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Weekly, our Southern Tier Chapter of Contemplative Outreach offers a variety of opportunities to join with others in Centering Prayer Groups. A typical weekly meeting consists of a shared centering prayer experience, education and sharing. For example, a group meeting might begin with a 20-minute period of Centering Prayer followed by a time for educational enrichment on the conceptual background to Centering Prayer and the Christian contemplative heritage, and ending with experience-based sharing on the prayer and its effects in their daily life.3
Other groups will spend the second half of the hour practicing a form of Lectio Divina also referred to as "spiritual reading of Scripture" that inspires a deepening awareness of God’s presence and action in one's daily life. And, some groups may decide to read and discuss a book or view a DVD presentation and discuss its content together.
Centering Prayer groups generally remain open to new members, as participants often bring interested friends. If the group has a trained facilitator, the newcomers can be taught the method of Centering Prayer outside of the group meeting, or newcomers can attend the Introduction to Centering Prayer Workshop, which is regularly offered at churches throughout the Southern Tier of New York and Northern Pennsylvania.
Presently we have Centering Prayer Groups meeting weekly in Elmira, Corning, Watkins Glen, Ithaca and Vestal.