In Marjorie J. Thompson's Soul Feast, she defines spiritual disciplines as "certain practices [that] can help us attend to the work of grace in our lives and our times." These practices, such as scriptural meditation, prayer and discernment, serve as the source material for an upcoming webinar and virtual learning community led by Karla Minter.
During this time of uncertainty, it's easy to feel pulled apart. Priorities shift — new troubles to worry about and new things to dread. That's why Mennonite Mission Network has been offering The Hope Series on Facebook Live almost every day since the isolation of the pandemic began in the United States.
The most recent addition to this ever-growing series is Communities of Hope, virtual gatherings that bring people together around a certain subject. The newest of these virtual gatherings is titled "Spiritual practices for peacemakers: finding your center when you feel pulled apart." Karla Minter, Church Relations representative for Mission Network, is offering the webinar on June 4 at 7 p.m. Eastern time. During this webinar, she will invite participants to encounter or rediscover spiritual practices that create a daily rhythm to help turn despair and isolation into hope and community.
Minter said that the webinar isn't a lecture about spiritual practices. Rather, it is a retreat of sorts — an opportunity for people to come to a space where they can experience how spiritual practices can impact their life during this time of global crisis.
"It will be a webinar that is both informational and experiential," Minter said.
During the webinar, she will introduce participants to the spiritual practice of centering prayer. Centering prayer draws on the concept of "Be still and know that I am God" from Psalm 46:10. It focuses on the patterns of prayers throughout the day from the Jewish faith and the early Christian church.
Spiritual practices help an individual develop a "rule of life." This isn't the sort of rule that you would obey, but rather a structure or pattern of practices that someone would perform throughout the day to center themselves in Christ. There is no one rule that works for everyone.
"When you look at your life and assess where you are now and how you'd like to move into the future, you can choose for yourself which spiritual practices you need at that time," Minter said.
The webinar is also an opportunity for those who have an established "rule of life" to adapt or revisit parts of it that have been altered by the pandemic, Minter explained.
"These [practices] can change for different times of your life. This current global crisis might be calling people to adapt their spiritual practices. In this time, when we're experiencing a great deal of disorientation, returning to spiritual practices that are tried and true is a way to ground ourselves," Minter said. "People are feeling like they're adrift. This is an opportunity for [them to find their center]."
The "Spiritual practices for peacemakers" webinar will go live on June 4, 7p.m. ET. While the webinar is free, preregistration is encouraged. Click here to visit the registration page and sign up!