Saturday, March 25, 2006

Spirituality resources birthed

Paul met God in a dramatic encounter. Peter met God step by step, in process. Which raises the question; how do we be intentional about connecting with the Peter’s we know.

rainbow.jpg To do so would value;
- Variety; creative, adaptive, flexible; issue and audience focused.
- Celebrate small; if we had lots of variety, then success would be 1, not 99.
- See people as pre-Christian, not anti-Christian; believe that God can be active in people’s lives before they were Christian. And this would change our conversation. It would not be us and them. It would be, how can any person, take a next step toward Jesus.
- Keep focused. Our activities would need to invite people into relating with Jesus.

Today I met with a group to bat around two concrete ideas in relation to spiritual resources;
- spirituality courses that explored spiritual practices in a small group setting
- rituals of change – offering a spirituality and rituals around birthing, including the 9 month preparation, birthing boxes, capturing emotions, baby room’s “dedication” prayers, prayers for sleepless nites, adoption rituals, grandparent rituals (memory book, symbolic actions), naming (home or church, formal or informal):

The five in the room (with four apologies) then discussed the following:


What energized us? Both ideas are very exciting. We love the birthing ideas. Writing is a felt need. Journalling is a felt need. We have people we would like to invite. We are journallers and have been blessed by journaling. When we compared our journaling we realized that we journal differently and we learn more from each other. Thus a journaling course will feed us. As we share how we journal, we are sharing our life in Christ. This is a missional sharing.

What are our fears? Inviting people. The time commitment. Will people come?

Details.
a) Spiritual courses: We will offer a course “Introduction to Journalling.” And will offer it as 4 weeks and then another 4 weeks of “Advanced Journalling.” We will advertise in local newspapers, especially in the Mind/Body/Soul sections. We will also advertise as a resource to Counsellors, Libraries, New Age book shops. We will offer limited places and early bird registrations. We will meet in the church foyer and offer coffee. We will charge – people will pay for a book, plus be expected to buy their own journal. We will use Spiritual Journaling by Richad Peace as a guide book. We could then offer Spiritual Autobiography, Contemplative Prayer. We will look to start in the Spring, when people’s energy lifts and when the change of seasons gives us time to reflect on change in our lives.

b) Family Spirituality: We will look to do this yearly. It would fit well as an option in our annual NorWest (Pentecost) festival. We will draw on the 8 couples in the church giving birth at the moment, plus new grandparents in the church, plus advertise in the community.

Posted by steve at 01:35 PM

4 Comments

  1. Steve
    In a similar journey with people offering spiritual accompaniment I am learning that we need
    to be profoundly Trinitarian in how we invite people to relate to God – this means that people might first relate to God the Father or God the Spirit and actually come to Jesus quite late in the process.

    This would suggest to me that the fourth of your values should be that we invite people into relating to God – rather than specifically Jesus. I think that this is in part that a relationship with the other two persons of the Trinity is perhaps more instinctive for spiritual people, and the defining moment of commitment (which may come late in the process as it did for Peter) is the recognition of Jesus as God too. Love the ritual of change ideas.
    Tom

    Comment by Tom Allen — March 26, 2006 @ 5:51 am

  2. Tom,
    that’s a really, really helpful insight. thanks heaps.

    are you able to flesh out a bit more what you’re doing, and whether it’s personal or group?

    steve

    Comment by steve — March 26, 2006 @ 7:57 am

  3. I really like the ideas here. Especially looking at the idea that spiritual growth is usually a process and not an outcome to be reached. Thanks for sharing. I see that a lot in the Bible and it’s good to see others who are thinking the same way. Like Jesus calling Peter and not saying come with me and you will catch fish (men) but come with me and I will teach you to be a fisher of men. It’s all about the process.

    Comment by Paul — March 26, 2006 @ 8:19 am

  4. This is fascinating Steve, and I’ll follow progress with great interest.

    I hadn’t come across the three books by Richard Peace before, and assume you rate them!

    I have been using the ‘essence’ course by Rob Frost. Its a very good backbone and has some excellent material although we adapted it a lot too, chopping out large sections that seemed either naff or inappropriate in this context, and adding our own stuff.

    We’ve so far run three courses at a local health centre, two in homes, one for a mums and toddlers group and are about to offer it to all the 800 staff in our local health service ‘primary care trust’, as part of the official stress management strategy.

    The doors seem wide open!

    Comment by richard — March 27, 2006 @ 8:22 pm

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