As part of our renewal grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc., our congregation will be engaging in an ongoing process of discernment seeking to understand new ways to live our call to be a spiritual sanctuary for our entire community. We are a Protestant Christian congregation of the progressive United Church of Christ and as such are firmly rooted in our faith. That said, we know that wisdom is found in many spiritual traditions. As we know, “God is still speaking,” and we believe that many in our community are still seeking the Divine. Our discernment process will open us to new ways of hearing God’s still-speaking voice, and we hope that we can help others hear in new ways, too.
Our first event of this process is designed for people who are already engaged in church life to some degree — members, regular attenders, and those who feel themselves to be connected to the spiritual life of the church. The gathering, led by Virginia Blass, will be held April 16 from 9-2. Virginia will introduce us to the spiritual practices of the Jesuits, and lead us in a group discernment process using these Ignatian spiritual practices.
Virginia A. Blass, D.Min., M.A., M.Ed.: is an experienced and certified
Spiritual Director, preacher, author, consultant, and retreat master.
Virginia has been engaged in ministry for over twenty-five years.
Virginia Blass has engaged in ministry in collaboration with both the
Passionists and Jesuits of the Tri-Province for many years and is presently
a member of the Passionist Preacher’s Mission Band. She has offered many
presentations/workshops/retreats at Bishop Molloy Retreat Center in Jamaica,
New York, Campion Center, Weston, MA., and Eastern Point Retreat House in
Gloucester, MA. She has also been a presenter at the Ignatian Spirituality
Conferences in St. Louis, MO.
Virginia is presently on the parish staff at Immaculate Conception Parish in
Jamaica, NY in the position of Director of Spiritual Formative Ministries. Virginia has published: Loaves and Fishes: From Faith Experience to Empowered Community. (a book about a parish-based social outreach program.)
She, along with Fr. Henry (Harry) Cain have published materials (DVD and CD) on a comprehensive program on discernment entitled, “Is That You, God? Ignatian Discernment for Our Day”, and an Ignatian retreat program entitled “Putting Out into the Deep.”