By Christine Hall, Director of Way of the Spirit
Spiritual retreats are powerful opportunities to cultivate our best intentions for a life of faith, and help to grow the kind of courage needed to act as led by the Spirit.
Strengthen our best intentions
Retreats are all about intention—where you are aiming, or your sense of purpose. To be clear, intentions are not the same as New Years resolutions. Most of those well-meant goals fade after six weeks or so of challenges and weakening willpower. Intentions do something different inside us. They orient us through trial and error, both success and failure. They help convert an inner sense of Divine guidance into determined action. Continue reading
by Christine Betz Hall and Becky Wood
Becky Wood & June Thomasson
W hat Else is God Doing Among Us? —Chris
Not the people whose words flow easily and often in worship. Not the teachers who open hearts to new ideas and ways of living faithfully. Not the prophets who beckon us forward into scary places, and offer hopeful promise of God’s inbreaking newness. There are invisible ministers among us.
Nurturing Spirit-led service over months and years in the Way of the Spirit program, I’ve noticed that folks with quieter and more hidden leadings in ministry are at a disadvantage. The wider Western culture values the folks up front, the bold leaders and cutting edge social critics. Our communities of faith could miss the chance to celebrate what else God is doing among us. And faithful people moved toward secret prayer for others or spontaneous spiritual accompaniment may discount or dismiss how the Life and Power of the Holy is working through them.
Doing Something — Becky
This kind of ministry is like the body’s capillaries. Nobody talks about capillaries. But as a RN, I’m pretty aware of them. No one talks about capillaries succeeding or failing. They are the generally unspoken, invisible place of exchange in the body. It is a permeable place, small enough for tiny cooperations and transfers to take place. This is my image for the everyday goodnesses–the hidden ministries– the decisions that create space for the Holy to maneuver. Continue reading
by Christine Hall
M aybe you’ve seen those mechanical toys that change shape from robots to planes or cars with the shifting of a few pieces? What I’ve seen in participants in the Way of the Spirit program is transformation that’s deep and lasting, no plastic hinges required. What is it like to be transformed in faith? I offer a few reflections and the words of a Way of the Spirit program alumnus to answer that big question.
As founder and director of Way of the Spirit, I’ve celebrated many participant transformations. I’ve learned anew that God’s kind of transformation is not a once-for-all-time thing. It may begin with a bang of commitment or build slowly from within. But it’s never done. In Way of the Spirit, we are privileged to walk together in faith over two years, through six retreats, private online sharing, and monthly group calls. Our transformations are hopeful and life-giving. We gain freedom, trust, and responsiveness to the Spirit. For sturdy transformation through big transitions and challenges, we all benefit from the support of a praying support circle like Way of the Spirit. Continue reading