Archive for the ‘taize’ Category

Taizé is an ecumenical monastic community in France where young people from all around the world are welcomed each summer to participate in prayer and chanting.

At 10 am on the morning of September 26th, the students in the student chapel service at Trinity Western University were introduced to Taizé and Brother Emile who came to visit Vancouver, B.C.

The following is an excerpt from an article in The B.C. Catholic:

Hymns tune heart in to deep prayer
Event structured like a typical day in the Taize monastery
The B.C. Catholic
Friday, 18 October 2013

Peaceful melodies echoed in the dimly lit Anglican Christ Church Cathedral as 30 voices from many denominations joined in a prayer gathering modelled on the praying of a monastic community in Taize, France.

“Many people at Taize discover that they can pray. They thought prayer was for people who were very knowledgeable in Christianity; they discover that prayer is accessible,” Brother Emile of Taize explained Sept. 28.

(…) The chants found popularity outside the ecumenical monastic community when many found the repetition helpful in concentration.

“We lead busy lives. We are distracted. We want to pray, but our minds are scattered,” he explained. “When you repeat a few words, what you’re singing enters you little by little.”

The day’s events culminated in evening prayers at St. Andrews-Wesley United Church, which welcomed 250 worshippers, according to Rev. Craig Vance, the event coordinator.

The Rev. Vance noted Brother Emile’s visit was sponsored by the Anglican, Catholic, and United Churches. The Taize Vancouver Facebook page, set up to facilitate the event, is now a hub of information on upcoming local gatherings.

Trinity Western University’s chapel welcomed the monk Sept. 26. “For the majority (of students), this was a very new and unfamiliar experience,” observed Jared Crossley, assistant director of student ministries…

More here:



See other posts on this blog about the contemplative spirituality offered to students at Trinity Western University by clicking HERE.


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Yesterday we read that the Dinangat believers had blended some of their old beliefs with the Bible, but when they heard the word of God, their eyes of understanding were opened. Today there are churches all over North America that could learn from the believers in Papua New Guinea, as they have blended many beliefs with Christianity. Even celebrity ‘Christian’ authors and speakers have joined in their muddy compromise.

For example, at First Metropolitan United Church (firstmetvictoria.com) in Victoria, B.C., you can participate in a Taize service, guided meditation and relaxation (developing compassion for oneself, drawing on Christian, Jewish, Buddhist and Sufi traditions), or register for Spiritual Guidance to share your soul’s journey and listen to the voice of the Beloved as S/He leads you deeper into life.

To add to the muddy mixture, this January at First Met you could have met popular Christian author Philip Yancey who headlined Epiphany Explorations 2011. Other noted participants were human rights activist Nontombi Naomi Tutu (daughter of Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu), and Raheel Raza (award-winning Muslim writer and interfaith advocate).

Here’s how the Vancouver Sun covered it…

Famed evangelical author breaks down barriers

‘Bridge-building’ Philip Yancey ruffles some feathers with his views on homosexuality, Muslims, atheists, mainline Christians and love

By Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun January 29, 2011

Philip Yancey is one of the world’s most successful evangelical authors, selling 15 million copies of his inspirational books, such as What’s So Amazing About Grace?

But, unlike many divisive U.S. evangelicals, the native of the Bible Belt state of Georgia is not afraid to mix with a variety of Christians, including mainline Protestants.

Breaking down barriers is what Yancey was doing last weekend in Victoria at Epiphany Explorations, where more than 500 evangelical-to-liberal Christians gathered for four days of talks and performances at First Metropolitan United Church.

In the midst of recovering from his latest conflict over homosexuality, Yancey, 61, said he sees himself as a “bridge-builder” among the world’s Christians, whom he is saddened to report have fragmented, literally, into 39,000 different denominations.

More here:

If you don’t take a fancy to Yancey and missed Epiphany Explorations 2011 at First Met, there’s always next year, when speakers will include environmental activist Elizabeth May (former Executive Director of the Sierra Club of Canada), and heretic/enemy of the cross, Marcus Borg.

Speaking of religious views ruffling plumage, surely a prolific author like Yancey is aware of that old phrase about fowl and feathers.

If Philip Yancey is a barrier breaker and bridge builder over such spiritually muddy waters, exactly where is this bridge leading?

[Note: Yancey recently spoke at Breakforth Canada and the 2011 Gay Christian Conference (http://www.gaychristian.net/conference/speakers.php).]





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Do the worship and chapel services of Trinity Western University in Langley, B.C. (Canada) lean toward contemplative spirituality? Is this university influencing their students to join the contemplative movement which is based on ancient spiritual disciplines and practices?

It appears that way.


Their worship resources include:

Gather, a premier Catholic-based hymnal that has resources for daily prayer, church rites, Mass, and Hymns and Songs arranged by the liturgical calendar.

Sing! A New Creation, a small hymnal that includes Iona and Taize songs.

Iona Abbey Music Book [Wild Goose], a collection of songs to complement the Iona Abbey Celtic spirituality

Taize 2005-2006, an up-to-date collection of the prayer songs used in the Taize Community in France (www.taize.fr/en)

Those can all be found at this URL:

More on-line resources at Trinity Western University include Catholic Prayers On-line, Catholic liturgical resources, Iona and Taize, at this URL:

There is more.


Last fall, according to the TWU Fall ’09 Chapel Guide, the following speakers and authors were invited in to speak at Trinity Western University…

*Sept. 23, 24
Gary Thomas (from Center for evangelical Spirituality Bellingham WA)

Note: Publishers Weekly said (on the back of his book Sacred Pathways) that Gary Thomas “shows great potential for becoming the Henri Nouwen of evangelicalism.” In his book, Sacred Pathways, Thomas instructs readers:

It is particularly difficult to describe this type of prayer in writing, as it is best taught in person. In general however, centering prayer works like this: Choose a word (Jesus or Father, for example) as a focus for contemplative prayer. Repeat the word silently in your mind for a set amount of time (say, twenty minutes) until your heart seems to be repeating the word by itself, just as naturally and involuntarily as breathing. (p. 185)

*Oct. 6
Scot McKnight (from North Park University, Chicago, IL)

McKnight is an emerging church leader who has written a book called The Real Mary: Why Evangelical Christians Can Embrace the Mother of Jesus, suggesting the protestants would do well to embrace the Roman Catholic Mary.

See here:

The Real Mary?

More on McKnight here:
Are Emerging Church Critics Too Critical?

There is still more.


This spring according to the Spring ’10 Chapel Guide, the following guests were invited in to speak at Trinity Western University…

*Jan. 13-14
Tom and Christine Sine
(Mustard Seed Association)

Tom Sine is the author of The New Conspirators. The Sines belong to a contemplative organization which promotes Celtic Christianity and the new monasticim. They were recently back in the area a few months later to speak at a conference in a nearby Alliance church (more here).

*Feb. 1-5
Rob Des Cotes (author of Fan the Flame: Meditations for Spiritual Direction)
Rob Des Cotes is also the author of Higher Than I: Meditations for Spiritual Direction, a book written in the tradition of contemplatives and mystics from the past to the present. He spoke in chapel during ‘Worshipping with the Ancient and Future Church’ week on ‘The Contemplative Traditions.’ He also teaches Contemplative Traditions at Trinity Western University, as well as courses on spirituality and the arts at Carey Theological College and Columbia Bible College. Rob also directs Imago Dei (MB), a contemplative community in Vancouver, B.C. (imagodeicommunity.ca) which is entrenched in Jesuit/Celtic/ancient Roman Catholic spirituality.

*March 10
Tricia McCrary Rhodes (author of Sacred Chaos -foreword by Gary Thomas)

In her book Sacred Chaos she teaches about Lectio Divina (p. 68), draws from the writings of mystic Madame Guyon (p. 79) and quotes from the anonymous author of The Cloud of Unknowing (p. 97). McCrary also wrote Soul at Rest A Journey in Contemplative Prayer. (Find out more about what is in these books here.)

This is only a small sampling of the contemplative and ancient Roman Catholic mysticism that may be influencing the Christian students who attend this Christian university, as they are being led across the ecumenical bridge over the muddy waters of contemplative spiritual formation.


Into the Arms of Rome Through Ancient Church Fathers and the Eucharist

Home to Rome

Ancient-Future Heresies

CANADA WATCH: Trinity Western University Teams Up with 24-7 Prayer

Trinity Western University Professor Promotes Tantric-like Spirituality – Serious Implications for Christianity

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The muddy spirituality of contemplative spiritual formation and Roman Catholic spiritual practices has entered many protestant churches. One such church is the Canadian Christian Missionary Alliance Church, where Jesuit Spirituality has entered in (the Circle Drive Alliance Church in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, to be precise, at http://www.cdac.ca).

Gary Bellamy is an ordained Pastor with the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church and has pastored for 23 years. Gary’s studies in the area of spiritual direction include studies at Canadian Theological Seminary, St. Michaels Franciscan order as well as Jesuit studies at Queen’s House. Gary is a licenced member of *Spiritual Direction International.


*Read more about SDI here:

Spiritual Direction

This Alliance church has several blogs. One is a blog for this spiritual director (http://blogs.cdacfamily.ca/garybellamy/) which talks about the desert fathers. They also have another blog (http://blogs.cdacfamily.ca/gordholtslander/)
which recommends the Queen’s House retreat center (http://www.queenshouse.org/index.shtml) for Taize prayer. This is a contemplative center which, besides offering Taize prayer, also promotes centering prayer.

It’s surprising to see that this has entered into the belly of evangelicalism. As the mud settles, we can only pray that the members of this church will begin to see more clearly and will be able to discern the truth before they are drawn completely away to the other side of the bridge over muddy waters.

Christian Missionary Alliance and Focus on the Family Canada leading Christians across the Contemplative Bridge

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