Kauai


Please call or email the contact person to confirm the group is meeting and to get specifics on the meeting location.

 
Tuesday         8:00 am    St. Michaels, Lihue            Phyllis Meighen, phyllismeighen@gmail.com, 808-647-4346
Wednesday   9:30 am    St. John's in Eleele             Karen Johnson,  akjo222@yahoo.com,          808-652-9679
Saturday         9:30 am   Lihue Lutheran Church      Liedeke Bulder,  liedekestudio@hawaii.com,  808-652-8234
 

 
ABOUT THE KAUAI CENTERING PRAYER GROUPS
 

News From Kauai

By Rev. Phyllis Meighen

 

The ReSource for Christian Spirituality, a new ministry of St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Lihue, has become the third site to host a Centering Prayer group on Kauai.  The group gathers on Tuesday mornings, 8:00-9:00 a.m., on the second floor in the recently blessed ReSource space of the church administration building.  It is a privilege and pleasure for St. Michael's to join the worldwide community of Contemplative Outreach and COHI.

As founder Fr. Thomas Keating writes, “Centering Prayer is a method of silent prayer that prepares us to receive the gift of contemplative prayer, in which we experience God's presence within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than consciousness itself . . . “Centering Prayer emphasizes prayer as a personal relationship with God and as a movement beyond conversation with Christ to communion with Him.”  When we practice centering prayer as recommended we gradually begin to experience the real possibility of praying without ceasing, as St. Paul exhorts us in 1 Thessalonians 5:17.

 

For those new to Centering Prayer, there is a brief orientation on the first Tuesday of each month, at 7:45 a.m.  After the orientation, newcomers are invited to stay for Centering Prayer, which is followed by group reading and discussion of passages from Keating’s book, Open Mind, Open Heart.  Please contact Rev. Phyllis Meighen at 647-4346 for more information.


KAUAI’S CENTERING PRAYER COMMUNITY

By Liedeke Bulder and Patricia Litchult

from the Fall 2011 Newsletter

Fr. Keating said in Open Mind, Open Heart, “The spiritual radiation of a community depends on the commitment of its members to the inward journey and to each other.  To offer one another space in which to grow as persons is an integral part of this commitment.”    I am deeply moved by these words. Truly, the commitment of members described by Fr. Keating has facilitated the Holy Spirit’s continued work in the Centering Prayer Community on Kauai.  The first Centering Prayer group met at Lihue Lutheran Church in Lihue, Kauai in 2007.  Since that time, Centering Prayer groups have formed at St Michael’s and All Angels Episcopal Church in Lihue and at St. John’s Church in Ele’ele. 

It is amazing to reflect on how the Spirit brought various members together in these prayer communities: one was drawn by a flyer posted at the local library; another followed an intuitive lead to attend Sunday services at St. John’s and received an invitation to attend the Centering Prayer group; another was searching for a spiritual group that did not require church membership; still another longed for a daily discipline or a way to quiet down.  One of our new members was taught Centering Prayer by the Benedictine sisters in the late 80’s.  Another was nurtured by Sr. Katherine Theiler, founder of Contemplative Outreach Hawaii.  For several members the search was prompted by difficult times, spiritually, emotionally, physically.  I believe that the mysterious workings of the Holy Spirit that brought each of us into the Centering Prayer community where we are learning to walk through the valley of death into the light and life.  For this article, each member was asked to reflect on how Centering Prayer has made a difference in their life.  The responses are inspiring: 

·         “It has given my spiritual journey new life, new focus.  For the first time I feel supported in my journey to maintain a connection to God and the people around me.”

·         “Like coming home to Mother-Father God where I am welcomed with an endless hug and rest from all my worries in the outstretched arms of God’s grace without any expectations being made of me.  All is God’s Gift, All is Love, I AM truly loved.”

·         “I feel much more relaxed, more able to deal with stress.  I have more empathy and compassion toward others.”

·         “I realize after attending a formal Centering Prayer group that I have been doing a version of it all along.  This formal group has taught me that transformation can happen through this simple process within the traditional church!  For this I am very grateful.  I believe this is the key to bringing unity among all faiths that bypasses the ego-mind and connects with the heart.”

·         “Until recently, I’ve had a very negative view and experience with Christianity and am now opening up to it for the first time ever! I grew up in an atheist home, but had relatives who belonged to this religion and told me and my Jewish father we were not going to heaven for not accepting Christ as our Savior. I found myself gravitating towards Buddhism and meditation, but for some reason could not connect with it completely. I think because I have grown up in a Christian based society I relate more to having a fatherly figure type of God, so now I find myself really loving the Centering Prayer philosophy, especially since it considers psychology and the healing of emotions and childhood wounds. “

·         “Centering Prayer has opened up my journey from a way to deal with physical pain to something much more widespread and profound.  It has become a daily, important part of my life and is gradually affecting how I see and react to a lot of what happens.”

·         “Centering Prayer is different from other practices in that it lets go of all judgment.  All parts of our humanity are accepted and included.  We are enough.  Grace fills in the blanks.”

GLORY AND THANKS BE TO GOD!




Centering Prayer on Kauai

By Liedeke Bulder

From the Fall 2008 Newsletter

Our Kauai Centering Prayer group began in October of 2007 and we have been meeting every Saturday morning since at Lihue Lutheran Church, the oldest Lutheran church in Hawaii. Lihue Lutheran Church was established in 1881 on German Hill, across from the old sugar mill in Lihue. Materials for the church came on the boat with the first engineers/managers from far away Germany. And that is how it is...A seed gets planted through the beautiful people that God sends us on the journey of our lives. For me that journey started also with an emigration from Europe many years ago leaving behind my Dutch/Catholic roots (we had religion but not spirituality), and eventually re-finding my faith and my spiritual path through the Twelve Steps program of Al-Anon in inneapolis, MN. There, I met my future husband and through him his dear friend and spiritual advisor at the time, Sr. Joan Tuberty, S.O.F. Sr. Joan became and continues to be one of our dearest friends and I credit her for planting the Centering Prayer seed in me. I learned from her and attended retreats and prayer workshops at the Benedictine Monastery in St. Paul, MN. Little did I know my husband would follow the call to a third career in ordained ministry as a Lutheran pastor, and I would be a pastor's wife...We served a small mission congregation in Elko in northeastern Nevada's high desert country, and retired from there to the island of Kauai nearly two and a half years ago. We left behind a faith community that grew from 12 to over 250 and built the only E.L.C.A. Lutheran church between Salt Lake City and Reno, NV (550mi.). I started a Centering Prayer group there in 1993 and they are still meeting today...

After our 'retirement', I promised myself to not get involved in anything for at least a year, but soon started missing the support of a group in my Centering Prayer practice. At a COHI event I met Carol Alevizos, and may be a year or so later Carol and Cathy Jordan came out to Kauai to give the Introductory Workshop. I had sent letters to all the mainstream churches on island and I believe there were about 16 participants from all age groups and denominations, including Catholic, U.C.C., Episcopal and Lutheran. Some participants had attended meditative retreats or learned about Centering Prayer through workshops years ago in their Episcopal Church, or they read the little blurbs in their church newsletters announcing the Introduction. How exciting it was and is to experience the God hunger that brings us together in Centering Prayer! Some of our initial participants have stopped coming because of their busy schedules, but others have joined us and there is a deep commitment in our core group of about 6/7 regulars to keep Saturday mornings going. We usually start with a reading, sometimes from Open Heart Open Mind, or from Nan Merill's "Psalms for Praying." Then we sit for twenty minutes and close with discussion or faith sharing. Sometimes, one of us has special needs or concerns and we hold each other up in prayer at the closing...

How has Centering Prayer impacted our spiritual journey? I asked this question of some of our participants and here are some of the responses:

·         "Relationship, relationship! As I began this spiritual practice I became keenly aware that God is always waiting for me, and I am the one not investing enough in the relationship. As I've grown in my practice, my relationship with God has become stronger, my relationship with myself has become more peaceful, and my relationships with others have become more genuine."

·         "For several years I have been at loose ends regarding my spiritual direction and felt the need of 'something' more. Centering Prayer practice is a BLESSING. Being with this group, enjoying silence in prayer, sharing insights, learning from each other and being introduced to a wealth of spiritual reading materials is a GIFT."

·         "'Center' being the operative word, having God be the Center of our lives, not just on Sunday mornings, I feel more connected to all cultures, religions and people, I experience more of a 'spiritual hunger' and God awareness, a need to pray more, live a more Christlike life. It has given me a deep peace, 'the Peace that passes all understanding' a glimpse of 'eternity with Christ'.

For me, personally, a change has come by making a real commitment to sitting twice a day after I took on the servant/leadership of our group. I have also felt a shift in how I approach my work as an artist. I feel a new depth, a need to make an authentic statement rather than be a 'commercial success'. Life seems to come from a different place... And then, of course, as Fr. Thomas says: "when you feel that grumpiness coming on, go center!"

Over the summer months we have just kept our prayer meetings simple. Our hopes for the fall and winter include a retreat for sure. Possibly starting out with a one day focusing/refreshing on the Method using Cynthia Bourgeault's book 'Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening". This would help some of the newcomers that have joined us since last fall.  We would also like to sponsor an evening showing of the movie "Into Great Silence". And then there is the wonderful Keating/Rohr presentation on Awakening to Beauty, Truth and Goodness, which we would like to shape into an event. So many possibilities and not enough time...

 So the Spirit is at work on Kauai!! We are all in awe and so very grateful for the special friendships that have formed and the support we are for each other. If you find yourself on Kauai on any Saturday morning, please be sure to join us at Lihue Lutheran Church at 9 am!