contemplative practice

The Christian journey constantly calls us to become more than we are. If we have an intentional spiritual practice—a contemplative practice—we are in the process of growing into God. GNC offers several opportunities for this kind of growth, and are hoping to add more soon.

Our Christian Mysticism Reading group studies the writings of the great Christian mystics, challenging us to advance spiritually in our own lives (6pm 3rd Wednesdays, 1326 Milvia Street, Apt C, Berkeley). Right now, we are reading Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love.

Our Christian Meditation group meets once a month to support people in their contemplative practice. We teach a form of hesychastic prayer—often called Centering Prayer—in which a mantra drawn from the Christian tradition is used to help us center our attention on God’s presence with us, in us, and around us (4th Wednesdays, 7pm, in the church office).

Many people in our community see a spiritual director or are active in a spiritual direction group, and we strongly encourage this. We offer a free Spiritual Direction Group, led by the Rev. Amina Wolf (2nd Wednesdays, 7pm, in the church office).

St. Augustine said, “he who sings prays twice,” and those who participate in the Cantemus Gregorian Chant Choir know exactly what he means. Cantemus is a drop-in choir, so anyone may come at any time, no matter one’s skill level. We will teach you to sing Gregorian chant—the prayer will follow naturally (Thursdays, 7:30, in the church office).

At our Sacred Space Art & Literature gathering, we have an opportunity to share our spiritual insights and connect with one another, as participants bring poetry, songs, artwork, or anything else they’d like to share. It’s part poetry reading, part show & tell, part talent show, all in an intimate setting with friends (1st Wednesdays, 7pm, 1326 Milvia St. Apt. C, Berkeley).

For those interested in Private Spiritual Direction, several of our community members are trained spiritual directors, helping their clients sort out their relationships with God, and assisting them with their discernments, including:

Howard Curtis, 510-524-8720 or
Rev. Diane R. Miles, MDiv, 415.279.3667 or
Martha Kay Nelson, 339.368.0338 or
Rev. Amina Wolf, 510.704.1262 or

Or visit the Spiritual Directors International website, or contact our pastor for other recommendations.