Holy Ground- A Quarterly Reflection:
A couple in Mississippi looks forward to each issue of Holy Ground. It is difficult to live prayerfully in our consumer and consuming culture. This little newsletter is a reminder to stop, listen, and wait upon the Lord.
"Rest is not a virtue promoted in our culture. No one appreciates those who sit and pray or contemplate butterflies on rose bushes. But a contemplative lifestyle may be of more use in our culture than all our activities put together.”
- Kathy Bence
We recognize the need for meaningful relationships in our over committed culture and technologically connected world. We work as a resource to faith communities and churches, as well as individuals to nourish and sustain the individual and corporate encounter and ongoing relationship with the Holy in a time of chaotic change and breakdown of human relationships.“
"The principle work of the spirit is faith… the principle exercise of faith is prayer. ”
- John Calvin
Education for Transformation
A basic challenge of Christianity today is education for a transforming relationship with God. There is no lack of love for God in the world. There may be lack of understanding how that love is purified, matured and released through us into the world in redemptive service.
A woman came to us with multiple issues. She was very depressed and struggled with serious illness, work related problems, and grief. By attending to her story and what God seemed to be saying through her life experience and scripture, the woman gradually began to experience a sense of safety for honest self examination and the courage to make some life changes. She moved from a place of despair, bitterness, and deep hurt to acceptance, gratitude and joy. She is now a source of compassionate caring for many others.
Retreats, Workshops, Consultations:
A church, which recently merged with another congregation, asked for retreat leadership as they worked through a dark night of confusion, loss, fear. The Stephen Ministry of another church asked for help in responding to the severe losses many people in their congregation were dealing with. In both cases we responded with materials to educate about the process of spiritual growth and transformation through loss and suffering. We provided materials about the signs of this kind of growth, how to help others through it and the pitfalls. We also helped the participants connect more deeply with Christ. People left with a way to reframe the disruption, anxiety, and stress they and their churches were experiencing within the story of faith. They also gained a clearer understanding of how spiritual growth occurs. They had some tools with which to respond to the sense of chaos of those around them without losing their own peace and grounding in the peace of Christ.
We help people to connect with God, their deeper selves, and to their communities by discerning, praying, listening, and engaging in spiritual practices together. We suggest resources and offer guidance which deepen knowledge of God, knowledge of self, and knowledge of the other – the creation, people, and communities.
We help people connect through ministries of
• Formal spiritual guidance in person, on the phone, or by email
• Internet courses and retreats, and other resources
• Retreats and presentations for churches and groups held at various local sites
• A quarterly journal, Holy Ground, and other publications about contemplative life.
How We Work
Spiritual Nurture and Support for Contemplative Living
God in prayerful relationship to renew and release the living water of a believer’s heart is the vocation of us all. We believe the work of groups and individuals engaged in the simple, yet profound work of prayer is often overlooked in a culture that measures its worth and success on doing and accomplishing.
...the methods we use today have plunged us into a major crisis, a crisis in the way we live. We have a permitted a technology saturated way of life to disengage us from what is essential to our humanity, whether in relation to things or people. As a result we live at secondhand: relationships atrophy, enjoyment diminishes, life thins out.” - Eugene Peterson
Our Guiding Beliefs
Commitment to Sustained Prayer
The central work of The Sanctuary Foundation for Prayer is ongoing prayer for the needs of the world and the adoration of God. Twenty five years ago Executive Director, Loretta F. Ross, chose a path of prayer as the focus of her life and ministry. She spends considerable time in solitary prayer weekly, as well as extended periods several times each year. Living as a “solitary” in the midst of contemporary society may be a calling of a few. Turning and returning to