About Hidden Brook

Hidden Brook is a contemplative service using a rotation of different formats on the four or five Thursdays of each month. The first Thursday of each month incorporates prayer, chant, candlelight, silence, poetry, and music. Music from Taize is often woven through the service (see below for more about Taize), and each service is a unique creation. Each service has a theme which may be a person, historic event, or season.

The second Thursday of each month includes contemplation and discussion motivated by brief excerpts from the works of Thomas Merton.

The third Thursday of each month features centering prayer. A period of sharing and instruction precedes the centering prayer.

The fourth Thursday of each month is Compline or Evening Prayer.

The fifth Sunday of the month, when there is one, is Evensong.

Please plan to attend one or more of these Hidden Brook formats regularly.

This Week at Hidden Brook

Please join us for Hidden Brook at 7 pm on Thursday September 20 for the first session dedicated to Centering Prayer which will be led by the Rev. Libby Berman, Steve Steadman and Mary Skinner. We will begin with some general sharing of our prayer and any meditation practices we may have tried. Mary will briefly share some spiritual traditions of the early church that have influenced Centering Prayer and comment on a brochure with simple instructions for the practice. We will observe twenty minutes of silence partly accompanied by meditative music and afterwards talk briefly about how we may have experienced this period of silence.

Words About SILENCE

A great silent space holds all of nature in its embrace. It also holds you.

    --- Eckhart Tolle


Why Hidden Brook?

Our name "The Hidden Brook" resonates on several levels, both historic and spiritual. Literally, it describes the underground stream that runs down Russell Avenue and irrigated the celery farms that were on this land before the church was built. It was also the name of Good Shepherd's first nursery school. And now, for CGS's Thursday night community in the 21st century, it evokes the spiritual hidden brooks in all our lives -- sources of peace and refreshment that we can touch more deeply by spending time on our inner journeys -- individually, yet still together.

What is TAIZÉ?

Taizé services are characterized by quiet and candlelight, the repetition of melodious chants sung many times in many languages, a period of silence, and contemplative prayer. Let the songs sing themselves in you. Once you catch the tune, let yourself find the words -- in your heart or as you listen to your brothers and  sisters as they sing. Let your spirit move along  the path provided by rhythmic repetition, deeper and deeper into the stillness  and beauty of God's presence.


  • Light a candle,

  • hold an object from the altar,

  • or move to any part of the church you prefer.