A Message for the New Year


from the Governing Board of Contemplative Outreach

It is a new year – a time for celebration, for looking back at the highs and lows of the previous year, and looking forward to the future with anticipation and trust! This year, we will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of Contemplative Outreach.  We have evolved from a small group inspired to pass on the transforming gift of Centering Prayer to an organism that strives to serve the needs of Christian contemplatives through an expanding vision and deepening practice of Centering Prayer. Despite the loss of Fr. Thomas and the various iterations of leadership for our community over the years, the one thing that has remained constant is that Centering Prayer bonds us all together at a deep level. Theological Principle # 2 says “the daily practice of Centering Prayer is the primary expression of belonging.”

Within this community of belonging, volunteers are the servant leaders who help spread the vision, each with the particular gifts God has given them. Thomas teaches that “the primary act of leadership that anybody can perform for us is doing Centering Prayer twice daily and letting ourselves be led into the mystery of God within us” (Consenting to God as God Is). After that, he says we are called to figure out what we want to do, what we like to do, and what others confirm in us and support us to do. Then do it, trusting in the guidance of the Holy Spirit!

The Governing Board would like to thank and honor all those who are serving Contemplative Outreach this year, especially our volunteer servant leaders. Every gift of service is appreciated, no matter how small or large. Every person is valued as a member of our community. We encourage you to continue to discern where your gifts best serve the Body of Christ, and how you can encourage others to recognize their own call to service.

We look forward to celebrating 40 years of volunteer commitment and service when we can all meet together in Atlanta for the 2024 Global Conference, September 26-29. Until then, let us all hold each other in prayer.

– Thomas Carr, Mary Dwyer, Leslie Geer, Pat Johnson, Jim McElroy, Carol Quest, Diane Ryan