When people hear that we have been creating a new spiritual formation program, their first question is usually some version of “So what is this program about?” The listener doesn’t want a long detailed description, they want it in a nutshell, what some people refer to as “an elevator speech.” How to compress a year and a half’s discernment and planning, and the resulting fourteen days worth of programming into a few sentences has sometimes seemed daunting. That said, here goes (though more than a few sentences…)
Participating in God’s Power is fundamentally about reclaiming core aspects of Quaker practice which have been deemphasized or even largely lost from modern liberal Quaker practice, such as:
- The mystical nature of our practice- we seek direct, unmediated experience of the Divine to lead and guide our lives
- Speaking truth about what is going on in a situation, even when that is uncomfortable
- Total surrender to God, and making all of our lives available to God’s purpose
- Willingness to become aware of places in our lives that are not in harmony with Love and Truth
- Recognition that transformation is possible, needed, and comes from God, not so much from our own efforts (grace)
And while these aspects of spiritual practice are fundamental to Quaker spirituality, they are also well represented in other traditions. So this program is certainly for non-Quakers, too.
We understand the program to be for those who have already made a serious commitment to living a life grounded in faith, either from having done spiritual work in another program, or through their own significant spiritual seeking.
We see this program as a practice lab where participants can enter into the work of the above named core aspects with the accompaniment and support of others. And sometimes, being real with each other will involve significant challenge. We understand that challenge to also be fertile ground for transformation.
We also see this as a practice lab where participants will be working toward the capacity for active and competent agency in understanding one’s responsibility for a group’s steady process, moving oneself toward healing, and choosing wise self care. We will cover these elements of the program in a different blog post.
Be sure to sign up so that you know when that blog post is published.
Christopher and Angi