Recovering your Inner Radiance

an online program
five Thursdays in October
and November 2024:
October 24 and 31; November 7, 14 and 21
6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Pacific Time
Barbara Birch, facilitator

Using the practice of lectio divina, we will explore Rufus Jones experience of ‘organic mysticism’ as described in his essays Why I Enroll with the Mystics (1932) and Recovery of the Lost Radiance (1936). Jones wrote of a spiritual experience that revitalized his faith, his sense of mission, and his physical health.

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Rufus Jones was a prolific Quaker writer and theologian. Some of his work can be intellectual and complex – in this workshop, we will encounter a different side of Rufus Jones through his unique essays Why I enroll with the Mystics (1932) and Recovery of the Lost Radiance  (1936). Through these, we will explore his concept of organic mysticism, an embodied spirituality which Jones considered “much more common than highly conscious mysticism.” Together we will read selections from these essays, meditate on them together, write and share our reflections, and practice silent Centering Prayer.

“The ultimate effect of contact with the central stream of life is a vast increase of both the joy and the power of life. There comes a sense of fusion of the finite and the infinite, a unification of the surface consciousness with the deeps which underlie it and with it an élan vital which dynamizes the life of action. The sense of “belonging” –He is mine and I am His–makes life feel like a new creation, and the assurance that “God is for us” helps to eliminate the paralysis of fear as well as of pessimism, or of cynicism. There comes a fine union of serenity and adventure.”

from Rufus Jones, Recovery of the Lost Radiance

Participants will need a journal or notebook and something to write with, or some way of recording your reflections that works for you.

It is not necessary to obtain your own copies of these essays. Electronic copies will be distributed to those who register for this program.

About the facilitator: Barbara Birch is a wife, mother of three daughters, and grandmother of two. She is a retired professor of Applied Linguistics, specializing in reading and writing. Barbara has been a Quaker for 35 years and is a member of Strawberry Creek Monthly Meeting in Berkeley, California. Identifying as both a liberal and Christocentric Friend, she is passionate about understanding early Quaker embodied spirituality and its relevance to modern Friends. She has offerred workshops at Friends General Conference and here at the Ben Lomond Quaker Center, where she serves on the Board. She has written articles for Friends Journal and Western Friend, and will soon have a book published called Lectio Divina: Revelation and Prophecy from John Hunt Publishing .

Click here to register.