August - December 2009
I am excited
to send you my new Prayer in Motion Newsletter! This has been
my focus for the last
getting familiar with the software and transferring my contact
information into this new
fully implemented it will enable me to send all my email
communications in a more
effective and professional way. Since I haven’t written since
July, I have a few months
to catch you
August 2009 Happenings
I had my
busiest August ever with 4 really different
programs. I began with presenting at a
Faith and Sharing retreat in Detroit. Much
to my surprise attendees included a deaf
woman, a blind woman and several severely
physically and cognitively impaired
participants. It was challenging to keep
the deaf woman in sight so she could copy
the movements while verbally explaining all
the movements to the blind woman. Amidst
this intense focus I looked over at a tiny
woman with cerebral palsy bent over her
wheelchair, only able to move one hand. As
I watched her, she struggled to keep her
head somewhat upright, while slightly moving
her hand to the music, all the while glowing
with the brightest smile I have ever seen.
Truly the Holy Spirit was at work in her!
It is a sight I will never forget and likely
the most memorable moment of 2009!
day I headed for a youth camp in Oxford
being sponsored by the REJ Foundation, a
non-profit organization dedicated to helping
youth whose parents are in prison. I was
asked to be the kick off for the camp
experience ... before the group had bonded
and before the ground rules had been
implemented. With youth ranging in age from
6 to 17 it was likely the hardest I've ever
worked! But gradually the group began to
come together, with the angry teenagers who
felt somehow deceived at being sent to camp
actually helping the little ones determine
their left from their right. Bless God!
August programs included a seniors group in
Lansing, which once again included a deaf
woman and the same blind woman from the
retreat earlier in August who couldn't seem
to get enough of movement prayer. I was
also blessed to give a retreat at my sister
and her husband's church in Georgia. It was
a special experience to tell my story and
pray with family members and so many who
were dear to them. One participant called
me later in the fall for some coaching on
starting a similar ministry at her church in
South Carolina. Slowly but surely Prayer in
Motion is spreading through the country!
After all this activity I was glad to
vacation at my sister and brother-in-law's
lovely lake home in Georgia.
September - November 2009 Adventures
brought me a new directee to companion
through the Spiritual Exercises of St.
Ignatius, this time on my own, having
completed the training with my mentor Jean
last May. It continues to be an awesome
experience of watching God at work.
Additionally I met with 12 other directees
for regular spiritual direction and
supervised 2 commissioned spiritual
directors, as well as one intern who was
still in training. My one-on-one work is
very precious to me as I get to journey with
people through their intimate process of
was another busy month, beginning with a
retreat for St. Clare Episcopal Church held
at a YMCA camp in the Irish Hills. Located
on 1,200 acres, the hardest part was finding
the building they were in! My GPS blew a
fuse and I was driving through muddy, rutted
roads in the pouring rain, identifying
landmarks I passed by over the phone to the
person coordinating the retreat as he talked
me in. With little time to spare when I
finally arrived and a blazing inferno in the
fireplace directly behind where they asked
me to stand, I found myself sweating
profusely and praying fervently for help!
The Spirit's calm did take over and an
amazingly spiritual experience resulted for
all those in attendance. Another highlight
for October was a return to St. Joseph
Shrine in the Irish Hills to present at
their women's retreat. It was like coming
home, such a lovely, welcoming group they
were. Also in October I was asked to
present to the class of spiritual direction
interns at the Dominican Center as well as a
large group of catechists in the Downriver
Vicariate of the Archdiocese of Detroit.
brought a beautiful retreat on "Hope" at
Weber Center. While attendance was not
large, it was a very moving, uplifting
experience and an opportunity to prepare
many new songs. It is amazing how many
songs have been written about hope lately,
clearly something many are struggling with
these days. Another highlight was an Advent
Tea at Cana Lutheran on the first Sunday of
Advent. It was a lovely evening that has
resulted in an upcoming breakfast program
for another church. I love how that works!
December 2009 Joy
December I held an Advent retreat day at St.
Paul of the Cross Retreat Center which
included a husband, wife and daughter as
well as a mother-in-law and her
daughter-in-law which made for some precious
family interactions. As God usually works,
it helped me to find my own focus in the
Christmas season that had gotten
scattered. I also had the great joy to
work with the angels again in the St.
Francis Living Nativity Procession. It is a
precious yet busy time of choreographing
dances for 5-6 year old and 7-10 year old
angels complete with halos and wings. Each
year something unexpected happens (like last
year when the live donkey was standing in
the middle of the aisle they were to dance
down!). This year the stairs where they
were to complete their dance were occupied
by several dozen shepherds that had to be
quickly moved over just as the angels
arrived. But Christ was born, alleluia!
the completion of my December programs I got
my usual December illness. This year it took
the form of a cold/perhaps flu which lasted
3 weeks. Because of the congestion, my
vertigo returned and I struggled with
dizziness and some difficulty hearing again
for about 6 weeks until I could get in to
see the ENT doctor. Add to this nearly 2
weeks of intestinal difficulties and you can
see why my newsletter is later than usual
The New Year ahead holds much promise and
opportunity and I am grateful to share it
Prayer in Motion, LLC ... Let the Spirit
July 29, 2009
Dear Family and Friends,
I hope you have been enjoying this wonderful summer! I was able
to get away for a week at the
Ternes family cottage in Canada in early July, as well as
experience much of God in nature during
my personal retreat at Capuchin Retreat Center just this past
week. I am writing you at this time
of Prayer in Motion, LLC’s 6 year anniversary. I had the lovely
opportunity to commemorate the 5
year mark with many of you last year and God has continued to be
so faithful and present during
this past year as well. Thanks to all of you for your continued
love and support throughout this
During this past quarter I
presented the last in a series of “Women and Mid-Life” workshops
conjunction with St. Paul of the Cross Retreat Center. For two
years we have worked together to
provide this vital program on the physical, emotional and
spiritual aspects of change to nurses
which was accredited by the Michigan Nurses Association. We are
hopeful to renew the program
through the Michigan Holistic Nurses Association and continue
presenting more workshops.
Also at St. Paul of the Cross I held a wonderful retreat day on
joy. Many of those in attendance
came with heavy hearts but all left with a new appreciation for
what joy is, having experienced it in
a new way together.
I also had the
great opportunity to be involved in the NCCL (National
Conference of Catechetical Leaders) conference in April. I was chosen to present a
poster on praying with movement,
which afforded me the chance to showcase Prayer in Motion as
well as make many contacts.
In addition, I danced with Sr. Kathleen Matz’s Providence
Dancers, participating in a couple of
prayer services that week. I also attended many excellent
workshops, learning valuable infor-
mation for my work at St. Francis parish. It was an amazing but
exhausting time as I commuted
to Dearborn for 5 days, leaving often before 7am and returning
Building on my
contacts with the Archdiocese of Detroit, I was asked to present
a program for
the DSCL (Detroit Society of Catechetical Leaders). It was
a real opportunity to share my story
and enable many who work in the church to be refreshed and
renewed through movement prayer.
Also growing are my contacts within the Episcopal Church, thanks
to an original referral by long
time friend, Ann Putallaz, to present at their statewide
Ministry Fair in 2005. Each year they
contact me to present and this year I was asked to conduct two
sessions because of the interest.
I smile at how fearful I was about “networking” 6 years ago and
how far God has brought me in
realizing this is really all about building relationships, of
which He has blessed me with many.
relationship has been with the Capuchin Retreat Center. In June
I was asked to
present again to their women’s spirituality group. This time
they requested a program about God
in nature which was held outside. What a lovely setting, lovely
evening and a lovely group of
women who reveled in God’s beauty through Prayer in Motion!
Most intriguing of all was a deaf
woman who attended, participated fully and had a wonderful
experience. This came at the same
time as a contact from someone in charge of the deaf ministry
for the Lansing Diocese. I can only wonder
what God has mind in this regard!
Saving the best
for last, I am most excited to announce the redesign of my web site by my
Perkins, owner of My WebWelder. It was a gracious
gift of self on her part which involved many,
many hours of creative and technical energy. While the old web
site has served me well
thanks to Eric Puravs who created and has continued to help
maintain it since the beginning!),
together Sherry and I have created something that much better
portrays who Prayer in Motion has come to be and what we have to
offer. It is full of photos that really capture the essence of
with movement. Please visit my new site at your earliest
opportunity. I’d love to know what you
think about the redesign, as well as of course, anything you
might find with it that isn’t working!
visiting my “new” web site, check out the Upcoming section to
see the many
programs I have coming up. Most immediately I’ll be presenting
on Saturday at a Faith and
Sharing Retreat the Archdiocese of Detroit is giving this
weekend, inspired by the ministry of
Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arch Communities worldwide. Then on
Sunday I’ll be in Oxford for a
return engagement with the REJ Foundation campers, youth at risk
whose mothers are in prison.
At the end of the month I’ll be visiting my sister Judy and her
husband in Georgia, where they have
arranged for me
to do a program at their church, Sacred Heart of Hartwell. I am
excited to take
Motion out of state again!
Prayer in Motion, LLC … Let the Spirit move you!
April 16, 2009
Dear Family and Friends,
hope that you had a blessed Easter! Mine was much
enhanced this year because of leading a wonderful woman through the
Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Our weekly
meetings under the prayerful tutelage of my mentor, Jean McGarty, taught
me much and fed me spiritually as I reviewed and re-experienced the
powerful moving of the Spirit through her inspired journey.
January began a little rocky as I dealt with having a leaking water
heater replaced, Mellow’s surgery to remove a growth from her eyelid and
presenting a session on “Experiencing God in Prayer” at the St. Francis
Common Conference – all in the same 24 hour period!
Somehow despite the chaos of my life at that time, along with being up
most of the night taking care of Mellow, with the Spirit’s leading I was
able to calmly guide participants through various types of prayer and
feel God’s peace myself. It continues to amaze me
how God works through my many limitations to accomplish His work.
Not to mention how He always sends me the help when I need it –
many thanks to my brother-in-law Paul for the water heater install!
In February I facilitated a middle school girls retreat at Dexter United
Methodist. They had an unbelievable amount of energy
while at the same time an amazing insight and ability to speak about
their faith, which I have only witnessed in people much older than their
early teen years. It was truly my privilege to spend
the day with them. A couple of weeks later I
traveled to Lansing
to be with an incredible group of women at St. Gerard’s.
They call themselves the N.E.W. Group – Nurturing Exceptional
Women, which seems aptly named. I have worked with
the children at St. Gerard’s a few times and found them to be quite
exceptional too. Truly this is a thriving parish!
Also in February I conducted a day retreat at
on forgiveness. This was by far the most awesome
retreat I have ever done. The Spirit was so palpably
present as I watched participants work through their hurts and begin the
life-changing work of forgiveness. This was a new
program for me and I had been struggling with a way to organize the
prayer experiences to lead them through the process of forgiveness.
A casual conversation with my Spiritual Exercises mentor, Jean,
led to her lending me a book on forgiveness which turned out to be
exactly what I needed to put it all together.
Another amazing gift of the Spirit!
In early March much of my time and energy was dedicated to my part time
work at St. Francis. After a remarkable weekend at a
spiritual direction conference on suffering last fall, I was supported
by my pastor to bring the presenter, Richard Hauser, SJ, to speak at our
parish. Coupled with this, I organized small groups
to meet during Lent to discuss his book, “Finding God in Troubled
Times,” which became our Lenten theme. Between
finding small group facilitators and training for them, getting a
reprinting of books that were out of print, organizing the details for
the evening he spoke including dinner, childcare and handouts for an
unknown number of people who would attend and then getting everyone
assigned to the small group they wanted, my St. Francis work quickly
overtook all else in my life. I am happy to say that
all went well, many were touched by Fr. Hauser’s words and book, and my
life is much calmer now!
At the end of March, just as I was catching my breath from the St.
Francis work, I had the occasion to present at the
Michigan Young Adult Conference in
Detroit. It was a combined
event between the Archdiocese of Detroit
and the Lansing
Diocese that provided a wonderful opportunity to get to know several
young adults and share their faith journeys.
Prayer in Motion, LLC … Let the Spirit move you!