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Color Where the Spirit Leads

Contemplative coloring inspired Sharon Seyfarth Garner ’89 to write Praying with Mandalas: A Colorful, Contemplative Practice and Mandalas, Candles, and Prayer: A Simply Centered Advent (Upper Room Books).

Rev. Sharon Seyfarth Garner ’89, Director & Founder of Belly of the Whale Spiritual Direction & Retreat Ministries LLC, found her calling while volunteering for the Peace Corps in Benin, West Africa. She enrolled in seminary not having a clue where the journey would take her. And now, blessed for the journey, she declares with resounding faith, “God is good and I am grateful!”

Known as the "Mandala Pastor” to many inspired by her ministry, Garner lights up the room with excitement when talking about contemplative coloring — a creative way to pray. Her books are devoted to the art of coloring with a purpose for meditation and prayer. The circular mandalas of her books’ devotional pattern represent the all-encompassing nature of God and is a reminder of the sacredness at the center of each of us.

Always looking for new and meaningful ways to share, Garner created contemplative prayer cards for women's groups through a prison ministry. The deep spiritual connections made in this program reinforce the power of prayer.

"Take time to be still," Garner stresses. "We need to allow time for just being. It is not a luxury, it is a necessity."