Woven throughout so much of the theology and belief of our nineteenth century forebears is the understanding that each day is a chance to grow, shape, and form our spiritual character. This development of religious character occurs fundamentally through consciously chosen spiritual practice.
At WellSprings Congregation, we pray not just as a staff together, but also in our teams and our small groups. We don’t all share a common understanding or experience of God, but what comes from praying aloud with and for each other is the unearthing of what we do hold in common: our aspirations for our community, our individual and collective losses, sorrows, hopes, and gratitude.
Congregations that practice together stay together and grow together. Common spiritual practices expand our experiential unity as a people of faith. We discover a piece of ultimate reality that is bigger than our individual words for it.
Regular spiritual practice is a form of stewardship by which, as William Ellery Channing wrote, we extend and brighten the innate God-likeness of our lives. This kind of stewardship is a daily commitment to making good on the gifts that this mysterious and grace-full universe has somehow chosen to invest in us. It is a this-world, everyday kind of Universalism that effects change, healing, and wholeness.
Adapted from “The Faith of the Future Is Formational,” a presentation at the 2011 Minns Lectures by Ken Beldon. see below for links related to this story, including other selections from the Minns Lectures.
- Faith in our future The 2011 Minns Lectures
- Risk blessing
- Our shadow side
- The threat of fundamentalism
- A spirit of fierce unrest
- 'Willing to be changed by what we've started'
- 2011 Minns Lectures. Full texts and video. (minnslectures.org)