Becoming a Presenter of Welcoming Prayer
A Note from the Welcoming Prayer Service Team
“Transmitting” is the most effective way to present the Welcoming Prayer practice. In presentations and workshops, the presenter doesn’t just teach a method or practice of prayer. Rather the presenter spiritually transmits a way of being in relationship with God. “The depth of one’s personal commitment to God is the basis of this transmission,” Thomas Keating said many times in many ways. “It is not so much the letter of the teaching as the being of the one who teaches that is most important.” That being of the one who teaches is formed over time through cooperating with the Spirit and practicing our practices. Such being cannot be taught but rather is “caught” as we grow in intimacy with God.
First and foremost, the Welcoming Prayer team asks that you take an honest assessment of the role of Welcoming Prayer in your life and of your commitment to the practice. If the Welcoming Prayer has become a part of you, and if you desire to transmit the power of the practice to others, then you are invited to consider becoming a Welcoming Prayer presenter.
Prerequisites to entering the process of formation to become a commissioned Welcoming Prayer presenter
- Faithful to a daily practice of Centering Prayer for at least three years
- Faithful to a regular practice of Welcoming Prayer
- Commissioned as a Centering Prayer presenter
Formation as a Welcoming Prayer presenter: Core Requirements
- Participate in the Contemplative Outreach online Welcoming Prayer course through Spirituality and Practice. You can read more about it and register here.
- Follow the 40-day Welcoming Prayer practice outlined in the Welcoming Prayer Contemplative Life Program (CLP) praxis booklet, available here. The booklet is also available in a digital PDF version.
- Be in touch with Contemplative Outreach leadership in your own area. If your area has a chapter, contact your local coordinator to let them know your desires and intentions with regard to Welcoming Prayer. If there is not a chapter in your area or you are not connected to a chapter, please reach out to the Welcoming Prayer Service Team.
- Apply to the Welcoming Prayer team to enter this process and to be assigned a mentor. Please contact Jim McElroy, CO Welcoming Prayer Service Team leader, firstname.lastname@example.org , for help in finding a mentor.
Presenter-in-Training Mentoring Process
Traditionally training to be a presenter has been called “formation.” This time is both a process and a journey. During this time, you enter more deeply into your practice and into your study of the Welcoming Prayer. Being intentional about practice and study is your part of the equation, your cooperation in the process, but you yourself don’t do the forming. The Welcoming Prayer team doesn’t form you. Your mentor doesn’t form you. Rather the Spirit forms you. Your mentor is not so much a teacher as a soul friend, with experience of presenting Welcoming Prayer to share, who accompanies you on this part of your spiritual journey.
Your companions on the way hope that the materials and resources developed by Contemplative Outreach and the Welcoming Prayer team will be a boon to you. As you move through the materials in the Spirituality and Practice course and the CLP booklet, review and discuss the content with your mentor—whatever resonates, baffles, or raises a reaction, in fact any response you have. Even more important than the content itself is your experience of how God is working in you and shaping you. That is, formation is more important than information. You need information but your formation is what makes you a presenter. Thus, take full advantage of the mentoring relationship to talk over not just what you read and study but also your practice, your process, and your spiritual journey.
Conferences with your mentor can be in person, over the phone, or via email, Skype, Facetime, Zoom, or by whatever method is mutually agreeable.
Further requirements for presenters-in-training
In addition to the core requirements detailed above, as a presenter-in-training you are asked to do the following:
- Effectively present the conferences of the Welcoming Prayer workshop in the presence of your assigned mentor;
- Be recommended for commissioning as a Welcoming Prayer presenter by your assigned mentor;
- Be recommended by chapter Coordinator/Contact Person or someone from Contemplative Outreach;
- Attend a 5- to 10-day Intensive Retreat during the Presenter-in-Training period or be willing to attend when one becomes available;
- Have thorough knowledge of Open Mind Open Heart by Thomas Keating, and familiarity with Invitation to Love, Intimacy with God, and the Spiritual Journey video series, available here on the Contemplative Outreach YouTube channel;
- View Jim McElroy’s twelve-minute presentation on the Welcoming Prayer for Centering Prayer 12-Step Outreach. Here’s the link: https://cp12stepoutreach.org/resources/the-welcoming-prayer-practice/
When you have completed all the requirements in mutual agreement with your mentor, the Welcoming Prayer team will review your application and commission you.
To begin the process outlined above, complete the application form and forward it to:
Welcoming Prayer Service Team Leader
Forward the recommendation form to your local coordinator or contact person and ask that person in turn to forward the completed recommendation form to Jim McElroy.
Thank you for your interest in the Welcoming Prayer and blessings on your journey!