Research, Themes of JTT
I have always been a bit hesitant to refer to anything as my “calling.” It seems like such a loaded word to use. This author, Jimmy, writes it better than I could with four simple realities about “calling.” It’s worth the read if you wonder about that for yourself, the way I have for myself.
4 things to remember when you’re not sure what you’re supposed to do with your life.
Source: So You Have No Idea What Your ‘Calling’ Is | RELEVANT Magazine
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Journey to the Table, Research, Themes of JTT
I have been fascinated recently by questions about things that identify us. For me, this is a pretty comprehensive list of the types of things I would answer when people ask me about myself. Particularly this week, this is a good reminder of whose I am.
Examining the many identities we take on and the only one that truly matters.
Source: 21 Things That Don’t Define You | RELEVANT Magazine
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Journey to the Table, Research, Themes of JTT
How to survive with an intellectual faith in an emotional church.
Here’s a gem of an article that I read a couple years ago while forming thoughts about how Journey to the Table could be accessible for people with different spiritual styles. At first, I resonated personally with the writer of this article. I too have struggled trying to have a more “emotional” faith, or a more “contemplative” faith, as if I am supposed to have those kinds of faith. Over time, I’ve started to appreciate this article (and the subtle influence it has had on JTT) more for how it embraces different expressions of faith as equally beneficial. My intellectual faith grows immensely from the occasional dose of a contemplative spiritual practice. I imagine people who have a more emotional or contemplative faith occasionally grow in faith from a good intellectual study, or other practice that isn’t their normal, as well. I hope JTT gives space for all of these. I hope it gives space for people to grow from something that is close to their normal spiritual mode, and also grow from trying a new thing or two. And most importantly, I hope it’s a place where people of different spiritual modes can meet and share. After all, my favorite conversations about faith are the ones where I get to understand someone else’s point of view, and hopefully see things in a slightly new way. I hope you will enjoy those too. Source: Faith Involves Your Brain, Too
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Journey to the Table, Research, Test Locations, Themes of JTT
I read an article last week that has stayed with me. It’s a simple article, one of those “10 Ways to…” -type articles that are always familiar. I was struck by the range of options they recommended: everything from lighting a candle and reading a poem, to stretching or treating yourself to a piece of candy you normally wouldn’t indulge in. At first I was glad to see a source specifically using the phrase ‘self-care’ other than the expected places. This phrase seems to be most common in healthcare, be it physical, psychological, or a more holistic view. I also hear this phrase more and more in spiritual formation conversations. Journey to the Table spends time with participants emphasizing the importance of self-care, and inviting them to practice self-care in new or familiar ways. Of course the hope of self-care for any person in the context of spiritual formation is that it would be a time to better prepare for, or better understand how faith could be guiding your life. Often, it is part of a constant process of renewal that keeps the journey going, regardless of what direction you travel. My favorite explanation of self-care came from the first person to give this talk at a Journey to the Table test location. Devon Bartholomew helped lead the test with Syracuse University in September. He gave a personal story about a vacation that he realized was a great act of self-care. In October, he even presented to a group of ministry leaders about his experience as a leader on this first test location. After that presentation, I sat down with him to record some of his thoughts and heard the real-life story of how the month since he gave the talk had played out. Devon starts by re-telling the story he told in his talk: https://youtu.be/duarpaCUai4   Self-care isn’t a list of things to do for yourself alone. It certainly isn’t something you learn to do, make a habit of, and live happily ever after. I think the process of renewal which is self-care is about doing things to help yourself and how you balance your life and faith – sometimes you call it self-care at the time, and sometimes you just call it a hobby, or a trip, or a poem. You don’t always have to remember the lesson from your self-care time, or measure a finite benefit. There’s no guarantee you won’t forget the benefit later on. Maybe you can laugh about it the next time you forget about self-care too. I hope that Journey to the Table, and the conversations that happen around self-care as part of it are a step in that process of renewal, not an answer on faith, life, or stress. To that end, I think I’ll take a trip for and spend some time with a small group of close companions.
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