Adult Formation

Adult Formation

The Mystic in You

We understand that we are hard-wired to be in relationship with God and our theology tells us that God is active in our lives. Have you ever wondered how that happens? How God shows up? How we can be attentive to God’s presence? What helps us open ourselves to God? These are all great questions and some which we explore in our book study on the book, The Mystic in You: Discovering a God-filled World. The author, Bruce Epperly defines…

Where did Jesus walk? Why does it matter to us?

This past Wednesday we gathered together, enjoyed a meal together, and then engaged in a presentation that wove together Mother Barbara’s experiences and photographs of her Holy Land trip with scriptural references to the locations where Jesus traveled and all set within the cultural and political context of Jesus’ time. There was an opportunity to hear Mother Barbara’s spiritual insights from each of the locations as well as quiet time to reflect upon our own insights gleaned from the images…

Celtic Spirituality

Each week, about 15 of us gather together, share a meal, listen to the reading of a book regarding Old Growth Forests, and then engage in a lively conversation around the content in John Phillip Newell’s book, Christ of the Celts, the Healing of Creation. This eloquent and poetic book shares with us the ideals and truths of Celtic Spirituality, such as we are all made in the image of God, we are God’s beloved, and we are intrinsically connected…

Approaching the Gospels Together

On the first Sunday of the month we gather to explore the gospels together, using a Contemplative Dialogue approach which encourages everyone’s participation and which understands that wisdom is found in the hearts of everyone gathered. Today was no exception. We compared the texts of Mark, Matthew, and Luke and many unsettling topics settled into our hearts. Sometimes the path toward knowledge and truth lead us into difficult places first. We traveled a bit into what unclean spirits mean to…

Celtic Spirituality Series 2 Session #1

What is your deepest desire or yearning? This was the question answered by those gathered Wednesday evening as we continued our exploration of Celtic Spirituality. Some of the answers were: all people could be safe, a connection to something bigger than myself, acceptance, reunion, harmony, love that transcends boundaries, contentment, a sense of well-being, a more even playing field for all, unity. Not surprisingly, we realized that our deepest desires are also what we imagine God’s deepest desires to be.…

Praying with the Celtic Psalter: Does prayer fit into your day, or does your day fit into your prayer?

As part of our exploration of Celtic Spirituality, Mother Barbara has invited all of us to pray daily (morning and evening) with the book, Sounds of the Eternal: A Celtic Psalter by John Phillip Newell. Here’s a reflection by Jeanine Goodwin on her experience in preparation for our group conversation. Wanting to get an idea of what this next flight of formation would bring, about two weeks ago I engaged in the prayers in John Phillip Newell’s psalter, Sounds of…

Approaching the Gospels Together

This morning a group of us gathered with an ease of being together, with a shared sense of wanting to learn from each other, and with a desire to look closely at our scriptures. We read the text of Jesus’ baptism in the three synoptic gospels (seeing with one view or eye): Mark, Matthew, and Luke. We begin by reading the text in Mark (the first of the synoptic gospels written) and then read the same story from Matthew and…

Contemplative Practices: Mary Oliver Poetry

In the dimming light of the evening, draw together by the flame of an oil lamp, we gathered in a circle and read Mary Oliver’s poetry, in a contemplative way, pausing after each reading, allowing time for the words to settle into our souls. We found her poetry to be beautiful, shocking, challenging, descriptive of the journey of the soul, and the images of nature to be stunning. We all left a bit calmer, a bit more tuned into the…

The Work of the People: The Ridiculous Journey of Following Jesus

A number of us gathered on Wednesday evening for a time of sharing a meal, hearing new ideas, and sharing our thoughts in a safe and caring space. We began our 6-week program on following Jesus through the use of videos by a number of theologians. We began our study by reading scripture connected with the evening’s topic, since we as Episcopalians are people rooted in scripture. We listened to and engaged with the story of the Good Samaritan. We…

An Advent Journey with your Anglican Prayer Beads

As we anticipate the season of Advent, we are standing at a threshold, ready to go deeper into the mystery and presence of God. Intentionally poising our hearts to receive Christ in a brand new way is exciting, a bit scary, and always filled with wonder. We don’t know when or how it will happen, we just know that it will. However, often we miss this opportunity to receive the revelation of Christ, for we become so busy in the…

The essential paradox: Christ the King on the cross

This Sunday we celebrate the Feast Day of Christ the King. We end this liturgical year hearing the story of Jesus’ crucifixion. This has got to be the greatest paradox in all of our Christian faith and narrative. Have you ever wondered how the words “crucifixion of Jesus” are connected to “Christ the King”? What about this association could possibly make sense? In the gospel of Luke, a simple statement announces this dramatic act: Jesus is crucified, set between two…

Resurrection. Restoration. Reorientation.

After 24 hours of traveling from Jerusalem to Shippensburg, I arrived safely home. In the tiredness I feel this morning, and in light of the comments yesterday by others in our group that “I need a vacation from my vacation!”, I realize there’s a significant distinction between restoration, which we often get from a relaxing and restful vacation, and a pilgrimage which has led us to our place of resurrection. In my pondering, I believe restoration or renewal returns us,…