Our One Word: Creating Spiritual Joy and Depth
Women live uniquely demanding lives as providers, managers, caretakers, and, amidst those many roles, both chosen and cast upon them, the individual spirit sometimes loses her voice. To awaken this voice, Martha Bourlakas began a group for women in the...
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Women live uniquely demanding lives as providers, managers, caretakers, and, amidst those many roles, both chosen and cast upon them, the individual spirit sometimes loses her voice. To awaken this voice, Martha Bourlakas began a group for women in the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia called "Our One Word" to pray about and observe the secular, holy, and personal significance of one word each week. This simple goal affects participants in profound ways, and now Bourlakas shares their practice with the rest of us in book form. She provides a structure and resource for those who want to start a group, as well as meditation for anyone who wants to expand her or his own spiritual horizons. The book encompasses words Bourlakas has offered to groups in the weekly format and at weekend retreats. Each chapter focuses on a different word, such as Joy, Heart, Change. There are brief quotations from religious texts, literature, music, etc. that explicate the word, combined with her own perspective. Our One Word offers a way for individuals or groups to cultivate a hospitable, constant presence, modeling the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives--a way to celebrate, pray, just be.
Martha Johnson Bourlakas has a Master's in Education from Vanderbilt and an MFA in Creative Non-fiction from Spalding University, Louisville, Kentucky. She writes about life with a special needs child, authentic hospitality in faith communities, and the joy of sugar. She is the author of a women s spirituality curriculum called One Good Word and leads One Good Word groups and retreats for women seeking spiritual connection. She resides in Southwestern Virginia with her bishop husband, three daughters, two dogs, and one cat.