Richard Beck, in his book Stranger God, writes:
“Hearts aren’t easily changed. You can’t change hearts with pep talks, protests, podcasts, Facebook rants, tweets, or a really good sermon. Hearts require spiritual formation through habits and practices that directly address the social and psychological dynamics at work that keep us from seeing and welcoming each other…. Our emotions change when we begin to adopt practices that slowly, over time, reconfigure our feelings and affections.”
“Hearts aren’t easily changed.” Change comes as we “adopt practices that slowly, over time” reconfigure our hearts. Richard Beck is talking about spiritual disciplines: habits and practices that open us to the grace, mercy, and presence of God in order that as we commune with God, we experience growth in God.
At church, we often get the opportunity to learn and there is certainly great benefit to that. We often get the opportunity to serve and it is a blessing to join God in his mission. But we also need opportunities to practice more contemplative spiritual disciplines. So, we will be having three Spiritual Discipline Retreats each year and we want each partner to go on one of these retreats every three years. These experiences will focus on equipping us to establish habits and practices that enable us to go deeper in our relationship with God.
Our first retreat is Saturday, September 29. We will meet together early in the morning, spend the day out in the country at our retreat site (indoors, full kitchen and bathrooms) and come back after dinner that evening. The cost is $20 and will cover food and other expenses.
If you would like to be a part of our first retreat on the 29th, please let us know. More info to come on this retreat and future retreats.