Pause and Reflect

To set the tone for the 2024 Festival of Homiletics’ theme of sustaining and nurturing the preaching life, we’ll offer various “Pause and Reflect” sessions for in-person participants throughout the Festival. These are practices or concepts you can take back into your context to nurture your spiritual life where you are. Look for:  

Taizé Prayer

Join us for Taizé! A time of prayerful song and quiet meditation. Allow the spaciousness of the chapel, the icons, the dim lighting, the Taizé community chants and the silence itself to hold you and give you peace we, “center down… sit quietly… and see oneself pass by” (Howard Thurman).

Expressive Art

Try something new and join for a facilitated creative, expressive art exercise! Lead Minister Elisabeth Jones from Cedar Park United in Quebec sums her experience up well:

“If you get a chance, DO this! The exercise—which includes gentle but clear disorientation, and moving out of brain to gut and heart—was a powerful form of self-expression that focused on process, not product. It was holy to reconnect with that part of my humanness and giftedness as a child of God.”

Jews Praying in Church? 

After Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue became the site of the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history, Calvary Episcopal Church opened its doors to the congregation for its High Holidays services. This Pause & Reflect Session will explore why and how this unique relationship can be a model for all communities, guided by Calvary Episcopal Rector Jonathon Jensen and Rabbi Jeffrey Myers of Tree of Life.

Cathedral Yoga

Yoga is a Divine practice. Come enjoy the inexplicably special and unique experience of yoga on the altar in a cathedral—among stained glass and at the feet of Jesus at the Last Supper… The sacredness of the space transforms the practice. Combine with poetry, music, and poses to soothe the soul and reconnect with the child of God that you are.

Self-Guided Option: Bible Verse Cards

At the info desks at East Liberty Presbyterian Church and Calvary Episcopal Church, there are Bible verse cards for you to use (and take with you) for meditation, reflection, and inspiration. You are welcome to use these cards in the chapel before or after a service, on your own throughout the Festival, or even during your travels back home.

Self-Guided Option: A Visual Walkthrough of Psalm 148

Visit the collection of paintings outside and inside the Hansen Room at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary: “A Call to Praise!” created by the artist Maritza Morgan. In eight paintings, the artist meditates on themes from the creation-focused Psalm 148:1-14.

Please note that all of these Pause and Reflect sessions are for in-person registrants – they will not be included in the livestream or recordings.