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Discuss Soul Spark

Add your comments below about your experience of Soul Spark, whether in running the programme, or as a participant. Feel free to raise questions, make comments, discuss practice. This is a moderated discussion, but its light touch moderation.

22 Comments     0 Pings

By soulspark2admin Sun Oct 5th 2014 at 2:31 pm  

Welcome to the newly revamped Soul Spark website. I’ve decided to use WordPress to create this and so have transferred everything over. Hope it works for you!

I’m really interested to know where Soul Spark is being used, so if you are downloading resources for running it – add a comment letting us know where you are planning to run it. Later on you can add comments about how it went.

By Kevin Balkwill Thu Jan 22nd 2015 at 5:00 pm  

Hi

We plan to run SoulSpark at the Anglican Church of St Mark, Northriding, Johannesburg, South Africa. This will be for our Lent programme in 2015. Some of us have been involved in attending at other parishes or using SoulSpark in priests’ training in our diocese.

God bless

Kevin

By soulspark2admin Fri Jan 23rd 2015 at 10:16 am  

That’s great to hear Kevin. I’m in Joburg for a couple of days in March. It would great to meet. If you are interested email me. Nick@soulspark.org.uk

By valerie bexon Wed Jul 1st 2015 at 6:35 am  

Help!! I’m running the second session of soul spark this afternoon at 2pm and I can’t see the the flower on the ‘Flower of me Exercise’ – all I have is the text at the top and bottom of the page. I’m using a MAC if that makes any difference?? Could you describe it in words and I can draw it??

We are doing a ‘taster course’ with a group who have been practicing contemplative prayer. If we think its good we will run it across the Benefice in the Autumn. We are a rural benefice between Cirencester and Gloucester/Cheltenham.

By soulspark2admin Wed Jul 1st 2015 at 7:04 am  

Hi Valerie – sorry you are having a problem with the Flower of Me download. Using a Mac won’t be the issue – I’m a Mac user and the document was produced on a Mac! The diagram can take a bit of time to be displayed. I’ll email you direct with an alternative document.

Hope all goes well.

Nick

By Angie Lauener Wed Nov 12th 2014 at 6:17 am  

I will be using Soulspark in a monthly series at St. John’s Ranmoor, starting Thursday 13 November. It is good to be able to access the resources on this web site … but I cannot find my copy of the Grove booklet. Is it possible to get hold of the text electronically?

By soulspark2admin Wed Nov 12th 2014 at 9:01 pm  

Hi Angie – hope all goes well with Soul Spark at Ranmoor. You can purchase electronic copies from the Grove Books online store – http://www.grovebooks.co.uk

Best wishes

Nick

By Angie Lauener Thu Nov 13th 2014 at 7:08 am  

Thank you Nick – that is a great help.
I will let you know how it goes.
Angie

By Paul Maybury Sat Nov 22nd 2014 at 10:28 pm  

Hi Nick

We had our training day today with 18 potential leaders from across the diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf. We purchased 50 Grove booklets. The diocese is gearing up to run the course in the majority of parishes across the diocese. We will be running 2 more training days for leaders giving experience of the course using sessions 2, 3, 4, 5.

With best wishes.

Paul

By Neil Anderson Tue Jan 13th 2015 at 10:23 am  

On reading Chapter 4 of S96 Soul Spark and in particular Session 1 reference is made in section 4 page 11 (Stilling)to the fact that further ideas for stilling are on the web site. I have been unable to locate where. Please can you advise.
Many thanks
Neil

By soulspark2admin Thu Jan 15th 2015 at 10:10 pm  

Many thanks for your query Neil. My mistake. When revamping the website a few months back, I omitted to create the page with the extra resources that had been on the previous one which included a document on approaches to stilling. I have now added them to the Session 1 page.

I hope this helps.
Nick

By soulspark2admin Fri Feb 5th 2016 at 4:35 pm  

I recently received this by email, so I thought I’d post it here.

Our home group recently used the Soul Spark course, and members reported it being ‘revealing’, ‘enriching’ and ‘helpful’. It was different from our usual Bible study courses, making us focus on our spirituality rather than our knowledge and opinions.

The most important thing we learned was through the discipline of not interrupting whilst each gave their feedback on the prayer exercise; we are rather inclined to interrupt and so although the discipline was difficult for us, we all really appreciated it. We determined to keep this way of listening in mind and specifically suggest its use in future.

Thank you for the course.

Best wishes
Helen Pain

By Gillian Roberts Mon Feb 15th 2016 at 12:37 pm  

I am really excited about running Soul Spark as our Lent course this year, across a group of six rural parishes in Warwickshire, as “passionate spirituality” is an area we need to work on!

The Grove book refers to an A6 session card to hand out at the end of each session but I can’t spot this on the website?

By Nick Helm Mon Feb 15th 2016 at 4:19 pm  

Gillian – I pray it goes well for you and your group. I’m so glad you are excited by Soul Spark. The A6 session card is listed on each session’s resources as ‘Card’ and is laid out as an A4 sheet that can be printed then cut up into A6 cards.

Nick

By Iain Macfarlane Thu Mar 3rd 2016 at 11:25 am  

Hello. I’m having trouble in finding the led imaginative contemplation on Zaccheus in Luke 19 in Session 3. It’s not in the Grove Booklet or on the Session 3 webpage. Am I expected to write my own?
Thanks
Iain

By soulspark2admin Thu Mar 3rd 2016 at 10:24 pm  

Hi Iain

Thanks for your question. I chose not to provide a script for the imaginative contemplation as I believe that this is best led using your own words and your style. The brief descriptor of Imaginative Contemplation in the Grove Book gives the outline of what your leading should offer. Pray-as-you-go have a led contemplation that you can listen to here https://soundcloud.com/pray-as-you-go/imaginative-contemplation

By Iain Macfarlane Tue Mar 8th 2016 at 12:55 pm  

Thank you

By jeff Thu May 19th 2016 at 7:36 pm  

I am on the Soul Spark course with my Diocese in the UK We have just completed session 4.

I approached the course with certain expectations. Such as expectation of being led into a deeper relationship with God through Christ and prayer; expecting to be led into a deeper relationship with out Father God; to discover things about him that would mature that relationship. Instead I find a course that is all about me rather than Him. How I feel. How to engage in yoga like approaches to develop a deeper relationship and acceptance of myself. It seems very ‘me’ centred rather than Jesus centred. Playing with pictures or paintings rather than using the scriptures. i feel like I have joined a kindergarten for seekers rather than a seminary for seniors. Help!

By soulspark2admin Sun May 22nd 2016 at 5:59 pm  

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for taking the time to post your comments on your experience of Soul Spark. Let me offer some of the thinking that lies behind the shaping of Soul Spark.

Firstly, that intentional seeking to engage with God / Christ / Spirit is the primary action of the whole course. Through the six sessions we use scripture as a primary but not the only means for this and give time for this early in each session. Our relationship with God is like other relationships – in that it has two sides. The attention to ourselves that Soul Spark encourages is in order that it is our awareness of ourselves that we bring into relationship with God. I’m sure you have found some people difficult to get to a deeper relationship with because they never disclose anything of any personal depth. So Soul Spark seeks to enable greater personal depth of engagement with God through the personal reflection. Thus this personal ‘introspection’ has a purpose beyond the self – the deeper relationship with God. A second reason for the focus on feelings, is that our ability to discern movements of the Holy Spirit within us is greatly enhanced by our emotional awareness. Many of the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, etc (Gal 5)) are emotions. Our discernment of the Spirit’s movements will grow as we recognise the way in which our emotions are affected by experiences, what things affect our inner love joy peace one way or the other. In this way we are able to respond to Paul’s exhortation at the end of his description of the fruit of the Spirit to ‘keep in step with the Spirit’ (NIV). It is this that leads to a deeper and more passionate response to Christ in our lives – energising faithful and committed lives.

Soul Spark is by no means a complete answer to a deeper relationship with God. Can anything be other than God? It is actually fairly normal to spend the first few sessions wondering about whether its for me / whether it is sound / has any value!. Indeed it is found by some simply not where they are at or the sort of thing that helps them. I have always respected (and encourage leaders of Soul Spark to do the same) those who make the decision not to continue as its not for them. However, experience shows, that ‘hanging in there’ often leads through the fog into light.

I’m very happy to discuss this further if that would help.
May God bless you as you continue seeking a deeper relationship with him through Christ.

Nick

By Mandy Callf Tue Nov 15th 2016 at 11:28 am  

I seem unable to register on line. I am keen to run a soul sparks group in Cornwall and want to move this on. Help please!

By Geoff Stansfield Tue Mar 14th 2017 at 9:35 am  

Me neither ……. Very frustrating!!

I am looking for guidelines to use ‘awareness of all senses’ one week as a stilling exercise during our parish Lent Course. Any ideas, links?

By admin Tue Mar 14th 2017 at 10:08 am  

Hi Geoff, Sorry about the frustration regarding Registration. There is no way to register I’m afraid. The WordPress package I use for site design unhelpfully uses this as a header for the section and so far I’ve found no way of eliminating the word from the header.

With regards to ‘awareness of all senses’ I can’t recall using this with regards stilling. Its certainly something that is part of the approach to Imaginative Contemplation in the early stages of ‘entering the scene’ – looking at what is there, smelling the smells, hearing the sounds, touching things, tasting things… as appropriate.

In terms of stilling there are resources about this to download on the Session 1 page. The excellent Pray as You Go website has some examples of stilling exercises here http://pray-as-you-go.org/prayer-resources/prepare/

Hope this helps. May your Lent Course be blessed.

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