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Letter from Amy: March 15, 2023


Maximino Cerezo Barredo, Emmaus, 2002 mural

Dear friends,


In case you missed last week's letter, I wrote with permission to set down your fasts and lift up your eyes, looking for places of newness, grace, and beauty this Lent. I'd love to hear how it's going. How was Sunday's lectio divina experience for you? Where's God been showing up lately, or where has he seemed distant?


This week, I am excited to share a bit of newness with you that will begin after Easter. Katie and I have been hard at work to prepare a monthly gathering called Life with God. On the third Saturday of each month, over the course of one year, we will meet from 10am-12pm at Greenbrier Baptist to dig more deeply into the life of faith. We'll begin April 15.


Each month, we will explore a clause of the Apostles’ Creed together, dipping into the scriptures, the theological treasures of the church, the spiritual disciplines, and our own life experiences. This will be a safe and set-apart time for wrestling, asking, listening, contemplating, learning, practicing, and growing. The content is SO rich, y'all. We are praying that Life with God will be an opportunity to reveal and repair any distorted views of God we may have picked up along the way. And we are praying that it equips us all with practices and understanding for a deeper, more joyful life with God.


Our inspiration for this course comes from the ancient practice of catechesis (Greek for "instruction"), the process by which the early church prepared new converts for baptism and the life of faith. In the early church, catechesis lasted THREE YEARS. The rationale was that new converts had spent a lifetime being catechized by the surrounding culture — which, in their time, included pervasive sexual exploitation, idol worship, violence as entertainment, ostentatious displays of wealth, ruthless status-climbing at the expense of those at the bottom of the social order, and more. It would take a long time for new Christians to unlearn those entrenched ways of thinking and being, and to learn and practice the new life of the kingdom of God.


Our life with God takes time to cultivate and grow. That's why the Life with God course will run monthly for an entire year. There are two ways to participate:


1) Sign up for the whole thing. It feels counter-cultural and a little vulnerable to ask you to consider registering for a year-long commitment to spiritual growth. And yet I know that sometimes making a commitment like this can be an important marker on our faith journey. (And of course, it's completely fine to miss the occasional session due to illness/travel/prior commitments/etc. Signing up is a commitment to the journey, not a promise of perfect attendance!). We will pray a blessing for those who sign up at our April 16 service. Sign up here.


Or, 2) Drop-in any month that interests you. We'll advertise each month's topic ahead of time so that you can join in any month that address questions you want to explore.


So, who is Life with God for?

- Anyone wanting to go deeper in their faith

- Anyone whose spiritual life has grown dull, stale, joyless, or loveless

- Anyone with questions, doubts, or in a season of faith deconstruction/reconstruction

- Anyone who is curious about what Christianity really teaches and dissatisfied with simplistic answers

- Teens and adults ages 13+ (babies in arms are welcome, but please leave other young children at home)


Questions? Ask me or Katie. Ready to sign up? You can do so here. Still pondering? Wonderful. We trust that God will draw people for whom this course is helpful and life-giving in this season of life. Life with God will begin Saturday, April 15. Hope to see you there!


In other news:

- Are you interested in hosting a small group (a meal plus evening/midday/morning prayer) this spring? Email Katie: katie@incarnationanglican.org

- Please plan to stay after church on March 26 for an important parish meeting!

- L'Arche's annual Lent retreat will be held online on Saturday, April 1, from 10-11:30am. Sign up here. I'll be there, and I hope you'll consider joining as you approach Holy Week.

- Holy Week is coming (April 2-9)! We'll announce all service times and places on Sunday, and we are looking forward to journeying toward the cross together again this year.


With love and anticipation,

Amy

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