Spiritual Life Committee Resources

  • A Guide to Lenten Reflections for 2023.
  • During this difficult time of Covid-19 pandemic, click here for suggestions of spiritual practices that might help you.

Spiritual life at Harcourt is promoted and fostered by the Spiritual Life Committee, which also oversees the work of Harcourt’s six Covenanted Spiritual Companions, all trained spiritual directors in their own right, who provide much of the specific programming. Among others, the group provides resources for deepening our spiritual practices, at most critical times of the Liturgical Year: Advent, Lent, and Holy Week.

Harcourt is a faith community

Harcourt is committed to encouraging and fostering the spiritual growth of people of all ages. We believe there are two prime dimensions to our spiritual growth:

The first is a deliberate and intentional effort at framing our life in terms of a spiritual journey with God toward God. This involves spiritual practice. Any regular, intentional practice which opens us to the presence of God can be considered a spiritual practice. Some are more traditional than others, but we tend to select the ones that work best for us. Harcourt provides opportunities to develop and deepen spiritual practices. We call this “spiritual formation.”

The second is a life-long exploration of our faith tradition. As a progressive congregation, Harcourt takes the Bible seriously but not literally, and constantly reworks ancient truths in terms of contemporary science and scholarship. Harcourt provides opportunities to develop a more relevant and intelligible understanding of our faith tradition. We call this “faith formation.”

At Harcourt, these go hand in hand:

Spiritual formation

  • Explore the website www.spiritualpractice.ca. It was designed with Harcourt congregants in mind, and offers you a wide range of introductions to all forms of spiritual practice.
  • Spend some time regularly with one of our covenanted spiritual companions as you develop your own regular spiritual practice.
  • Join the “Sacred Listening Circle” virtually at 11am every Sunday. Contact office@harcourtuc.ca for the link.
  • Participate in the annual Ecumenical Week of Guided Prayer
  • Periodically take time out for a silent retreat at any one of the three nearby Retreat Centres; Loyola House, Five Oaks, or Crieff Hills
  • Participate in Harcourt’s annual Congregational Retreat. Watch for announcements.
  • When you are ready, consider taking part in the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises in Daily life, offered every two years.
  • Join the Women’s Spirituality Group.

Faith formation

  • Take part in some of Harcourt’s Small Groups, exploring different aspects of Christian faith. Watch for announcements through the calendar, announcements, Harcourt Herald, and the weekly e-letter.
  • Join the regular sessions of Mindstretch
  • Join the regular sessions of “Explorations in Progressive Christianity.”
  • Join others in Webinars put on by the United Church. These are advertised in the weekly e-letter from the Church Office.
  • Read up on the latest biblical scholarship; browse through our Library, maybe through the on-line catalogue and review the Recommended Reading list
  • Start your own Small Group to discuss ideas and issues of particular interest to you.

If you are interested in any of the small groups or more information, we can help. Contact the Harcourt office.