Throughout the period of Lent, I will be interviewing Friends that attend our meeting about their own Spiritual practices in nurturing their mind, body and spirit.
May we find blessings and community in the spirit of those around us.
This week: Kristyn Greenawald
How long have you been attending First Friends? What brought you to us?
In December 2014, I began attending Indy First Friends. I had one Quaker friend for 13 years or so, and appreciated the way his life seemed to be deeply and steadily impacted by his faith practice. As I began to look for a different faith community, I wanted to visit a Quaker congregation. I came one Sunday and loved the service, the silence, and the sunlit meeting room. I felt embraced as a friend even before I thought I might be a Friend. I have appreciated greatly the sense of exploration and affirmation I experience in this community.
Some of our focus on scripture this first week of Lent has been on Jesus venturing into the wilderness to find renewal and quiet. Can you tell us about your experience with nature and wilderness and how it's become an important part of your life?
My love of the outside experience has drawn me deeper into stillness and presence. Watching a sunset uncurl. Feeling a wind pass between a grove of trees. Working to escape gravity's pull up a hill. I would say these things bring me into now, neither ahead nor behind, and I hear the quiet voice of One who made it so, or kicked it off, or sparked the Big Bang.
What kinds of things beyond attending Meeting have you found helpful to find nourishment spiritually?
My faith story has its roots the in Presbyterian tradition and its trunk in United Methodist tradition. About fifteen years ago, I began to feel a shift and a change in my faith life after reading writings from Anne Lamott, Vinita Hampton Wright and Kristin Ohlson. Shortly after this faith shift, I had a body shift, becoming more active in my health and physical engagement with the world.
While these two shifts began, in my mind, as separate experiences, I soon found them leading to each other. Biking and hiking through the physical world broadened and inspired my spiritual life. As I bike, seeing the rhythm of the earth go from untilled, to dense green, to dry stalks gave me a connection to the rhythm of God.