Thursday, September 17, 2015

A Maturing Faith: Retreat Sept 26th, 2015

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On September 26th, I will be leading a very interesting retreat about second-half of life Christian faith at the First Congregational United Church of Christ.  That day, we'll explore some of the models of spiritual development, work through some group exercises to come up with our own model, chew on the words of saints and current authors, take time to eat together, sing, worship and play a little.

I'll be posting the order of the day here after the retreat, as well as some detailed notes about what we discovered as a group.  That way, even if you can't attend the retreat, you can follow along with our little group in Alpena, MI.  I'll also be posting some links to some great explanations of the many ways thinkers classify spiritual developmental stages.  Not sure any one of them is "right", but I have always believed that knowledge is like pure white light streaming through a stained glass window-- interpretations, even wildly different ones, can still be quite lovely and add to the whole picture of our deeper self understanding.

Here are some of the quotes I will be offering folks that day!

1.       “Every time God forgives us, God is saying that God's own rules do not matter as much as the relationship that God wants to create with us.”
― Richard RohrFalling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life

2.     " In the last analysis, the individual person is responsible for living his own life and for 'finding himself.' If he persists in shifting his responsibility to somebody else, he fails to find out the meaning of his own existence."  Thomas Merton

3.      "As we experience this love, there is a temptation at times to become hostile to our earlier understandings, feeling embarrassed that we were so "simple" or "naive," or "brainwashed" or whatever terms arise when we haven't come to terms with our own story. These past understandings aren't to be denied or dismissed; they're to be embraced. Those experiences belong. Love demands that they belong. That's where we were at that point in our life and God met us there. Those moments were necessary for us to arrive here, at this place at this time, as we are. Love frees us to embrace all of our history, the history in which all things are being made new.”
-Rob Bell, Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived

4.      “Philippians 2:5: “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” The words call us up short as to what we are actually supposed to be doing on this path: not just admiring Jesus, but acquiring his consciousness.”
-Cynthia Bourgeault, Wisdom Jesus

5.       “The Christian life is not about pleasing God the finger-shaker and judge. It is not about believing now or being good now for the sake of heaven later. It is about entering a relationship in the present that begins to change everything now. Spirituality is about this process: the opening of the heart to the God who is already here.”  ― Marcus J. Borg, The God We Never Knew: Beyond Dogmatic Religion to a More Authentic Contemporary Faith

6.       “One must not always think so much about what one should do, but rather what one should be. Our works do not ennoble us; but we must ennoble our works.” ― Meister Eckhart

7.       “Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which to look out Christ's compassion to the world. Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good; Yours are the hands with which he is to bless (people) now.” ― Teresa of Ávila

8.       We cannot live in a world that is not our own, in a world that is interpreted for us by others. An interpreted world is not a home. Part of the terror is to take back our own listening, to use our own voice, to see our own light. --Hildegard of Bingen

9.       “You know well enough that Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love with which we do them.”― Thérèse de Lisieux

   “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” --St. Francis of Assisi

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