Contemplative by Design
Creating Quiet Spaces for Retreats, Workshops, Churches, and Personal SettingsJane J. Young, Gerrie L. Grimsley • September 2008
It's hard to hear yourself think in today's culture, much less refresh your soul.
Sights and sounds—from ads placed on toilet stall doors to loud ringtones or cars pulsing with bass—assault us every day. Peace and quiet seem out of place in 21st-century everyday life.
It's time to mute the cacophony.
Meaningful and serene contemplative silence is possible. And it doesn't require an expensive trip to a spa.
"We yearn for rest, and our souls hunger to be fed, yet we seldom give ourselves permission to respond to these yearnings," the authors write. "The quiet spaces described in these pages are places intentionally designed to invite sabbath rest and to encourage reflection on, and quiet awareness of, the Spirit of God."
Jane Young and Gerrie Grimsley met when they agreed to help create meditative spaces for a summer retreat called SOULfeast. Their innovative and yet practical efforts were so well received that they now teach others how to arrange settings and objects (such as a photograph, a leaf, a pencil) to encourage spiritual reflection and, most importantly, achieve stillness.
Learn from their experience and inspiration to create your own simple prayerful oasis in your church or home that encourages new ways of communing with God. Their guidance offers a gentle path to awareness of the everyday sacred.
Receive the refreshment of God's hospitality through your own experiential prayers and quiet spaces. This book will help you know the meaning of Psalm 46:10: "Be still, and know that I am God."
Gerrie Grimsley is administrative assistant to the pastor of South End United Methodist Church, Nashville, Tennessee. She is actively involved in her church, The Donelson Fellowship, where she is a member of the prayer team. Gerrie and her husband, Greg, host a small life group weekly in their home. The group is called “Conversations with Jack,” and most of their discussions are about the writings of C. S. Lewis. Gerrie worked at The Upper Room for several years as assistant to Marjorie Thompson, who was director of Pathways in Congregational Spirituality. In addition to coauthoring Contemplative by Design, Gerrie leads workshops on the importance of quiet spaces in one’s daily life, and she sets up quiet spaces when invited. Gerrie and Greg served for four years at a mission training base in England and were privileged to lead mission trips to India, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. They live in Hermitage, Tennessee, and enjoy visits from their children and grandchildren.
Imprint: Upper Room
Pub Date: September 2008
Trim Size: 10 in (w) x 8 in (h) x in (d)
Page Count: 112
BISAC Categories: RELIGION / Christian Rituals & Practice / Worship & Liturgy
—John S. Mogabgab Editor, Weavings: A Journal of the Christian Spiritual Life "Contemplative by Design is a wonderful guide to creating experiential prayer opportunities. The beauty of the quiet spaces described here is that they move people beyond words in their praying. Art, music, tactile experiences and more are incorporated in the various settings the authors describe. This book will help earnest seekers to be alone with God, offering ways of communing with God that will be quiet different and new for many people."
—Mary Lou Redding Author and Editorial Director, The Upper Room daily devotional guide