Holiness in our midst – Session 15

Holiness in our Midst


I’ve recently re-discovered my most sacred space, the sanctuary of the First United Methodist Church in Nevada, IA. I feel heard when I pray in this setting. I am most connected to my ancestors there in the church where I first attended Sunday school and where family funerals were held. I was baptized there with my sisters and brother in 1955, the year my mother died. (“Do you feel any different now?” my mother asked me after I was baptized. “No, just wet,” I remember answering.)

It is the quietness that draws me. Wooden pews. Natural light drawn from blue-and-gold stained glass windows. My eye always returns to the window where Jesus is leading the sheep and holding a lamb. I identify with the lamb whenever I pray about issues where I’m in over my head; I feel held. The altar, covered with a silk cloth, bears the words: Holy, Holy, Holy. The altar was a gift to the church from my mother’s memorials. I fancy that my mother is happy the altar decor is changed for each season–with cornucopias, poinsettias and holly, or Easter lilies–like she would do with our family table. When I returned to Iowa from Chicago in 1988, I frequently went there to pray. The sacred space helped me through my grandmother’s final days. I went there seeking clarity as I made decisions on what to do after she passed away. These days I go there to pray for friends and family, community and national issues, the next stages of my life. In this space, more than any other, I never feel alone. This holy place informs my decisions, connecting me to my family who made decisions with great wisdom and faith.



Share about a space, personal or public, that is sacred to you.


  1. Read the above reflection aloud.
  2. Write a journal reflection about your sacred space: Why is it special? How does it bring you closer to God?


  1. Read aloud Session XV.
  2. Ask each person to answer the Story Circle Question.