Spiritual Formation Community - A Space for God - NEW! It’s not enough to hear the word of God on Sunday and expect to nurture a healthy relationship between God and self, and self and others. We need to come into God’s presence by living our lives embracing and being embraced by God. In the business of our lives, we find it difficult to make space for God. This small group explores creative ways to embrace and be embraced by a loving God, while deepening our own spiritual disciplines, through scripture, music, art, poetry and environment. Fall study guides are posted below. Enjoy! Please contact Linda with questions or if you are interested in joining the group. Week 11- December 11 It has been a joy and honor to walk with you during this Autumn season. May you continue to marvel at God’s love and embrace of your lives. May his work in your lives continue flowing through your journals. May the peace of Christ be with you during Advent and the Christmas season. See you next year! 1. Please watch and share Bethlehemian Rhapsody 2. Read The Little Monk by Harry Farrar (available through Amazon or on eBay). 3. JOURNAL: How does God embrace the little monk? How does the little monk embrace God? How does God embrace you? How do you embrace God? 4. Reflect on this quote from The Little Monk, p. 21: "Suddenly, he was seized by the awful knowledge of what the fall in the garden of Eden had done to even the smallest of God's innocent creatures. 'Please forgive me,' he said quietly to Purr. Then he whispered to all the animals of the world, 'Forgive me.'" 5. How might seeking and receiving God's forgiveness open us to seek the forgiveness of others? Week 10- December 4 1. Read Psalm 104, marking the words and phrases that speak to you. 2. Listen to "Every Season" by Nicole Nordeman. Lyrics. 3. JOURNAL: On the rhythm of God's involvement in creation (psalm 104) and in your own life (Every Season). Week 9- November 26 1. Read Psalm 104, marking the words and phrases that speak to you. 2. Listen to "War" by Strahan. See Lyrics. 3. Watch the two International Justice Mission videos. IJM is the organization that works to free people who have been exploited, trafficked, and wrongly imprisoned. Video1, Video2 4. JOURNAL: Reflect on the relationship between prayer and justice work. Write a prayer you are praying for a person or group who are facing injustice. Week 8- November 19 Break & Reflections. 5. Week 7- November 12 1. Listen to "Beatitudes" by Sweet Honey in the Rock. As you listen, pay attention to the sensory experience of their harmonies and the different senses evoked by the words. 2. Meditate on psalm 23 by listening as it is read (audio posted below). Imagine yourself in the psalm. Alternatively, have a loved one read it to you slowly, then do the same for them. 3. Take a walk through our sanctuary as you call to mind worship in that space. Reflect on the sensory aspects of your church worship gatherings and how it forms the Body in that place. 4. JOURNAL: How is God embracing you? How are you embracing God? 5. We will be meeting on November 15th at 6:45 p.m. at the Parish House. If you wish to have supper at the Parish House prior to the gathering you may participate in the Family Dinner at 6:00 p.m. Looking forward to this time with you as you continue to make space for God in your daily life. Week 6- November 5 1. Read the story and listen to the song "Little Girl." 2. Read Psalm 23, 3. Read through the names for God 4. JOURNAL: Which image of God is meaningful for you right now. Week 5- October 30 1. Read Psalm 23, posted below, highlighting words or phrases that touch your heart or mind. 2. Listen to "23rd Psalm" by Bobby McFerrin when you have a few moments without distraction. Reflect: How does the change in language shift your experience of the psalm? 3. Take a 15-minute walk and pray through the Jesus Prayer as you go. Some people appreciate using beads or a chotki rope of knots in their hands to keep them focused. I've used my breath as a way to keep focused: (breath in) Lord Jesus Christ, (breath out) have mercy on me a sinner. It will feel mechanical at first, but keep practicing with breath and prayer woven together. 4. Jesus Prayer…Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me a sinner. 5. JOURNAL: Reflect: How is your prayer answering God's first words to you? How does your prayer answer God's invitation to conversation? Week 4- October 23 Break & Reflections on the past three weeks. Week 3- October 16 1. Listen to "Veni Creator Spiritus" when you have a few moments without distraction. The translation of the Latin is with the music file below. This is one of the oldest and most used hymns (relative to how long it is has been sung in worship). It is believed to have been written by Rabanus Maurus in the 9th century. Blessed Rabanus was a Benedictine monk, theologian, biblical commentator and preacher, and ultimately an archbishop of Mainz. The hymn is used in both Roman Catholic and Protestant worship settings, especially for Pentecost, ordination and confirmation. 2. Reflect on Psalm 51. How does the Holy Spirit bring you to confession? Week 2- October 9 1. Listen to "The Friendly Beasts" by Sufjan Stevens and "O Leafy Branch" by Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), and either color a mandala or just close your eyes. 2. Read Psalm 51, highlighting words or phrases that touch your heart or mind. Share your reflection: How might seeking and receiving God's forgiveness open us to seek the forgiveness of others? 3. Take 15 minutes and intentionally hang out with your animal companion, or go searching for some little lifeforms in your area--the cardinals and black-capped chickadees. 4. JOURNAL: Feel free to follow the Holy Spirit's leading, journal something from the readings or music OR from your life which would be a fruitful reflection. Week 1- October 2 1. Pray through Psalm 51, AMP. Mark the words and phrases that your heart or mind connect with. Note memories or images that arise as your read and reread the psalm. 2. Read the short story, The Runaway, by Philip Yancey 3. Listen to When God Ran by Phillips, Craig and Dean 4. Take a walk or go to your prayer space and reflect: How is God embracing you? 5. Journal: How is God embracing you? Summer 2017 Week 7 - Summer 1. Listen to And can It Be (Amazing Love) sung by Glad. 2. Watch The Know Universe. 3. Watch the clip from Louie Giglio's sermon on our universe. A tiny openness (in our lives) to pray changes the world, because we are changed, and the ripple effects of that prayer has far reaching effects. In light of this enormous significance (even power) that God has given us each individually to cause changes in the world by our lives, please share a few sentences in your journal about "significant insignificance" and how God calls us to live in such a vast creation. 4. Read Psalm 4, highlighting words or phrases that touch your heart or mind. 5. Maintain your Journal reflecting on the Psalm. ABOUT THE JOURNAL: Topics for journals are for you and God to figure out. What is one main idea in the reading for the week that captured your attention? How did it connect with your life as disciple? How is the Holy Spirit being like yeast in your life as you make space for God? The hope for your weekly journal is to build a habit of reflecting prayerfully on your life in conversation with scripture and your world. Week 8 - Summer 1.Watch Piper, a Pixar short film (6 minutes). 2. Listen to "The Wood Song" by Emily Saliers. Emily Saliers, best known as one of the Indigo Girls, is the daughter of United Methodist pastor and theologian Don Saliers, and has authored a book with her father on music as a spiritual practice. Lyrics. 3. Read Psalm 44, marking the words and phrases that speak to you. Both the song and the film are hopeful in how they view waves and storms, but the psalmist is crushed and lamenting. 4.Take a walk and pray for your neighbors, for reconciliation and deeper community. 5. Write in your Journal. Reflect on these questions: What is your wave ("Piper") or storm ("The Wood Song") that you are trusting God to get you through? How does the psalmist, even in his lament, express his trust in God? 6. Remember: Let go of last week and all that you were not able to do. This is a new week and God is here to meet you in this moment. Week 6 - June 12 1. Listen to "Deliver Us" from The Prince of Egypt. Lyrics. 2. Read Psalm 44, marking the words and phrases that speak to you. 3. Now, listen to Michelle Pfeiffer and Sarah Dworsky's "When You Believe," from The Prince of Egypt. This song is just as they are about to go through the Red Sea. 4. Share/Journal a way that God has brought you through a Red Sea. 5. Spend time in gratitude for moments of deliverance - Journal as the Holy Spirit moves you.