Last winter we began to talk about the three-fold journey for us as a parish – the Journey Inward, the Journey Outward and the Journey Together. I borrowed this framework from a colleague of mine who has used it to help describe the journeys of growth throughout the Christian life. The Journey Inward is our growth in learning about God, and our relationship to God through prayer, song, silence, conversation and contemplation. The Journey Outward is our journey in growing of love, care and service to others. The Journey Together is the growth in relationships with others and community. Each of these Journeys is deeply intertwined. Throughout the Christian life, we seek to balance growth in each of these journeys.
I find this framework helpful in thinking about the life of our parish community – how are we living out each of these Journeys? Is there balance between our growth in fellowship and community, service to the world and those in need, and in our faith and love of God?
Over the last few months, there has been much prayer and thought into how we grow deeper in our faith and relationship with God. This fall, there are three offerings I want to highlight which are meant to help us in this growth – Education for Ministry (or EfM); Introduction to Centering Prayer, co-sponsored by St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Southminster Presbyterian Church, and Contemplative Outreach Pittsburgh; and the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, led by St. Paul’s community member, the Reverend Ted Babcock. Each of these is outlined in the August Messenger, and invites you to join in an experience outside of Sunday morning to strengthen your experience and love of God. Each explores this dimension of the Christian life in a different way.
How are you feeling called (or tugged) to grow in your spiritual life? What Journey do you feel you are progressing on? Which one are you struggling with? How are we doing on these journeys as a church or as a parish?
Blessings to you and your families in these final weeks of summer!
The Reverend Noah H. Evans, Rector