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MARCH 2019
To our United Methodist friends: We see you. We’re with you. We love you.
Read the full note here.
Resources for This Lenten Season

Lent 101
Ash Wednesday & Holy Week Prayers
Invitation to Lenten Practice — Join us for Lenten morning prayer with Beth A. Richardson and Upper Room staff.  Beginning on Ash Wednesday, March 6, 9:00 a.m. (CST) and continuing on Wednesdays through Holy Week, we will meet online for 15 minutes to pray together. Visit our website for more information.
Beth A. Richardson

In the spiritual tradition, wilderness is the place where we leave the world behind and place ourselves at God’s disposal.
—Daniel Wolpert, Leading a Life with God*

The wilderness is a wild place. John the Baptist came from the wilderness wearing camel skins, eating locusts and wild honey, and proclaiming the coming of Christ. After his baptism, Jesus entered the wilderness and prepared for his ministry. The Desert Fathers and Mothers of the 3rd century moved to the desert so they could pray and commune with God without distractions.

We all end up in a wilderness at some point in our lives. Sometimes we enter the wilderness because we sense a call – we go on a silent retreat knowing that we will face the wildness of our thoughts and emotions as soon as we become still. We take an action that causes pain or conflict. Some of us enter the wilderness willingly – facing difficult truths about addictions or processing painful memories from the past. But often, desert experiences come without our choice – through illness, death, loss of jobs or dreams.

Whether we go willingly into the desert or, uncomfortably, simply find ourselves there, we can trust that we’re not alone. God meets us there in the wilderness, in the deserted places of our lives.

We offer this email as the season of Lent is beginning. During the coming weeks, I invite you to notice the places of wilderness in your life and to watch for the signs of God’s presence. Enter into the desert within and let yourself face the wildness that appears. Let your desert places be transformed into the open spaces where the Spirit creates new life.


Beth A. Richardson serves as the director of prayer and Upper Room worship life.

Watch Beth's reflections on doubt and faith.

First published in Alive Now, March/April 2012. Copyright © 2012 The Upper Room.
*Leading a Life with God: The Practice of Spiritual Leadership by Daniel Wolpert. Copyright © 2006 by Daniel Wolpert. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books.

From the Academy Podcast

Healing, Death, and Dying in Today’s World

This recording produced by the Academy for Spiritual Formation features excerpts from faculty presenters. Listen to other Academy podcasts here.

Entering the Desert Way
David Rensberger

"In a sense everyone who has chosen the life of commitment to God has chosen the desert." Read more of Weavings writer David Rensberger's thoughts on desert.

A Lenten Spiritual Practice — Wilderness Meditation

Each day during Lent, spend time in quiet solitude and use this guide to Wilderness Meditation

Looking for a way to develop resilience and cultivate more compassion?

Join us for Resilience for Activists on April 12-13, 2019 at The Upper Room. Workshops include: “Resilience for Activists,” “Growing Compassion,” and “Remembering and Reclaiming.”

Click here to learn more and register. Early bird rate ends March 31.

The Upper Room
P.O. Box 340004
Nashville, TN 37203-0004
Copyright © 2019 The Upper Room, All rights reserved.

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