A Year-Long Quest for

Spiritual Formation, Reorientation, and Activation

In his book, We Make the Road by Walking: A Year-Long Quest for Spiritual Formation, Reorientation, and Activation, author Brian McLaren begins the preface, “You are not finished yet. You are “in the making.” You have the capacity to learn, mature, think, change, and grow.” He begins the introduction, “What we all want is pretty simple, really. We want to be alive. To feel alive. Not just to exist but to thrive, to live out loud, walk tall, breathe free. We want to be less lonely, less exhausted, less conflicted or afraid…more awake, more grateful, more energized and purposeful….The quest for aliveness is the best thing about religion, I think. It’s what we’re hoping for when we pray. It’s why we gather, celebrate, eat, abstain, attend, practice, sing, and contemplate.”

In the year 2015-2016, you are invited to embark upon a journey to become more spiritually alive as we gather around scripture and allow ourselves to enter the story of God’s work among us. We will use Brian McLaren’s book as a guide on this journey. Each week we will read and reflect on a chapter or two in the book and the scriptures that take us through the larger themes of the Bible. To help us unite and grow together as a whole church we will:

1. Order a bulk supply of the McLaren’s book and ask each household to purchase one. (Books will be available on Sunday mornings or you can get yours from the church office.)

2. Focus our weekly worship on the themes in McLaren’s book.

3. Encourage and provide opportunities for people to study and discuss McLaren’s book in a variety of small group settings like Sunday morning Learning Time, midweek gatherings at the church, home studies, coffee shop encounters, wherever or however two or more are gathered… (Consider hosting a weekly study group in your home, the church, or some other place or sign up for one of the study groups.)

With McLaren’s book, a Bible, and each other, we’ll have what we need to grow together in faith and discipleship.

The book is divided into four parts. Part one is entitled “Alive in the Story of Creation.” It will begin September 13th and take us to November 22nd.  During this section we will engage those questions that all who went before us have asked, like “Why are we here?”, “What’s wrong with the world?”, “What’s our role, our task, our purpose?”, “What is a good life?”, “Is there meaning and hope?”, to name a few.

—Pastor Mary Jane