Rev Karen Urquhart
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Do you remember the days when you just sat and listened to a story? When you snuggled by the warm fire and opened a book and let your imagination loose?

Do you remember when life was simpler and had less to distract us? 

Reading is an excellent spiritual practice - especially in this season of Lent. Now we have the time to actually stop, sit, and read.... 

I remember back in school days, eagerly awaiting my turn to read a small section of a book aloud to the rest of the class. I was a little nervous but I loved the challenge. There was something special about sharing and expressing the words in my voice, with intonation and expression for the captive audience.

Reading aloud is good for us. Even if we are alone. Reading aloud allows us to not only read the text, but also hear it, and express it. We can gain depth and meaning from simply engaging our voice.

Reading to others is a free gift that we can offer to those around us in these times of isolation. 

Here are some suggestions for this time to return to the books crowding our shelves:

  • Build a time/s to read into your day. Set a goal to read a number of pages/chapters
  • Choose widely - not just technical books or the same stuff you would usually read. Use the opportunity to explore new genres, topics and styles. Poetry, sacred texts, fiction. 
  • If you are familiar with other languages, try reading a book in that language. Clergy might consider revisiting Biblical Greek and Hebrew when reading scripture.
  • Read aloud. Try it alone first. Feel the power and benefits. It will increase your self-confidence too!
  • Persevere and reach your goal
  • Read to those in your dwelling, your neighbour across the fence, your cat or dog, to God, to your deceased loved one
  • Call a friend and read to eachother
  • Call your grandchildren on Facetime, Zoom or Skype and read to them
  • Use your cell phone to record your voice and email the file to someone or post it on Social Media

I will be recording my own daily reading practice and share it on this website during this opportune time. Please feel free to share widely with anyone who may benefit from listening in. I enourage you to do likewise.