by Susan Koyle, Algoma Deanery Warden of Lay Reader
On Friday evening, February 24th, Lay Readers and other interested folk gathered at the Trinity Center in Sault Ste Marie for a time of worship, prayer, and fellowship. Our time together began with an uplifting service of Evening Prayer led by Congregational Development Officer Jay Koyle. During this service, individual votive candles were lit, and distributed to all of the participants, and were then used throughout the remainder of the prayer retreat. Participants also received a prayer journal, some instruction on how to make good use of it, and then were guided through an Ignatian prayer called The Examen. The evening was rounded out with a time of fellowship which, in typical Anglican style, involved food and drink.
Saturday morning began with a hearty breakfast hosted by the men of Holy Trinity Anglican Church. This was followed by a service of Morning Prayer, once again led by Jay Koyle, setting a contemplative, prayerful tone that transitioned us perfectly into the remainder of our retreat. Participants experienced a variety of relaxation exercises and were guided through a Personal Reflective Prayer. The morning concluded with small group reflection and prayer centred on the Gospel passage for the Last Sunday of Epiphany and modeled after the “Becoming the Story We Tell” resource.
Lunch was generously provided and served by some ladies from Holy Trinity. Afterward, we wrapped up the retreat with a resource package handout, including a Lenten Examen, and then spent the remainder of our time together discussing concerns and questions regarding the various tasks undertaken by Lay Readers and other leaders in the Church.
I was filled with hope and energy by the prayerfulness and openness of all of the participants. Being surrounded by others who are also journeying in faith and exploring what it means to be a disciple of Christ was a wonderfully positive experience and I look forward to being a part of more of these very worthwhile gatherings.