A Mid-Week Sabbath Break

Thomas Merton wrote in his book, Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal and Delight In Our Busy Lives:
“There is a pervasive form of contemporary violence. . . [and that is] activism and overwork. The rush and pressure of modern life are a form perhaps the common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to violence. The frenzy of our activism destroys our own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of our own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.”

Because most of us lack rest and time for reflection it affects our building and sustaining of family, community and our work environment. Our response to neighbor and friends is often negative; our problem solving is often done frantically and sometimes badly; and our patience is limited and soon runs out.

Sabbath time can take many forms but it is always a time for sacred rest: it may be a holy day – Saturday for Jews, Sunday for Christians; it may be an afternoon, a quiet walk, a ½ hour of reflection and prayer. A mid-week Sabbath break can be a time of listening, reflection, questioning or just sitting and enjoying the quiet of sacred space. That what we try to provide in our Tuesdays in the Chapel services each Tuesday from 12:30-1:05 in Wightman Chapel.

Our Tuesday service is simple, consisting of contemplative music, silent directed prayer, scripture, a message given by lay or clergy, and a response with a hymn and sending forth. Speakers are from a variety of denominations and music is primarily on the organ or piano. The schedule for the next several months is listed below:

May 3 Amy Harkness Glencliff Presbyterian
May 10 Garlinda Burton Nashville Freedom School Partnership
May 17 Poetry in Worship
May 24 Charles L. White Jr. Gordon Memorial United Methodist Church
May 31 Service of Remembrance

June 7 Jazz Service
June 14 Alton Hayes Unity Missionary Baptist
June 21 Tanya Eustace Discipleship Ministries, United Methodist
June 28 Allyn Maxfield Steele Scarritt Bennett Center, Program Assistant

Wayne Mueller in his book Sabbath says:
“Honesty, courage, kindness, civility, wisdom, compassion – these core human values can only be nourished in the soil of time and attention, and need experience and practice to come to harvest. Our core human values, the deepest and best of who we are, require the nourishment of time and care, if we are to grow and flourish.”

A mid-week Sabbath break provides the time and space for growth and renewal. Come and join us in this sacred space in the presence of the Holy One.

Joyce SohlJoyce D. Sohl has been Laywoman-in-Residence since 2009 as a full-time volunteer. She retired as CEO of United Methodist Women in 2004. She is the author of 4 books, a teacher, retreat leader, writer and non-professional musician. Here at the Center her work is in the area of Spirituality & the Arts with such programs as Tuesdays in the Chapel, Vespers & All That Jazz, Poet’s Corner, and quarterly retreats and art exhibits.