Continuing the Journey
Imagine that the world is a circle, that God is the center, and that the radii are the different ways human beings live. When those who wish to come closer to God walk towards the center of the circle, they come closer to one another at the same time as to God. The closer they come to God, the closer they come to one another. And the closer they come to one another, the closer they come to God.

-Dorotheus of Gaza, c 505-565
Instructions VI

We Want to Hear from You

Friends, we are so grateful to you for joining with us on this journey toward the center. Beginning in August, the schedule for this newsletter, From the Center, will shift to a monthly resource for tending your soul and the soul of your congregation.

We'd like to hear from you about how we can be helpful to you and your ministry setting. Take a few moments to let us know how we might walk together with you. Share with us by completing this short survey.
Spiritual Exercise

Jesus went up on a mountain and called those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve and called them apostles. He appointed them to be with him, to be sent out to preach, and to have authority to throw out demons. 
-Mark 3:13-15, Common English Bible

Think back over your journey with this scripture during the past few weeks.

Reflect on your story: What might God be saying to you through this story? What invitation are you hearing?

Reflect on your faith community: What might God be saying to your faith community through this story? What invitation are you hearing for those with whom you minister?

Be still for a few moments in God’s presence. Share in prayer any memories or feelings that have surfaced. Give thanks for the grace you’ve experienced through this exercise.
Audio Lectio

Pray the scripture from the gospel reading for this week's lectionary. Audio Lectio is a guided meditation using the process of Lectio Divina.

One of the most central and ancient practices of Christian prayer is Praying the Scriptures (lectio divina, or divine reading). When we pray the scriptures, we begin by reading a few verses of the Bible. We read unhurriedly so that we can listen for the message God has for us there. We stay alert to connections the Spirit may reveal between the passage and what is going on in our lives. We ask, "What are you saying to me today, Lord? What am I to hear in this story, parable, or prophecy?" Listening in this way requires patience and a willingness to let go of our own agendas and open ourselves to God's shaping.

Once we have heard a word that we know is meant for us, we are naturally drawn to prayer. From listening we move to speaking — perhaps in anguish, confession or sorrow; perhaps in joy, praise, thanksgiving, or adoration; perhaps in anger, confusion, or hurt; perhaps in quiet confidence, trust, or surrender. Finally, after pouring out our heart to God, we come to rest simply and deeply in that wonderful, loving presence of God. Reading, reflecting, responding, and resting — this is the basic rhythm of divine reading.

Join us in praying the gospel reading from next week's lectionary.

This exercise and others for your spiritual pilgrimage may be found in our website's resource area
Resources for Soul Care

Questions God Asks Us
by Trevor Hudson

Transformation comes from living into questions, not from finding answers.

We often look to the Bible as the book of answers. How often do we consider the challenging questions God asks? Trevor Hudson points out that though Jesus was asked 183 questions in the Gospels, he directly answered only three.

"I thought the Bible existed to give me solutions to my everyday concerns and dilemmas. Then I realized I might be approaching God and the Bible from the wrong direction. It was as if God said to me, 'Trevor, rather than you always asking questions of me, start listening to the questions I have for you.'"

Learn more about the book and the eCourse by Trevor Hudson.

The Upper Room Center for Christian Spiritual Formation
The Upper Room
P.O. Box 340004
Nashville, TN 37203-0004

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