Please join us as we Dwell in the Word
On July 2 Paula Snyder Belousek (Assistant Moderator), Dan Hooley (Prayer Coordinator) and I met to discuss some spiritual practices that we might be able to engage in as a Conference during the course of our review/discernment process. We looked at what was recommended by the delegates at our Annual Conference Assembly back in March. Four spiritual practices were recommended several times: 1) Dwelling in God’s Word Together; 2) Communal Discernment; 3) Prayer; and 4) Fasting.
We are starting with Dwelling in the Word, inviting people from across Conference to read the New Testament over the course of the next six months. That invitation was introduced in the July/August edition of the Evangel with a recommended reading schedule that begins next Monday, July 18. The schedule is available here: 2022 Dwelling in the Word – Reading Schedule. My prayer is that many across Conference will read these scriptures together. We will be introducing the other disciplines in the weeks to come through written communication, on our website and through Ohio Conference podcasts.
Paula will be introducing prayer, and she will be doing that using Take Our Moments and Our Days: An Anabaptist Prayer Book. There is also a free app titled Take Our Moments and Our Days, An Anabaptist Prayer App1 that can be downloaded on a phone or other electronic device. If you can access the app and download it on a device, please do. That will provide us the opportunity to pray the prayers when we gather together. I want to also encourage you to fast for one meal or one day each week during the review process.
It is our human tendency to expect immediate and clear answers from God when we engage in the spiritual disciplines. While that might work occasionally, that is not how God usually works. It is when we engage in a spiritual discipline (or several spiritual disciplines) over time that God often changes our minds and our hearts and reveals his will for our lives. While focusing specifically on contemplative prayer and practices, Fr. Thomas Keating and several other Christian spiritual leaders captured the primary purposes of all the spiritual disciplines during a conference in 2003 titled “Binding Head and Heart”:
The Gospel is the core of Christian living. It has with it a contemplative dimension. This dimension is God’s invitation to every human being through Jesus Christ to share God’s very nature. It begins as a way of listening with ears, eyes, and heart. It grows as a desire to know God and to enter into God’s love. This is made possible by a dying to self or emptying to self that becomes a radical emptying to God and experience of God’s love. Through a pattern of abiding in God that we call contemplative prayer, a change of consciousness takes place. This dynamic sharing of God’s nature forms each person and opens them to the mind and very life of Christ, challenging them to be instruments of God’s love and energy in the world. This contemplative consciousness bonds each person in a union with God and with all other persons. It enables them to find God present in all things.
May we continue to be directed by God as we dwell in his Word, pray and fast as we seek the Holy Spirit’s leading to discern our future together.
In Christ Jesus the Lord,
1Take Our Moments and Our Days, An Anabaptist Prayer App is available at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=edu.ambs.moments and at https://www.apple.com/us/search/take-our-moments-and-our-days?src=serp.
Ohio Conference New Testament Reading Schedule - July 18-Dec. 12, 2022
|1 - July 17||Luke 1-2||Luke 3-4||Luke 5-6||Luke 7-8||Luke 9-10||Luke 11-12
|2 - July 24||Luke 13-14||Luke 15-16||Luke 17-18||Luke 19-20||Luke 21-22||Luke 23-24|
|3 - July 31||Acts 1-2||Acts 3-4||Acts 5-6||Acts 7-8||Acts 9-10||Acts 11-12|
|4 - Aug. 7||Acts 13-14||Acts 15-16||Acts 17-18||Acts 19-20||Acts 21-22||Acts 23-24
|5 - Aug. 14||Acts 25-26||Acts 27-28||Matt. 1-2||Matt. 3-4||Matt. 5-6||Matt. 7-8|
|6 - Aug. 21||Matt. 9-10||Matt. 11-12||Matt. 13-14||Matt. 15-16||Matt. 17-18||Matt. 19-20|
|7 - Aug. 28||Matt. 21-22||Matt. 23-24||Matt. 25-26||Matt. 27-28||Rom. 1-2||Rom. 3-4|
|8 - Sept. 4||Rom. 5-6||Rom. 7-8||Rom. 9-10||Rom. 11-12||Rom. 13-14||Rom. 15-16|
|9 - Sept. 11||1 Cor. 1-2||1 Cor. 3-4||1 Cor. 5-6||1 Cor. 7-8||1 Cor. 9-10||1 Cor. 11-12|
|10 - Sept. 18||1 Cor. 13-14||1 Cor. 15-16||2 Cor. 1-2||2 Cor. 3-4||2 Cor. 5-6||2 Cor. 7-8|
|11 - Sept. 25||2 Cor. 9-10||2 Cor. 11-12||2 Cor. 13||Gal. 1-2||Gal. 3-4||Gal. 5-6|
|12 - Oct. 2||Eph. 1-2||Eph. 3-4||Eph. 5-6||Phil. 1-2||Phil. 3-4||Col. 1-2|
|13 - Oct. 9||Col. 3-4||1 Thess. 1-2||1 Thess. 3-4||1 Thess. 5||2 Thess. 1-2||2 Thess. 3|
|14 - Oct. 16||Mark 1-2||Mark 3-4||Mark 5-6||Mark 7-8||Mark 9-10||Mark 11-12|
|15 - Oct. 23||Mark 13-14||Mark 15-16||1 Tim. 1-2||1 Tim. 3-4||1 Tim. 5-6||2 Tim. 1-2|
|16 - Oct. 30||2 Tim. 3-4||Titus 1-2||Titus 3||Philemon||Heb. 1-2||Heb. 3-4|
|17 - Nov. 6||Heb. 5-6||Heb. 7-8||Heb. 9-10||Heb. 11-12||Heb. 13||James 1-2|
|18 - Nov. 13||James 3-4||James 5||1 Peter 1-2||1 Peter 3-4||1 Peter 5||2 Peter 1-3|
|19 - Nov. 20||John 1-2||John 3-4||John 5-6||John 7-8||John 9-10||John 11-12|
|20 - Nov. 27||John 13-14||John 15-16||John 17-18||John 19-20||John 21|
|21 - Dec. 4||1 John 1-2||1 John 3-4||1 John 5||2 John||3 John||Jude|
|22 - Dec. 11||Rev. 1-2||Rev. 3-4||Rev. 5-6||Rev. 7-8||Rev. 9-10||Rev. 11-12|
|23 - Dec. 18||Rev. 13-14||Rev. 15-16||Rev. 17-18||Rev. 19-20||Rev. 21-22|
A PDF of this schedule is available for download: 2022 Dwelling in the Word – Reading Schedule