Wouldn’t you know that this week’s post is coming to you a day late, on the week when the question is about how we are spiritually disciplined?
Moving on . . .
Let’s consider the subject of spiritual disciplines and welcome potential for growth:
I have enjoyed the recent RevGalBlogPals feature sharing spiritual disciplines. I wonder if I am the only one who struggles with what to do, when and how.
I would love to hear from you Matriarchs.
1) Do you have a regular spiritual practice?
2) How do you make it work? (time of day, frequency, making time, etc.)
3) What are the benefits? What would be missing from your life/ministry if you stopped?
Thank you for your wisdom and encouragement,
Our Matriarchs start off with this idea for spiritual practice in a group:
One healthy thing I did: With the realization that relationships with other women are essential for our health, I selected a group of (5+ me) strong, faith-full clergywomen within a 60 mile radius. We covenanted to meet for two hours plus lunch monthly. We rotated locations in private space (homes or a neighboring pastor’s church) where we were not accessible. We prayed with and for one another, talked, shared concerns, worked our way honestly around the wellness wheel, promised to give honest feedback to one another, supported, encouraged, and challenged one another. We set personal goals and shared them, and then held one another accountable. Wonderful, wise, strong group of leaders. It took work to set it up, but oh, so worth the effort! We all found it invaluable. It was rare that anyone missed. That alone spoke volumes.
This Matriarch begins with a confession:
I am spiritually undisciplined. There! I said it. I have tried a variety of things but then my mind wanders or I get bored or fidgety. There are some activities though, that I find help me feel spiritually connected. I am fortunate to be a part of a seminary community where I can worship and not be the leader, but I also do a lot of supply preaching which feeds a different part of my soul. I read every night. I find that good stories enrich my life and I whither without them. Having an e-reader with a lit screen has allowed me the time to read without disturbing my spouse. Worth every penny! I have been working on my DMin off and on for four years. The courses I have taken have helped me stretch and be renewed. Finally, I connect with other clergy women and men, quite often the connections are electronic, which hasn’t lessened the importance of those friendships in any way.
Heidi Rodrick-Schnaath aka as RevHRod
For those whose spiritual practice is more active:
I have learned over time that the best spiritual practice for me is to pray while I walk. I am very kinesthetic and the repetitive movement of steps creates a meditative space for me. Outdoor walking and praying is ideal because of sight and sound and smell but when the weather is not cooperative, indoor walking works just as well.
It has taken a while to carve out the time to walk in the midst of busy days but the more I walk, the more I desire to walk. And as one who is a strong extrovert, walking is my quiet, alone time with God. I walk with a wooden walking stick which was a gift from a friend. All in all, I find that when I move while praying, I am able to connect more easily with my spiritual side.
Rev. Kelley Wehmeyer Shin
And, here’s a nod to something familiar in a new way:
I like to read Scripture and pray in the morning after I drop my son off at school. That said, it’s not a perfect practice because sometimes meetings get scheduled, or I feel distracted by something like not having anything written for my Sunday sermon. My goal is to get through the whole Bible in a year, and I give myself a lot of grace if I don’t get to it that day. I just try to get back to it. So it takes less than 365 days to read through the whole Scripture on the schedule I made for myself, but it may take longer than 365 days for me to complete it. But it’s ok. I give myself grace. It’s better to get through it slowly than to quit. Honestly, I wouldn’t quit because God speaks sometimes in such creative ways. It’s probably because I am not reading it to study or preach on it. This works for me so far, but I try to be flexible year to year.
Rev. Sung Moy
Andrews Chapel United Methodist Church
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How about you, dear reader? What spiritual practice have you always wanted to try? What do you do regularly that feeds your spirit? Please join the conversation in the comments below.
Are you feeling stale or stuck in ministry? What new thing would you like to welcome into your life or ministry? Send your scenario to askthematriarch (at) gmail (dot) com and let’s start a conversation!
Rev. Sharon M. Temple is a United Church of Christ pastor serving in Nashville TN. She is a contributor to the RevGals book, “There’s a Woman in the Pulpit” and blogs erratically at Tidings of Comfort and Joy.
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