The Reverend Justin Lanier, part of the New Contemplative Exchange

The Reverend Justin Lanier, Rector of St. Peter’s, Bennington, invited to be a part of the New Contemplative Exchange

Fr. Justin has recently been invited by Fr. Thomas Keating, O.C.S.O. a founder of Contemplative Outreach, to become a member of The New Contemplatives Exchange, a global network for contemplative studies and practice. 

This invitation comes from Fr. Keating as one of the four founders of this new group. The other founders are: The Reverend Tilden Edwards (The Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation), Fr. Richard Rohr, O.F.M. (The Center for Action and Contemplation), and Fr. Laurence Freeman O.S.B. (The World Community for Christian Meditation). Each invited four young contemplative scholars and practitioners from around the world — all in their 30’s and 40’s — to meet together with the Founders at St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, CO, in mid-August to pray together.

The overall vision of The New Contemplative Exchange is “to awaken a larger embrace and expansion of Christian contemplative understanding and practice as the vital grounding of Christian life, with openness to collaboration with all streams of contemplative wisdom, in response to the urgent social and spiritual needs of our time.”  

http://wccm.org/content/gathering-thomas-keating-tilden-edwards-richard-rohr-and-laurence-freeman

Fr. Justin hopes that the ongoing work of the Exchangers, in retreat and workshop collaborations, joint articles and book publishing, as well as gatherings and joint trainings, might help foster a dialogue and network among contemplatives and the people of Province I and the Diocese of Vermont.  
Fr. Justin recently met with one of Fr. Rohr’s student’s, the Reverend Mark Longhurst, pastor of First Congregational Church, UCC, Williamstown, MA for a cuppa and chat.

http://firstchurchwilliamstown.org/about/staff/carrie-bail

There are early plans for collaborations on articles pertaining to some of the horizons of Centering Prayer and modes of contemplative training.

http://www.contemplativeoutreach.org/sites/default/files/private/method_cp_eng-2016-06_0.pdf

Fr. Justin has also been in touch with Fr. Stuart Higginbotham the Rector of Grace Church, Gainesville, GA who is one of the Reverend Edward’s students.

www.gracechurchgainesville.org/administration/stuart.html

Fr. Higginbotham’s doctoral thesis “The Practice of Christian Mindfulness as an Imaginative Challenge in Parish Ministry,” describes Grace’s work over the past few years to reorient its image of discipleship and ministry away from the “program-maintenance model” toward a practice of spiritual imagination, discernment, transfigured awareness, and desire.

The two priests have recently shared ideas on contemplative formation, such as the work Fr. Justin did with a Stirrings of the Spirit Grant in 2015

and Holy Week liturgies and practices in parishes.

If you have an interest in these kinds of practice and would be encouraged by getting together to pray and study please get in touch with the Reverend Justin Lanier, Rector of St. Peter’s Church in Bennington, stpetersvt.org
802.442.2911 or fr.justin@stpetersvt.org
And if you would, please pray for this ministry.