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     Janene Ternes, Director
   Prayer in Motion, LLC
   Saline, MI  48176
   734-347-2422
    
prayerinmotionllc@gmail.com

 

 

 

November 04, 2005

Saline woman puts prayer in motion

By Lisa Briggs
The Catholic Times

LANSING -Ask Janene Ternes and she'll gladly tell you that dancing can be prayerful.
The Ann Arbor woman, 50, and her Prayer in Motion dancers got to offer their special form of prayer Oct. 15 at Catechetical Saturday celebration at the Lansing Center.

Janene Ternes
"Movement in prayer helps us to pray,"
said Ternes, founder of Prayer in Motion and a member of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Ann Arbor. "It's similar to a mantra and works to connect us to God emotionally."
At Catechetical Saturday, Ternes' dancers were dressed in vibrant "Holy-Spirit" red dresses. They joyously wandered through the 500-plus seated guests at the end of the opening prayer service and demonstrated graceful sweeps of the arms, flowing strides and smooth movements of the body in unison.
Though those feet were agile and able, Ternes said, experiencing God's personal call to dance is meant for all levels of physical ability. "Because the focus is on prayer," she said, "one's dancing ability is inconsequential."
Ternes got into dancing six years ago, after her 45-year-old husband, Don, died of cancer. Losing her partner of 17 years was hard. During her grief, she took up ballet, and discovered it eased her grief and brought her joy.
"I decided to take ballet lessons as it was something I had always wanted to do," she writes at her Web site, www.prayer-in-motion. com. "My first night in class I felt something come alive in me and was excited by.the joy I felt after so long a time of mourning. Odd as it sounds, that was the first step in my return to God."
At about the same time, Fr. Jim McDougall, pastor at St. Francis, encouraged her to take a spiritu-Class at Manresa Jesuit Retreat
   

Janene Dancing
LITURGICAL DANCERS, led by Janene Ternes, captivated Catechetical Saturday audience members with spiritual-awakening dance movements.

 House in Bloomfield Hills. She signed up for the two-year program, which was based on spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. During the program, she took a five-day silent retreat where she discovered dance as prayer. Those two events changed her life. She quit her corporate job, after 15 years working at Manufacturing Data Systems Inc., an Ann Arbor-based subsidiary of Tecumseh Products Co., and became a spiritual director at St. Francis. She also decided to open her own company, Prayer In Motion, which teaches others how to pray through dance. Her classes — 90 minutes once a week for over four weeks —help people age 5 to 70 learn to pray through dance.
"This work continually tests my faith and strengthens my relationship with God as I see how he works through me," she writes at her Web site. "Amazingly, since embarking on this adventure of following God's call for my life, I have been happier than ever before, finding a deep sense of peace and joy in m y life."
Ternes said her own deep spirituality and background as a spiritual director serves as a foundation for the guided meditative dance program.
Ternes' program offers participants from all denominations a new avenue of growth in their relationship with God.
"Liturgical dance offers another way to be prayerful to the Lord. There are many channels in which we can express our love to Him. I find sacred dance very inspiring and I’m in complete

prayer with the Lord when I'm dancing," said Julie Chaffee, dancer and member of St. Francis of Assisi, Ann Arbor.
Chaffee met Ternes at a liturgical dance class at Concordia University in Ann Arbor. "When the dance class ended, we parted with our classmates wondering when we'd see each other again. Janene contacted me about an opportunity to join her and I responded," said Chaffee.
Prayer in Motion also offers customized presentations to parish groups, schools and organizations. Ternes speaks regularly at weekend workshops and retreats.
Ternes' work often targets specific themes such as "Moving through Grief," designed to help participants move through the stages of grief as they reflect on their loss through the framework of the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ. She has developed programs geared toward seniors, teens, children and physically challenged individuals.
"Dancers do not need full body movement," she said. "I recently facilitated a retreat where everyone was in wheelchairs."
"Praying through movement is a powerful way to experience your connection to God," she told Business Direct Weekly. "The movement acts as a mantra. The music opens the heart and the words reinforce the message. All of this serves to awaken your ability to express your deepest feelings in prayer."
For more information about Prayer in Motion, call (734) 429-7754 or e-mail prayerinmotionJT@aol.com.
 



   
     
 

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