Thin Places

Re-discovered and re-introduced by Houston Smith, Marcus Borg, and others, “thin places” was an early Celtic Christian metaphor for those times or places when the boundary between the sacred and the everyday feels “thin,” when God’s presence is more strongly felt.

For the last 25 years, Thin Places has also been the title for a “modest ecumenical newsletter with a particular interest in the contemplative spiritual journey.”  Sent free to all who asked, Thin Places has more than 3,000 readers, ranging from Mennonites and Quakers to Episcopalians and Catholics, and including many clergy and religious.

A final note from Editors Marilyn and Alan Youel:

But the June/July/August 2024 issue will be its last. This special issue looks back over the publication’s 25-year journey and looks ahead to how readers can stay in touch with the region’s thriving contemplative community. As such, some might wish to keep it as a resource.

Looking back. From the beginning, Thin Places was seen primarily as a listing place for up-coming Opportunities for contemplatives to come together, to worship, to learn, and to feel connected. Each issue also offered a lead Meditation, Remembered Words from classic and contemporary contemplative authors, Reading Opportunities to consider, and the back-page reflections of the Afterwords. Altogether, it was hoped, a palette of possibilities.

With the end now at hand, gazing at a saved stack of  completed issues, the thought occurs that it might also be called,

                A Thousand-Page Accidental History

           of  the Region’s Contemplative Community

                     over the Last 25 Years

And so, it probably is. Most of the leaders of the area’s contemplative community have written Meditations for it. Over 200 churches, spirituality centers, and prayer groups have offered over 2,000 opportunities for contemplatives—who are a small minority in every denomination—to come together . . . in-person, and even virtually—many readers have said—as they read through each issue and see what’s happening. Paging through the stack feels something like paging through a family photo album.

Looking Ahead. Although Thin Places has ended, the many groups and organizations that have been its Principal Partners over the years remain open and active. Accordingly, the final issue provides key information about each of them so that you may learn more about them and their upcoming Opportunities. A newsletter has ended, but the real journey goes on.

For additional information or if you have questions, the Thin Places email address and phone (612.866.8752) will remain open until 2026.


Issue 119 (June/July/August 2024) final issue, with introduction from the first issue

Issue 118 (March/April/May 2024) with meditation by Emily Wilmer

Issue 117 (December 2023/January/February 2024) with meditation by the Rev. Margaret Fox

Issue 116 (September/October/November 2023) with meditation by Tim Hart-Andersen

Issue 115 (June/July/August 2023) with meditation by the Rev. Dr. David Tsai Shinn

Issue 114 (March/April/May 2023) with meditation by Bussho Lahn

Issue 113 (December 2022/January/February 2023) with meditation by the Rev. Wayne Albertson

Issue 112 (September/October/November 2022) with meditation by Anne Supplee

Issue 111(June/July/August 2022) with meditation by Dr. Christine Luna Munger

Issue 110 (March/April/May 2022) with meditation by Dan Johnson

Issue 109 (December 2021/January/February 2022) with meditation by the Rev. Karen Larson

Issue 108 (September/October/November 2021) with meditation by Brother John, Taizé Community, France

Issue 107 (June/July/August 2021) with meditation by the Rev. Dr. Matthew Skinner

Issue 106 (March/April/May 2021) with meditation by the Rev. Dean J. Seal

Issue 105 (December 2020/January/February 2021) with meditation by the Rev. Dr. Meghan Gage-Finn

Issue 104 (September/October/November 2020) with meditation by Dr. Amanda Weber

Issue 103 (June/July/August 2020) with meditation by Julie Champ

Issue 102 (March/April/May 2020) with meditation by the Rev. Daniel Wolpert

Issue 101 (December 2019/January/February 2020) with meditation by the Rev. Dr. Curtiss DeYoung

Issue 100 (September/October/November 2019) with meditation by the Right Rev. John Klassen, OSB

Issue 99 (June/July/August 2019) with meditation by the Rev. Kara Root

Issue 98 (March/April/May 2019) with meditation by the Rev. Matthew Johnson

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