Blackberries

Christine Hall’s Blog

Blackberries & Burning Bushes: The Holy in the Ordinary

Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries…
           —From ‘Aurora Leigh’ Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)

Groaning our Prayers

Groaning our Prayers

Guttural, loud, gravelly deep in my throat, resonating in my chest and abdomen, emptying out a big belly breath to the dregs, sometimes a word or two but mostly beyond words—that’s a whole body groan. … I’ve been learning how to integrate groaning with prayer.

Rooted in Spirit

Rooted in Spirit

OVERNIGHT, AN EYE-CATCHING CURLY WILLOW TREE in my front yard crashed to the ground. I’m thankful nothing else was damaged. My family had marveled at its corkscrew branches, but harsh cold, rain, and then wind in the Pacific Northwest finally toppled it. We’ve since learned that Curly Willows have a really shallow root system.

A Contempt-Free Zone

A Contempt-Free Zone

LIKE AN UMBRELLA AGAINST A STORM, this holiday season I wish my home to be a contempt-free zone. Over the feasting, covering evenings with friends and a glass of wine, shielding family Zoom conversations… I’d like us out of the acid fall of biting, caustic words about “others.” 

Spiritual Facilitation Online

Spiritual Facilitation Online

WE ARE ALL EXPERIENCING NEW WAYS OF CONNECTING for worship and mutual support online. Some gatherings are more satisfying than others. What helps? This post speaks to facilitators of small group sessions for spiritual encouragement and growth—retreats, spiritual...

Listening in Tongues

Listening in Tongues

By Christine Hall IF WE CARE ABOUT vibrant, transformative faith communities, how do we help it happen? That’s the ideal we foster in Way of the Spirit—an 18 month program for learning and spiritual growth from Quaker spirituality. Over the years, we’ve taken up the...