By Rev. Carrie Irwin
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.
On the wall over my desk, I have a number of important reminders; calendars, schedules, phone numbers, pictures, and scripture. As I sat to write this article about the upcoming Anglican Fellowship of Prayer Fall Gathering, what drew my eye was a single, unadorned piece of paper with these words; “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.”
Stillness, or silence and patience are not my forte! I am an incessant chatterbox, and I am always raring to go, so I need this kind of reminder daily. We often hear about the benefits of silence in our world of sound and frenzied movement, but how do we find it? I suspect I am not the only one who can be deafened by chaotic and persistent inner chatter, even in the midst of the silence of night. While we may find moments of silence in the world around us, finding silence in our hearts and minds can sometimes be all too elusive.
Silence is a gift as well as a discipline, and needs to be nurtured, for silence offers a way to ponder and listen for the divine. Dietrich Bonhoeffer says that, “silence is the simple stillness of the individual under the Word of God” and we believe in a God who speaks.
This Fall, the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer is offering three locations to come together and learn from the wisdom of Sister Elizabeth Ann from the Sisterhood of St John the Divine as she explores with us the power and potential of silence in our prayer lives. Sister Elizabeth Ann will be present on Saturday September 29th at St James Westminster, and a recorded presentation with handouts will be offered on October 20th at St John’s in Port Elgin and on November 3rd at St Stephen’s in Oldcastle. All gatherings will begin at 10 am and finish at 2pm.
Please come and join us as we explore together the power and potential of silence, for silence isn’t empty, it is full of answers.
Rev. Carrie Irwin is the rector of The Anglican Regional Ministry of Saugeen Shores, Tara and Chatsworth.
She serves on the executive of AFP (Huron).