The local church is the center for intentional, systematic, and sustained efforts to increase awareness of spiritual hunger and to educate, encourage, and empower laity and clergy in spiritual formation through training, small groups, retreats, mentoring, and other spiritual disciplines."
The local church must be the center for spiritual exploration and growth.
Seed Kit for Spiritual Formation: The "Seed Kit for Spiritual Formation" from the Companions in Christ series is now available as a free pdf download from the Companions website http://www.upperroom.org/companions/downloads.asp
The Upper Room: Please visit their link at http://www.upperroom.org/
JustPeace: Center for Mediation and Conflict Transformation: http://www.kintera.org/site/c.fpLHJNOtHoE/b.3015823/k.BDB6/Home.htm
Two excellent resources for spiritual formation are: Soul Feast: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life by Marjorie J. Thompson, Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, Kentucky, 1995 (chapter 7 is an excellent resource for how to find and select a spiritual director); and Too Deep for Words: Rediscovering Lectio Divina, With 500 Scripture Texts for Prayer by Thelma Hall, r.c., Paulist Press, New York / Mahway, 1988.
An excellent resource for offering small church groups a powerfuly transforming experience in spiritual formation is the 28-week resource, Companions in Christ, from Upper Room Ministries. It explores and builds spiritual practices within congregations, helping participants open more fully to God and to one another. To learn more about the Companions in Christ series and many other resources for spiritual formation (see their journal, “Weavings”), contact the Upper Room at: www.upperroom.org
For information on finding spiritual directors or about trainings, workshops, and retreats, contact, among others:
- The Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, Bethesda, MD, at (301) 897-7334 or www.shalem.org
- The Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth in Wernersville, PA at (610) 678-8085
- Spiritual Directors International of Seattle, Washington, at www.sdiworld.org
- The Virginia Institute of Spiritual Direction, Smithfield, VA at (757) 255-2366; firstname.lastname@example.org
A few of many retreat centers that offer directed retreats are:
• The Jesuit Center (above)
• The Well Retreat Center, Smithfield, VA, (757) 255-2366
• Shalom House, Montpelier, VA, (804) 883-6149
• A bit farther afield, but nonetheless most worth the trip: Green Bough House of Prayer, Scott, GA, (478) 668-4758
For additional retreat and camping locations, click here.
A portable Labyrinth, housed at the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center in Blackstone, was dedicated on May 10, 2001, and is available for use at the Assembly Center and for local churches or groups to borrow. Contact Cyndi Schnell at (434) 292-5308 or e-mail email@example.com for details.