Simon and I met 8 years ago when he was on staff at the Iona Community and the leader for the youth pilgrimage from our church to Iona. Simon’s a gifted songwriter, musician, and will be ordained as an Interfaith Minister in June from One Spirit Seminary in New York City. It’s been a great gift to our church community to have Simon back with us leading worship.
On the first evening, we focused on “Touch” and explored body prayers. Simon de Voil taught us a body prayer that he had modified from the Islamic tradition. We then played with mirroring the postures depicted in the art of the exhibit and explored what opened up for us as we held a particular gesture or form.
After interacting with the art in this way, we laid hands on each other as we came forward with a particular body prayer that we held for the world, our loved ones, or ourselves. We sang, we passed the peace, and through it all learned new ways to pray, worship, and meet God.
For our second service, we explored anointing. Anointing is an ancient practice used for blessing, healing and protection. We began by a symbolic washing of hands – a washing away of what is in the way of our receiving the gift of anointing – doubt, hurt, anger, exhaustion.