Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Wednesday Wisdom: Experiencing the Power of Spiritual Practice

On just about every Wednesday evening throughout the year, you can find Rev. Judee Chapman, one of our assistant ministers, up on the Center's platform hosting a middle-week experiential service for an audience who has found something special and extraordinary. 

Since starting the mid-week 'faith lift' in 2004, six-months after becoming an ordained Religious Science minister, Rev. Judee's Wednesday Wisdom service has grown and evolved, most recently adding the tagline Practicing the Presence. 

"Practicing the Presence means to me that everything and everyone is sacred and we all have the ability to connect with the Divine, if we so choose!" explained Rev. Judee. "But just like everything else, we need to engage and invest in spiritual practices like prayer, chanting, meditation, silence, inspirational talks, etc. to have it work in our lives."

To add an experiential element to the Wednesday service, Rev. Judee started seeking out speakers and activities that would support those spiritual practices. In the past, the Wednesday's Wisdom has hosted a wide variety of diverse services including, but not limited to: 
  • meditation, 
  • healing services, 
  • drumming, 
  • Native American ceremonies, 
  • solstice ceremonies (winter, spring, summer, and fall), 
  • singing bowls, 
  • concerts, 
  • Taize meditations, 
  • interactive discussions, 
  • Q&A on the Science of Mind, 
  • Season for Nonviolence peace meditations and readings, and
  • personal empowerment talks (like Al Wallace and his personal growth story about walking the Pacific Crest Trail and Anita Baroldi with her spiritual transformation experienced while walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain.) 

When asked what draws her to a particular topic, Rev. Judee replied, "I am open to anything that values living our life 'out loud!'"

Many practitioners and ministers, from within and outside our Center, have shared their gift of personal awakening or subjects that inspire them during the Wednesday service.  

Rev. Judee believes that anyone who is grounded in love and service to our Center and humanity is welcome to have a evening to share their wisdom. To get a spot on the monthly calendar all potential speakers need to do is ask. Once she receives a request, Rev. Judee has a short discussion with the speaker on what topic they want to share and then finds a date on the schedule.  

"I have never had to turn anyone away so far," said Rev. Judee. "For instance, a practitioner came to me on Sunday and said 'I have a talk that has been brewing in me for six months. Can I 'book'  a Wednesday service?' I said, 'Yes, of course!'"

When people leave the Wednesday's Wisdom "Practicing the Presence" service, Rev. Judee knows that they leave with something that will enrich their life.  

"Maybe it is a new spiritual practice, or a new person that they meet, or just a place to BE  and feel loved and accepted for who they are," Rev. Judee explained. "I want them to leave fulfilled and happy that they came!"

More than anything, Rev. Judee knows that each and every person can benefit from attending the service and by making it their mid-week habit!

The Wednesday's Wisdom Service is every Wednesday evening beginning at 7 p.m. in the Center for Spiritual Living Capistrano Valley Sanctuary. On the first Wednesday of the month there is a potluck starting at 5:45 p.m. Everyone is invited to bring a dish and experience a sense of community and friendship. Childcare is only available on the first Wednesday so families can come for the potluck dinner and adults can enjoy the service afterwards. 

If you have questions about Wednesday's Wisdom or feel called to be a presenter, email Rev. Judee.