A note regarding rescheduling of the October retreat: We were preparing for our Healing Presence conference with much prayer, joy and hope, however due to the – understandable – request of our church leadership we need to cancel the October program because of the virus situation. There were many of you looking forward to these days, many made sacrifices (arranging kids, free days from work, financies), thus we know that it makes this decision hard.
The GOOD NEWS, however, is that we plan to have our conference at a new date, May 13-16, 2021. We booked the retreat center. Once registration opens for the May event we will let you all know about it and give you the priority to register.
We fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18) To acknowledge the Unseen Real requires a concerted effort of the will at first. We might think of it as actually practicing the Presence. The practice of the Presence then, is simply the discipline of calling to mind the truth that God is with us….Brother Lawrence, writing to a friend who is in great pain and suffering, tells her what it means to see the “sovereign Physician who is the healer of both body and soul,” with the eyes of the heart: 
I can feel that which faith teaches; I can sense what faith sees. This, of course works great assurance in me….So continue always with God. To be with Him is really your only support and your only comfort during affliction. 
Practicing the presence requires discipline but it gives us great assurance that God is with us and within us. We often do not remember, especially when we suffer, to acknowledge the Unseen and practice His Presence. We are often tempted by digital distractions or other hindrances instead of practicing His Presence. When we practice His Presence, He comes quickly to help us, encourage us, strengthen us and comfort us. In our time of affliction let us persist in practicing His Presence.
Gracious Lord, forgive us for not acknowledging the Unseen and practicing Your Presence. Enlarge our hearts so that we may enter into Your Unseen and Ultimate Reality and YourHeavenly kingdom. Nudge us gently back into Your Presence when we stray or are tempted by digital distractions and other hindrances. Like a good shepherd, lead us beside the still waters to refresh, encourage, and strengthen us in Your Presence. Thank you for the assurance that You are our Father and You are always with us.
 Leanne Payne, The Healing Presence (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 1995), p. 25, 26, 31.  Practicing His Presence: Frank Laubach, Brother Lawrence, Library of Spiritual Classics , vol. 1(Portland, ME: Christian Books, 1981), p. 6, 7.
Painting/Stained glass: Alfred Handel, d. 1946, photo:Toby Hudson St John the Baptist’s Anglican Church, Ashfield, New South Wales The Good Shepherd [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Meditation prepared by Mary Carrington, drawing on the writings and ministry of Leanne Payne.