If you live in or near Decatur Georgia (metro Atlanta), I hope you’ll come to the Christian Mysticism Weekend at Oakhurst Baptist Church on April 15 and 16. Here’s the write-up about the event that appears on Oakhurst’s website:
What is Christian Mysticism?
“Mysticism” is one of those words that confuses some people, alarms others, and intrigues still others. But what is it? Is there such a thing as Christian mysticism? Is it in the Bible? Can it be relevant to us today? How does Christian mysticism relate to the spirituality of other religions, such as Sufism or Kabbalah or Zen?
On Friday and Saturday, April 15-16, 2011, Oakhurst Baptist Church is offering a retreat with local author Carl McColman that will address these and other questions.
On Friday evening, Carl will explore what mysticism is (and isn’t), where it comes from, and why it matters to ordinary Christians.
On Saturday, Carl will introduce an ancient practice called Lectio Divina (Latin for “Sacred Reading”), which combines a prayerful approach to reading the Bible with meditation and contemplation. Different from (and complementary to) traditional Bible study, this spiritual practice fosters intimacy with God through seeking his presence in the Word, opening our minds and hearts to him, but then resting in profound silence as a response to Psalm 46:10: “Be still, and know that I am God.” This is a simple, safe, and prayerful spiritual practice that anyone can incorporate into their daily devotion.
The retreat will be held at Oakhurst Baptist Church, 222 East Lake Drive, Decatur, Georgia 30030. No out-of-town travel is involved, and there is no overnight stay. The retreat sessions are Friday, April 15, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m., and Saturday, April 16, 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. A light homemade lunch will be served on Saturday.
Anyone of any religious background is welcome. Dress comfortably and bring a Bible and a notebook or journal.
Suggested donation for the retreat is $35. All money will be received at the Friday evening session.
To register for the retreat, or for more information, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
For directions to Oakhurst Baptist Church, click the Where We Meet link.
About Carl McColman
Carl McColman is the author of The Big Book of Christian Mysticism: The Essential Guide to Contemplative Spirituality and The Lion, the Mouse and the Dawn Treader: Spiritual Lessons from C. S. Lewis’s Narnia. He blogs about Christian spirituality and mysticism at the “Website of Unknowing” (www.anamchara.com <http://www.anamchara.com>). His writing has also appeared at the Huffington Post, Beliefnet, Patheos, and various print publications.
Carl received training in Christian meditation and contemplation at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, and in the art of spiritual direction through the Institute for Pastoral Studies in Atlanta. In 2007 he became a lay associate of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia, where he continues his spiritual practice under the guidance of the Trappist monks.
Carl attended college at James Madison University and George Mason University, where he received a Master of Arts in Professional Writing and Editing. He is married to Fran and is the stepfather to her daughter. Carl is a not-too-strict vegan (he cheats with honey and eggs) and keeps saying that one of these days he is going to learn to play the guitar.