft, or when warm enough and dry outside, in the parking lot.

Labyrinth

Louise Haley

The Labyrinth is a meditative walk along a circular or spiral pattern ending at a center place. There is one way in and one way out. The Labyrinth, used by Christians since the Middle Ages, is a reflection of our need to return to our spiritual center and a metaphor for our spiritual and life journey. Before entering the Labyrinth, we breathe deeply and clear our thoughts. As we walk, we allow the thoughts that arise from our hearts and souls until we reach the center and either leave what is no longer needed to God or act on what we were given during our walk. On our way out, we reflect on our journey. This quiet reflection after the walk often offers more insights than what we had during the walk and these insights can occur days after the walk. The beautiful canvas Labyrinth used at St. David’s throughout the year offers us the opportunity to delve into a deeper relationship with God and ourselves.

Centering Prayer

Buff Barnes

Centering Prayer is our coming to Christ in stillness and silence, with the intention of fully opening our mind and heart to Him and deepening of our relationship with the living Christ. We experience God’s presence, action and joy within us; beyond breathing and thinking, closer than consciousness itself. Father Thomas Keating, founder of the Centering Prayer movement says, “The principal method of centering prayer, really, is to sit down… doing it is the primary discipline.” The only way we can fail in Centering Prayer is to get up and leave. Centering prayer is a time to be gentle with yourself; a time for non-judgment; a time for being not doing. It is a gift of God’s grace. Please explore this practice at either or both of our Centering Prayer gatherings for twenty minutes of silent prayer on Mondays at 7 PM in the Church or Wednesdays at 8:15 AM in the Quiet Room. The facilitator will be happy to offer instruction before your first prayer.

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