OGDEN -- The Congregational United Church of Christ is offering classes in personal spiritual practices. The classes begin Wednesday and continue on consecutive Wednesday evenings through Lent.
Spiritual practices or disciplines are regular activities taken to become closer or feel closer to God. The practices covered in this series are:
* Lectio divina, which is Scripture reading, meditation and prayer. Participants will learn how to choose a Scriptural text for the sole purpose of praying over it, rather than analyzing or studying it.
* Mantras, which are sounds, syllables, words or phrases that, when repeated, can lead to a spiritual transformation. Participants will learn to choose the mantra that works best for them, as well as how to use mantras in ways other than speaking: writing, carving, singing, knitting, and cross-stitch, for example.
* Taize, which is a form of worship using chant-like songs, candles and silence to achieve a reflective and peaceful experience. Participants will learn how to create an individual, personal Taize meditation.
* Harvesting memories, which is a way of reaching into the past to find times when one has been close to God. Participants will explore methods of finding memories from which they can build the spiritual practice, as well as recognizing current experiences that can become spiritual memories.
* Prayer "bento" boxes, which are portable, personal altars. Bento boxes originated in Japan as takeout or home-packed lunch containers, using separated segments to build beautiful arrangements of food. Participants will build their own prayer "bento" boxes in which they can arrange mementos and other items they can hold or meditate over while praying.
The Rev. Gage Church will lead the class sessions, which will be followed by a short worship service in which the individual spiritual practice will be put to use in a group setting.
The classes begin at 6:30 p.m. at the church at 3350 Harrison Blvd., behind and up the hill from Key Realty on the east side of Harrison.
The program series is free and open to the public.
For more information, call the church office at 801-392-5012.