Thursday, October 27, 2011

Invitation to Participants for the Academy for Spiritual Formation

I am honored to be serving as worship coordinator and musician for an upcoming two-year Academy for Spiritual Formation. Academy #33 will be at the Lindenwood Retreat Center near Anderson, Indiana starting in February. Participants, faculty, and leadership team will meet once a quarter for a five day retreat during the two year program.

The Academy experience is a program of the Upper Room for the renewal of the church. For laity and clergy alike, it is a holistic journey of deep spiritual growth that involves a daily rhythm of worship that frames the day, academic presentations exploring the depths of Christian spirituality, assigned times of silent reflection and prayer, the celebration of Eucharist, and evening covenant group. For me, attending my Academy was a life changing experience of immersing myself in the spiritual flow of many centuries of Christian faith. I am glad to give back to others in the hope that they, too, will nourish deep roots in God.

For more information and what the Academy can mean for your journey with God, check out the Academy for Spiritual Formation website. It has a nice video, information on upcoming Academies, registration information, and articles on topics such as what a typical day at the Academy is like.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

New Hymn on GBOD Website

The new hymn text I created for the fiftieth anniversary of Saint Mark UMC, "When Our Founders Built a Legacy," has been published by the General Board of Discipleship for use of churches who have anniversaries or building dedications.

You can find When Our Founders Built a Legacy published on the GBOD website.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

One Stroke of the Paintbrush

Lord Jesus, you do not call me to achieve or succeed. But neither to you call me to mediocrity.

What you call me toward is creativity. To be creative is to express the beauty and glory of God using the gifts I've been given ...

- to create blessing where there is cursing
- to create beauty where there is ugliness
- to create healthy atmosphere where there are unhealthy dynamics
- to create conversation where there is jockeying and positioning
- to create music where there is silence
- to create silence where there is noise
- to create appreciation where there is assumption
- to create reconciliation where there is resentment
- to create acceptance where there is no opportunity for reconciliation

Lord, I can't do it all, please everyone, or fix everything. But I can try to make the world a more beautiful place. I can't do everything, but I can do something. Forgive me for the sin of thinking I'm responsible for everything. That's your job. Forgive me for withdrawing and doing nothing, when you have given me a small candle to carry in the darkness with joy.

May I be overwhelmed with the joy of offering something, if only one stroke of the paintbrush on the massive canvas of what you are creating.