December 16, 2016

 

Bend, Stretch and Breathe, the church’s conscious movement ministry has moved into the church vestry and will be there through the winter and into the spring.  It is a beautiful space in which to practice and we like having lights on at this dark time of year to symbolize that the Spirit is alive and active in the church. 

 

Join us every Friday evening at 5:30.  Yes, we will be there through the Christmas holidays.

 

On Sunday mornings throughout the fall we focused on the Letter of Paul to the Romans and on Martin Luther for whom that book was of utmost importance.  We celebrated the 499th anniversary of Luther’s posting of Ninety-Five Theses on the Wittenberg Door, All Saints’ Day and Election Day.

 

Now we are well into Advent, reading the prophesies of the Christ in the Isaiah and getting ready to celebrate the birth of the Christ child.  It is a wonderful time of year, a great time to ponder what the Spirit is working within us, a great time to read the ancient prophecies.  Perhaps my favorite is from Isaiah Chapter 9.  Handel set it to music, making it even more memorable.  I look forward to the first time in late November that I listen to one of the many great recordings of the Messiah. 

 

The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;

those who lived in a land of deep darkness--
on them light has shined.

. . .

For a child has been born for us,
a son given to us;

authority rests upon his shoulders;
and he is named

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

His authority shall grow continually,
and there shall be endless peace

for the throne of David and his kingdom.
He will establish and uphold it

with justice and with righteousness
from this time onward and forevermore.

The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

 

May the celebration of the Christ child’s birth this Christmas fill us with joy and the peace that passes understanding.

 

 

October 15, 2016

The ministry of Bend, Stretch and Breathe continues every Friday afternoon at 5:30 in the Parish Hall, which is a white building across Yarmouth Street from the church and next to McDonalds.  Whatever your ability, please join us.  Bending, stretching and breathing is essential to life.  A weekly conscious practice of integrating all three makes for a better life.  

 

Pastor Richard has practiced yoga for over 35 years and teaches a mix of postures and styles informed by various schools of flow yoga.  He first learned yoga out of a book, Yoga and Common Sense, by Ina Marx.  He has studied at the Kripalu Institute in western Massachusetts and with Mark Whitwell and Thomas Fortel at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. Like all yoga teachers, he stresses the importance of paying attention to the breath, but the most important aspect of yoga is just doing it.

 

Especially at the beginning, do not worry about doing the poses perfectly.  Just doing something is better than doing nothing.  Get into the habit of doing something and you will soon be doing them well enough. 

Some yoga instructors focus on learning the individual poses, getting the pose exactly right and holding it.  Some focus more on the flow from one pose to the next.

 

Both of these emphases are valuable.  If you get into the flow, you’ll eventually get skilled at all the poses.  If you get really good at the poses, you will naturally be able to flow from one to the next. 

Breath, flow, mechanics, awareness, relaxation, stretching, endurance, strength - all are important.  Each supports the others. 

 

There is no perfect way to do any of the poses, although striving for perfection may be worthwhile for some people.  The most important thing to do in a yoga or movement practice is start.  You can start with a focus on breath.  You can start with a focus on structure.  You can start with a focus on flowing movement. 

Just start.  And continue.  Repeat.

 

Practicing with others – community – is also important.  Please join us every Friday afternoon at 5:30.

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