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A Pastoral Message from Christ Church

“Be still, then, and know that I am God; *

    I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth.”

The Lord of hosts is with us; *

    the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

                   Psalm 46:11-12

 

Dear Friends,

With our move to NJ accomplished (though several full moving boxes still remain!) and kids settling into their new school, I am finding myself eager to establish a pattern and rhythm for this new season in Newton. Perhaps it is the musician in me, but I find the lens of rhythm a particularly engaging one.

 

Benedictine spiritual practice has, for over 1500 years, offered a threefold focus on the essential elements of stability, obedience and conversion of life. For those of us who are visual learners:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stability involves seeking and finding God in our current situations and contexts. It helps rid us of the notion that we’ll find God around the corner, rather than recognizing God’s hand at work in the here and now of our lives.

 

Obedience, as espoused by Benedict, involves deep listening with an ear to responding. By listening to friends and family, listening to the world around us, and listening to our own minds and hearts, we can more readily discern where God may be calling us to take action.

 

Conversion of Life invites a commitment to inner transformation and openness to change. Rather than remaining stagnant, we are forever drawn to Christ and the new horizons God is placing before us.

 

I share this lens as a tool I have found helpful when looking to establish new rhythms and practices. Attention to these three distinct elements has, for me, provided a framework to moving between the seeming polarities of life. If you too find yourself in need of some spiritual scaffolding this fall, consider exploring some of Benedict’s principles. For some help on-ramping, I recommend thumbing through Esther de Waal’s Seeking God: The Way of St. Benedict.

Benedictine Life Model

Whatever season you find yourself in at present, I invite you to join with others in this community to strengthen your life rhythms and increase the balance you feel in your heart, body, mind and spirit. Take on a new practice, or consider setting to the side one that is no longer feeding you.

 

I invite your prayers as I continue establishing new rhythms, and pray with you as you establish your own.

 

See you in church! Blessings and peace,

Chris

 

The Reverend Chris Streeter, Priest-in-Charge

Christ Episcopal Church, Newton NJ

Reverend Chris Streeter.jpg

The Reverend Chris Streeter, Priest-in-Charge

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