LifeStreams offers an experience of rest, relaxation and reflection in the midst of our busy lives. A program of Southern Community Church of Christ, LifeStreams seeks to cater for the needs of:
• the community that actively engaged with Southern Community Church of Christ
• the diverse networks within the wider Churches of Christ movement
• the wider communities and networks with which LifeStreams participants engage
• the diverse communities of faith within the City of Kingston and beyond
• the business/corporate/commercial world that is on our doorstep
Services and ResourcesLifeStreams offers a range of services and resources to support people in their experience of and reflection on life. These services include Spiritual Direction, Contemplation, Creative Arts, Massage, Myotherapy and Family Counselling.
What is Spiritual Direction?
Spiritual Direction is a prayerful process in which two people share a journey of discovery about God and life. At LifeStreams, trained and accredited Spiritual Directors are available to facilitate your personal spiritual journey. In a safe and welcoming environment, the spiritual director will help you pay attention to your experiences of God, and help you reflect on and learn from your everyday life experiences. For many people, spiritual direction becomes a source of healing, nurture and fulfillment.
Spiritual Direction encourages you to explore a closer relationship with God. The sheer busyness of life can make it difficult to notice God's presence and action in our daily routines. Yet, at the deepest level, all of us long for a more conscious experience of God's nearness and love. Spiritual Direction can help attune us to God’s presence by encouraging us to reflect more deeply on the various experiences of daily life, bringing a contemplative perspective to even the most routine of events. In turn, we begin to discern God's presence and grace in all the world, including our own lives, and may come to realise that God's spirit is truly with us every day and everywhere. We discover that God has been waiting for us to seek this closer relationship.
Perhaps spiritual directors would be more accurately called ‘spiritual companions’ because spiritual direction is not at all about being ‘directed.’ It is much more about being encouraged to draw closer to God and being supported by a fellow traveller as you do so. Spiritual direction can resource you for this journey, this relationship, no matter whether you attend a church, a mosque, a synagogue, a temple or none of these. God seeks you wherever you are, and spiritual directors are found in all faith groups. Why Might I Explore Spiritual Direction?
Reasons for which you might find Spiritual Direction helpful include:
• To help explore and integrate spirituality into your own daily life
• To help identify, reflect on and trust your own experiences of God
• To augment your discernment as you make difficult choices
• To provide a space to share and reflect on your struggles, losses and disappointments
• To discover a safe place of encouragement and affirmation
• To nurture your growing relationship with God, self, others and creation
How Does Spiritual Direction Happen?
It is the privilege and responsibility of a Spiritual Director to journey with you as you deepen your relationship with God and reflect on the insights gained in this whole-of-life process. Spiritual direction usually takes the form of confidential one-on-one conversations with your Spiritual Director. Questions and comfortable silence tend to figure prominently in spiritual direction conversations! LifeStreams Spiritual Directors have extensive training and formation and are well practised in the art of Spiritual Direction. Spiritual Directors nurture their own spiritual life by engaging in ongoing education, confidential supervision and meeting regularly with their own Spiritual Director.
What is Contemplation?
What is Contemplation?
Contemplation is the practice of thoughtful observation of life and the world, a process of intentional reflective practice that entails the opening of mind and heart to the present moment – the ‘noticing’ of things, if you like – so that, by attention to thought and feeling, one may be granted a deeper awareness. In fact. it has been said that contemplation is the root of awareness and creativity.
There are many reflective practices that come together under the umbrella of contemplation. LifeStreams offers opportunity to explore several of these practices, including mindfulness, meditation, prayer and the creative arts.
A Contemplative Gathering on the fourth Sunday evening each month draws on these practices to create 40 minutes of peace and stillness to calm the soul.
Meditative practice may include guided meditation, silent reflection on visual images, the repetition of bible verses or other mantras for contemplation, meditation to music, and more. Practices vary in length and style but the emphasis is generally on peace and stillness.
LifeStreams Retreats offer more extended opportunities for reflective practice, perhaps for half days or full days, and often focus on a particular theme, such as Finding Life, Seasons of Creation, Prayer, Finding God in the Everyday, Art, Journaling, Seasons of the Church Year, Yearning, Forgiveness, Rest, etc..
About the Creative Arts?
Breathe Gallery is a new LifeStreams project to establish a space for the display and practice of the creative arts. The Chapel was built in 1878 and has been a significant place of worship and spirituality ever since. It will provide display space for works of art, performance space for music and dramatic arts, quiet space for contemplation and prayer, and open space for play and exploration. All people are invited to share this space and to join us in this exciting journey.
As a centre for wholeness and wellbeing, LifeStreams affirms the integration of body, mind and spirit. This is reflected in the therapeutic services that are offered as part of the LifeStreams program, including massage, myotherapy, counselling and family therapy.
Massage works to benefit the whole body and has a direct influence on most of the systems of the body. It acts to stimulate the lymphatic system, the function of which is to nourish cells and help eliminate waste products from the body. Relaxation massage, as well as deep tissue techniques, are used according to the needs of the client to provide relief for tense, tired and aching muscles. Essential oils may be used and have the ability to work on the mental and emotional levels, as well as on the physical level.
Myotherapy is literally muscle therapy. Problems are assessed, and a variety of techniques are used to work on specific muscle groups. Sometimes it can be painful when a trigger point (sore spot within the muscle) is located and pressure applied. It is important to release these trigger points in order for the muscle to be able to relax. Myotherapy can be useful in the treatment of headaches, back pain, sports injuries, muscle pain, arthritis, stress and more.Counselling and Family Therapy .
This is just a part of the dream for LifeStreams. This dream had a beginning before now and will have an ending well beyond now, but for this moment in the journey, the following hopes and values will help shape the ‘place’ that is LifeStreams. Not just the physical space that we know as the LifeStreams Centre, but the ‘place’ that LifeStreams occupies within the life, ministry and mission of the people who are served by Southern Community Church of Christ.
Click here to read more about the values that help shape the LifeStreams Centre.