Our 2022 Aim for The Center

A Discerning Heart

a path of discovery and enlightenment, the work of forming a discerning heart, a deepening awareness of God, companion with others on the journey of deepening trust, the gift of unfolding and flowing with the grace of God.

This Year at The Center

Over the course of this new year, our intention at The Center is to provide you with four primary ways to work with our 2022 Aim:

Contemplative Practice

Contemplative Wisdom

Contemplative Community

Contemplative Service

You can think of these four ways as a spiral that begins at the center with Contemplative Practice. Our most basic and foundational practice we do together as a community is coming together for Contemplative Worship. From there we might take a class or go to a workshop and open ourselves to Contemplative Wisdom. This will inevitably lead to some form of Contemplative Community through finding a soul friend and/or a small group. And finally, being on the contemplative journey organically leads to some kind of Contemplative Service or work in the world, whether that is through The Center or in your own places of labor and leisure. Each of these four areas of ministry has many ways in which you can deepen your awareness of God in such a way that it makes a difference in every aspect of your life.

The Chapelwood 2022 brochure highlights the ways Chapelwood is coming together, following Jesus, and changing lives. On pages 14-15, The Center for Christian Spirituality is highlighted with a message and video from Pastor Michael.

We at The Center are stewards of these four dimensions of the Contemplative Journey.

Through your generous giving of your time, talents, and treasures, we are co-creating a beautiful community of love, wisdom, service, and transformation.

The Enneagram

One major “map” we use to help people deepen their awareness of God and self is the Enneagram. In 2022 we are unveiling a “Path” that uses the “Map” of the Enneagram as well as inviting people on a “Journey” with us through focused retreats and workshops throughout the year.

Spiritual Direction

We have many trained spiritual directors that are part of The Center. We plan on establishing an official ministry of spiritual direction whereby people can more easily explore their spirituality with a wise spiritual guide.

The Anchor House

Our retreat house will be open for individuals and groups to reserve for retreats when the conditions are favorable in regard to the pandemic.

Faith and Food

We wish to continue to come together monthly in new ways around food and deeper spiritual conversations.

Songs from The Center

We will keep sharing the contemplative worship music we are creating at The Center, transmit teachings and practices related to these songs, and explore more ways to share this music online and through social media. We will initially do this through our Winter/Spring Wednesday night class.

Epiphany Today

Our online platform will continue to be a rich network of resources for people around the world who affiliate with The Center to engage in community and contemplative resources for deepening spiritually.

Pilgrimage

We will explore taking “pilgrimages of pain and hope” to places in and around Houston that are related somehow to the state’s history of racism and oppression with a view towards how we can better embody Christ’s love to others today. In addition, we are contemplating another small group pilgrimage overseas.

Pledging & Giving to The Center

At this time of the year, the worship communities that make up Chapelwood typically have our annual stewardship emphasis. But instead of thinking of stewardship as a way to raise a budget, please consider how stewardship is a way of helping you to consciously cultivate a discerning heart and become an epiphany, someone who manifests God’s Love each and every day of your life.

This will look differently for all of us as we prayerfully consider how we might increase our monetary giving to The Center. Some of us will only be able to do what we did last year. Others might need to decrease their commitment because of all that has and is happening in the world. You must do what you sense the Divine wants for you. But some of us may simply mechanically give whatever we gave the previous year. Please take this as an opportunity to truly consider intentionally taking a next step on the Giving Journey.

Last year as a community we pledged more to The Center than any previous year. And while 2021 was a very difficult year because of the ongoing pandemic, we still raised more than our expenses and our giving even exceeded our full pledged amount! Thank you so very much for your extravagant giving.

By January 30 please click on the button “MY AIM” below that will take you to a Google Form where you can indicate the various ways you intend to engage in our 2022 Aim of A Discerning Heart. You will have an opportunity to indicate specific ways you intend to engage in our four dimensions of contemplative ministry: Practice, Wisdom, Community, and Service. After you submit your responses to the Google Form, you will receive a “thank you” response that will include a link to the “Estimate of Giving” page to indicate the step you are taking and your estimate of giving for 2022. Letting us know your estimate greatly helps us as we pay attention to our budget and expenses for 2022. If you wish to go straight to the Pledge form, click on the button “MY PLEDGE.”

Join us for our Community Gathering

Please join us in the Chapel on January 23, after Contemplative Worship, to hear more about our Aim for 2022 and some of the ways we will help each other this year through our upcoming offerings. Michael will also give a final update on our 2021 giving.

Thanks again for being a companion on the journey with us at The Center as we seek to help each other be epiphanies today.

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