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Our first season of Soul Collectives begins this Thursday evening, January 18 at 7pm. Whether you are interested or curious please feel welcome. From this meeting you can choose to attend the next five meetings.

Some of us participated in our introduction last June, when we were calling the group Spiritual Collectives. 'Soul Collectives' fits our St John's context and history better - thinking of Soul Space, and Art and Soul.  I am excited about the intention of the group which is to cultivate an awareness of  the presence of the Divine through nature, art, poetry, music, sacred and other texts and our personal interaction with these. This is a time to listen to each other, it is not a discussion group so much as a time to be attentive to how the Divine can speak to us through shared experience. 

Our Christian tradition used to rely on the witness of nature and art to keep it grounded, yet has developed into a religion that is much more text based. Thankfully the Contemplative movement has invited us again into the great Silence. Yet there is an experience of  the Divine that is alive in the space between words and silence.  God speaks through creation and the 'image of God' (human beings.) This voice is resonant in nature, the arts and our personal experience.  In Soul Collectives we pay attention to the presence of the Divine as it shows up  in our everyday encounter with these. 

Each Collective consists of 4 to 8 people who meet for 6 weeks. In each group we take turns to share what we have heard, learnt, doubted, believed, been enlivened by, or been challenged by, during the week. As a person shares, there is no interruption or advice giving, disagreement, or correction. Group members listen and pay attention to what resonates through what they hear and see. This method gives us a chance to listen for what the Divine might be sayin to us through another person but  just as importantly it gives each member of the group a chance to be heard.

For our first season of Soul Collectives we will be meeting once a week at 7pm on Thursday. We expect to finish between 8 and 830. The meetings will be on Zoom for the darker months, transitioning to in person (if the group would prefer) in the lighter months.

It is important to know that because we meet only for 6 weeks at a time and that as far as it is up to us, that we attend at all 6, or least 4 of those 6 meetings as it is a small group and so much of experience is about sharing with others. However because each session is of 6 weeks duration if you can't attend this 6 week offering there will be another session that might suit you as we hope to offer three to four Soul Collectives a year.

 To find out more, contact the office at St John the Divine with the subject line “Soul Collective” and you will be directed to Cornelia van Voorst who is happy to answer any questions.

Cornelia van Voorst is a contemporary Visual Artist and Theopoetic practitioner. Her Theopoetics is expressed through visual art, writing, speaking, curating and small group facilitation. Cornelia is Artist Advocate at St John the Divine Anglican Church and Creative Prayer Facilitator with Convergence