Preacher of the Week: Carl McColman

Carl McColman, a contemplative writer, speaker, retreat leader and catechist, will serve as Lakeside’s Preacher of the Week from June 24-28. This week is supported by the Hottenroth Family.

McColman will lead the 10:30 a.m. Hoover Community Worship Service on Sunday, June 24.

In recognition of Hoover Auditorium’s 90th Anniversary, this worship service will include a special blessing and celebration of Hoover Auditorium.

After a car accident left him with his jaw temporarily wired shut, McColman’s commitment to writing and praying was renewed. It was this experience that led him to being an advocate for prayerful contemplate, which he calls “Christianity’s best-kept secret.”

He explored different spiritualties and found friends and refuge in a Trappist monastery near his home in Georgia.

McColman is a life-professed Lay Cistercian, a layperson under formal spiritual guidance of Cistercian monks.

“I’m not a monk, but monks are my spiritual teachers and guides,” he says. “As a Lay Cistercian, I bring the wisdom of the monastery that has been passed down through the centuries and make it available to the public at large.”

McColman also received formation in the practice of Christian spirituality and contemplative leadership through the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation in Washington, D.C.

He frequently leads retreats and speaks on the contemplative life at monasteries, retreat centers, cathedrals, parishes and seminaries.

“I love to interact with wisdom seekers of all faiths,” he adds. “I find that my faith in Christ is nurtured by a positive engagement with the contemplative teachings of the world’s great wisdom traditions.”

McColman has authored many books, including The Big Book of Christian Mysticism and Answering the Contemplative Call. His new book, The Little Book of Christian Mysticism, was published in April.

He regularly blogs on his website,, and Patheos, a blog about spirituality, and co-hosts the podcast “Encountering Silence.”

During his week at Lakeside, McColman will preach at 9:15 a.m. Monday-Thursday during Faith for Living Hour in Orchestra Hall.

At 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, June 26, he will lead Vespers by the Lake, held on the Pavilion East Deck. He will also lead a series of religious life workshops at 2 p.m. Monday, June 25-Wednesday, June 27 in the Wellness Center.

Additional Religious Life programs can be viewed here or in the Lakesider newspaper.

For those who wish to attend worship, a complimentary Church Pass may be obtained between 7:30-10:30 a.m. Sunday; valid until 3 p.m. A complimentary Faith for Living Hour Pass is available between 8:30-9:15 a.m. Monday-Thursday; valid until 1:30 p.m. Both of these passes include admission for guests and auto, but not access to the Grindley Aquatic & Wellness Campus.

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