Spiritual formation is the activity of the Holy Spirit which molds our lives into the likeness of Jesus Christ. This likeness is one of deep intimacy with God and genuine compassion for all of creation. The Spirit works not only in the lives of individuals but also in the church, shaping it into the Body of Christ. We cooperate with this work of the Spirit through certain practices that make us more open and responsive to the Spirit’s touch, disciplines such as Sabbath keeping, works of compassion and justice, discernment, worship, hospitality, spiritual friendships, and contemplative silence. (Office of Spiritual Formation, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.))
ADVENT DEVOTIONAL GROUPS
I know a man of such mildness and kindness it is trying to change my life. He does not preach, teach, but simply is. It is astonishing, for he is Christ’s ambassador truly, by rule and act. But, more, he is kind with the sort of kindness that shines out, but is resolute, not fooled. He has eaten the dark hours and could also, I think, soldier for God, riding out under the storm clouds, against the world’s pride and unkindness with both unassailable sweetness, and consoling word. (from Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver; p. 134.
Mary Oliver’s brilliantly crafted words have provided respite and inspiration to many people in our frantic world. The Salt Project has produced a companion to Mary Oliver’s poetry for Advent. Each week of Advent, the study offers scripture, poetry, reflection, prayer, hymns, and daily practices. You are invited to join a group to share in this Advent preparation for Christmas.
Groups will meet on Thursdays, November 30, and December 7, 14, and 21. You will need to purchase or borrow Mary Oliver’s book Devotions. The book is available on Amazon or copies will be available on loan from Elizabeth Boulware or the church library. Study guides will be provided. When you register, please select which group works best for your schedule: Trinity Terrace chapel at 9 a.m. led by Ann Hoch and Elizabeth Boulware; First Presbyterian Church room 100 at noon led by Carol Toombs; or First Presbyterian Church room 100 at 5:30 p.m. led by Karen Hosch and Jimmy Defoor.