South Georgia Methodists United in Prayer

March 10, 2023

Rev. Dr. Ted Goshorn peers intently and Dr. Brian Russell as he begins his session on the spiritual practice of centering prayer.

On Saturday, March 4th the Glennville Methodist Church hosted Dr. Brian Russell and Rev. Dr. Ted Goshorn for a Deeper in Prayer Conference. Methodist church members and pastors from over South Georgia gathered for this one day conference.

The conference focused on contemplative prayer and spiritual rhythms. 

Brian and Ted are known speakers in their fields. Brian Russell is biblical studies professor at Asbury Theological Seminary. Ted Goshorn is the Sr. Pastor at Mulberry Street United Methodist Church. The presenters provided many different ways for us to engage in prayer. There were workshops in the morning and the afternoon with a catered lunch in between. We started and ended the day with worship by the talented Mary Anne Cabbage. 

Highlights from the conference included practicing centering prayer multiple times, a Q & A time with the speakers, and a short hymn sing after the lunch break.

Here is a personal reflection from Glennville Methodist Church member Mary Catherine Banks that was featured in the church newsletter.

What an opportunity to learn a way to form a good habit that could change a life! Even though the word “habit” usually has a negative connotation, we were told about a positive one in which to enter into the presence of God through Centering Prayer every day. This new term means “setting aside a chosen period of time each day of total silence for a routine of going to God in prayer”. We were encouraged to intentionally and faithfully make this a real habit of the same time span each day in meditation and surrender to Him. By choosing a “prayer word” such as “Jesus”, we can say it to remind us to return to God when our random thoughts inevitably come into our minds to interfere with our focus on Him! 

The purpose of this centered prayer is for us to become an instrument of love in our noisy world by letting go of what disrupts us from His spirit. We are meant to love God and ourselves so that love and forgiveness of others overflows. This paraphrased quote meant a lot to me. “Daily life is like a glass of stirred up muddy water! But when we sit in silence with God, that troubled mixture becomes settled and clear. We can then see to go about our day in the spirit of love”.

Mary Catherine Banks

From the feedback received, this conference seemed to add deep spiritual value to those who attended.

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