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Center for Living Water


21 March 2022

By Daniel Harmon, Spirituality and Peace Center Coordinator

There are additional sacred ministries that will spring forth from the Temple as rivers of living water to help people soothe and resolve the brokenness and pain in their lives. Let the Temple continue to come to life as a sacred center for of worship, education, community building, and discipleship preparation for all ages.

Doctrine and Covenants 163:8b

The Temple is a symbol of invitation to new life. So it’s fitting that the Center for Living Water, a new Spirituality Center there, is seeking presence and birth, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This new ministry was envisioned with an emphasis on reaching those outside the institutional church who thirst deeply for spiritual meaning and community.

The Temple seems to be the perfect host. Its physical space and imagery provoke hope, curiosity, and wonder for all who encounter it. In a few months of working from the Temple, I have encountered numerous neighbors and visitors while outside the Temple who are awestruck by this spiraling structure. We first talk about the physical features, but inevitably the space summons these sacred strangers to explore their own spiritual and life journeys.

Even while closed to the public, the Temple brings a holy stirring. The ginkgo trees change their incredible colors during autumn. The stained glass above the World Plaza glows during dark nights. The sun shimmers off the steel spiral and stone labyrinth.

They all signal that this place—and its dedicated people—are ready to meet a transformative movement sweeping through the world during difficult and mysterious times.

The pandemic provides a challenging setting for a new center that hopes someday to offer in-person experiences focused on spirituality and peace. Even as faithfully discerned plans have been disrupted, the dynamic work of the Spirit continues.

A previously postponed labyrinth walk was rescheduled for October 2021. It safely offered live, reflective music, contemplative practice, and spiritual community to diverse participants. It created a sanctuary of peace in a fast-paced, anxious world.

Rather than waiting for the world to return to normal, we must seek understanding of the deeper spiritual invitation present amid challenges, uncertainty, and difficult questions. Then we must move forward with hope for a peaceful world.

As surging Covid cases shattered plans to begin hosting Taizé-influenced worship gatherings in the Temple, creative efforts of similar vision were crafted for online communities. One was offered in October on the International Day of Non-violence, and another was live-streamed in December to conclude the Advent season.

These two gatherings reached nearly 6,000 viewers. A gift of these events was the participation and leadership of those who reside outside traditional church experience. Through a new invitation to different forms of gathering, fresh life and calling were infused into music, prayer, sharing, and practice.

While facing changing circumstances, we met God in spontaneous and genuine response. We witnessed that amid all the world’s tumult and darkness a persistent spiritual yearning lives in the heart of our communities.

During disruptive and uncertain times, it may feel natural to retreat, but like living water, we are called to overcome barriers and obstacles, flowing to every space that needs to be filled with the renewing life of the Spirit.

Rather than waiting for the world to return to normal, we must seek understanding of the deeper spiritual invitation present amid challenges, uncertainty, and difficult questions. Then we must move forward with hope for a peaceful world.

As we continue finding our place in the Spirit’s current, there is hopeful anticipation of what is yet to come at the Center for Living Water. In the near future, we are exploring possibilities for spiritual-direction ministry, small-group opportunities, communal music as a form of prayer, personal and community experiences with the labyrinth, and more. We aren’t able to predict the future of the pandemic or the church, but we can awaken to God’s invitation each day.

Near and far, we pray you might join us in the ancient and always unfolding work of embodying Christ’s peace in every context we encounter.

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