NCLS Research

A time of quiet reflection

‘This time is yours, to rest, to reflect. Let go of the hustle and bustle, the planning and the purchasing. Let go and let God meet you in the quiet,’ said Jillian White, on a Sunday night at one of the final rest services in the Knox (Victoria) Baptist Church for the year. ‘Let God meet you as we reflect on the gift. The great eternal gift of Jesus. The Father gave the Son. The Son gave the Spirit. The Spirit gives us life so that we can give the gift of love. ‘The gift goes on. When your life is full of Christmas then your life is full of love. You can give away the present that began with God above. Just like ripples in the water the circles of our love extend. What started with the Father is a gift that has no end,’ quoted Jillian. ‘The gift goes on and on and on. Who are you giving gifts to? What gifts are you giving? What gifts will you receive?’ she asked, to set the congregation thinking.

Soft lighting

The auditorium at Knox was lit only by three gas lamps around a semicircle of chairs, and three large candles burning in the doorway of the large manger scene, the focus of attention. Folk sat on chairs or lay on cushions on the floor for the one-hour service. Quiet music was playing, including a lovely, very Australian CD by Rivertribe, and times of total silence.

After the service Jillian told the Witness, ‘Leigh Waters [the pastor’s wife] and I have been on a spiritual journey which has included doing the spiritual direction course at WellSpring. ‘This journey has changed my spiritual life dramatically and I have longed to share it. These rest services, which began this year, have been the culmination of a dream of Leigh's and mine.’


‘The topics come from our own contemplation in our quiet times, from our conversations with others or from our reading. It is always what God has laid on our hearts to share. Everybody is welcome,’ stressed Jillian. ‘It is Christ-based and our focus is always Christ. ‘The main demographic group at Knox is young married people with children and it is hard for them to get out on a Sunday night so we run the same program each month the following Thurs-day during the day. There is a core group of about 8-10 people who come every couple of months and others who have come two or three times over the year.

‘Next year the day and venue may change but the monthly Sunday night program will still be repeated during the following week,’ added Jillian. ‘We hope to add a weekend retreat of some sort to our program. Leigh and I already do two full-day retreats of ‘rest’ and two half day retreats. ‘Leigh and I are just a resource at them. We provide two or three scripture readings and a suggestion of how to go through a quiet day pause, ponder, reflect. ‘Some people go for a walk. Some sit in a room. Everyone needs to find their own space. WellSpring is one of the guideposts we have used to establish this program,’ said Jillian.

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