When They Prayed
FROM THE BISHOP DAVID GRAVES   I chose the theme of our 2023 Annual Conference session, “When They Prayed,” based on Acts 4:31: “And when they had prayed, the place in which they ...
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Spiritual disciplines and the Christian faith

November 16, 2015

Have you taken the time to read any good books lately that might encourage you in ministry and leadership? Over the Advent season, let’s be encouraged to be in prayer for the church and world. I would also invite you to read at least one book that would increase your understanding of the spiritual practices within the Christian faith. Here are a few examples of books that I have found to be helpful on the subject of Spiritual Disciplines.

You are invited to send me an email at denise@sgaumc.com and let me know what you are reading during the Advent Season.

“Christ Our Companion: Toward a Theological Aesthetics of Liberation,” by Roberto S. Goizueto

Roberto S. Goizueta addressees the claim made by Christianity that Jesus is the Way, Truth and Life in the face of a world filled with violence and rejection of the poor. The book explores how a particular culture and community relates to Christ and how we might be in solidarity with those spiritual practices, signs, and symbols of the faithful.

“Human Dignity, Human Rights and Responsibility: The New Language of Bioethics and Biolaw,” by Yechiel Michael Barilian

Barilian describes human dignity across the social disciplines within a global context. This book will increase the understanding of human dignity within the global interdisciplinary conversations.

“Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us,” by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun

Calhoun describes spiritual practices as spiritual disciplines. The book explores individual spiritual disciplines and the practices associated including questions that help the reader embrace the discipline and grow in relationship to God, self, and others.

“Disciplines of the Spirit,” by Howard Thurman

Thurman’s resource on spiritual disciplines will provide insight into spiritual disciplines related to theological concepts and social change.

“On This Spirit Walk: The Voices of Native American and Indigenous Peoples, General Commission on Christianity Unity and Interreligious Concerns,” by Henrietta Manns and Anita Phillips

Manns and Phillips explore the spiritual practices of Native Americans within The United Methodist Church related to creation and justice. It will also provide a voice of Native Americans and indigenous people.

“No Future Without Forgiveness,” by Desmond Tutu 

Archbishop Desmond Tutu argues that true reconciliation must include the past acknowledgement of human devaluation. As spiritual practices are developed related to human dignity within the research, this book provides an example of true evil being overcome by spiritual practices that include the advocacy and execution of love and forgiveness. Moving from the abstract theory of human dignity as spiritual practice to an example of how human dignity as spiritual practice was and still is a part of community.

Rev. Denise Walton serves as the Assistant to the Bishop for Connectional Ministries. Contact her at denise@sgaumc.org.

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