Welcome to the Heart of Texas chapter of Contemplative Outreach (HoTCO). We are an ecumenical group of women and men serving together to support those who want to deepen their relationship with God through the practice of Centering Prayer.
Centering Prayer is an ancient method of Christian prayer which prepares us to receive the gift of God’s presence, traditionally called contemplative prayer.
HoTCO is one of more than 90 active chapters in 39 countries formed by Contemplative Outreach, Ltd., a worldwide spiritual network that provides support and resources for Centering Prayer practitioners.
We offer Introduction to Centering Prayer workshops and retreats ranging from one to ten days in length.
We support Centering Prayer groups that meet daily, weekly and monthly in various churches, homes and institutions, as well as contemplative church services throughout the area.
- COVID-19 Updates:
- Most retreats have moved to a virtual, online format using Zoom conferencing. See below and check back for additional updates.
- Many local Centering Prayer groups are now meeting virtually using Zoom conferencing. For the latest updates, please see Prayer Groups.
- The Meditation Chapel currently offers many online opportunities each week to join others in Centering Prayer and Lectio Divina. These are a wonderful way to pray with others in community, while remaining at home. When looking at their calendar, note that the Centering Prayer groups meet in the ‘Thomas Keating Chapel.’
- You are invited:
- United in Prayer Day- Sat, Mar 6th– a globally-hosted 24-hour day of prayer accessible via Zoom, in honor of Thomas Keating’s birthday which is March 7th. Chapters from around the globe are participating, in multiple languages in multiple ways…including Lectio Divina and sacred readings, chants and videos. All participants can join at any time throughout the 24 hours. Each hour will begin with a time of Centering Prayer. HoTCO is hosting from 2:00pm to 3:00 pm Central time; the second half hour will feature a beautiful short video about Fr. Keating’s life with a time for reflection afterward. Click here for more information on the schedule and access to the global prayer day.
- Centering Prayer One-Day Virtual Retreat- Wed, Mar 10th 9:00 am – 12:00 pm Central Time– offered by the Church of Conscious Harmony via Zoom. A donation can be made when registering; please register by contacting CCH at 512-347-9673 or selecting this link.
- Lenten 5-Day Centering Prayer Retreat – Fri, Mar 12th 7:00pm to Tue, Mar 16th 10:30am– offered by the Church of Conscious Harmony. This is a dual-path retreat (a first – some will participate from home and some in-person at Cedarbrake Retreat Center). The retreat will be prayerful, quiet and spacious. There will be opportunities for all to join online for Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, prayerful movement/yoga and celebration of the Eucharist. There will be times for spiritual companioning, if desired, and expansive spaces of time on one’s own — to walk in nature, to read, journal, watch a video of Thomas Keating, or simply to rest. For more details and to register for either option; please select this link or contact CCH at 512-347-9673.
- The Four Consents: A Journey into the Fullness of Life Workshop – Sat, Mar 20th, 9:00am to 2:00 pm Central time – offered by the Oblate School of Theology via Zoom. The spiritual journey is a training in consent to God’s presence and to all reality — an invitation to welcome all of life — birth, growth, suffering, dying and death, as God’s precious gifts and to appreciate the universe with all its beauty and potentialities. This event is free; for more info and to register, select this link.
- For retreats in the year of 2021, please see retreats and introductory workshops. Retreats and workshops for 2021 will be updated as changes become available.
- The 12-Step Outreach service team will by led by Emily Haeussler and will have presenters for 2020. If you are interested, please contact Emily.
- Pamela Begeman is offering Welcoming Prayer workshops to the HoTCO community. The workshops can be 1-day or a series of evening meetings to accommodate your church or community. If you are interested, please contact Pamela.
- The 2021 Calendar of introductory workshops and retreats is tentatively set. Explore the events in 2021 and sign up for one!
- Pray in Community: Our list of local Prayer Groups will be continually updated in 2021. There are also several contemplative church services around town that we’re aware of. Information on these can be found on the Other Events page and will be updated as we receive new information.
- Consider supporting our Centering Prayer community by joining one of our Service Teams. We would love to hear from you regarding your interest in serving our chapter by mailing Lynne Roy or Kristi Michener. Your involvement in our Centering Prayer community is vital!
…when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
~ Matthew 6:6
Contemplative Prayer is the opening of mind and heart – our whole being – to God, the Ultimate Mystery, beyond thoughts, words and emotions, whom we know by faith is within us, closer than breathing, thinking, feeling and choosing; even closer than consciousness itself.
~ Fr. Thomas Keating, Open Mind, Open Heart