Caring for the Soul — The Courage to be Vulnerable

len_webLast Lent we focused on the theme “Broken, Yet Made Whole,” and made spaces and times to name brokenness, and discover ways we are being made whole through God’s grace. On Easter morning, broken chards from Lent stood on the altar, transformed into a beautiful mosaic – a powerful symbol, witnessing that we are indeed made whole in God’s love. (Notice it hanging on the wall when you walk the hallway just beyond the main office and near the Children’s area.)

When we gather with others who are committed to listen deeply in the soul for God’s gracious call and respond with clarity and conviction, a powerful, creative energy emerges throughout our community.

In the first week of September, we started three new, very special groups here at First Methodist that are such gatherings and will meet weekly until near Thanksgiving. We’ve never offered groups quite like this here at the church. But its time has come — and this is just the beginning!
(I’ve been a part of similar groups around the country, most recently here in Fort Worth with “Courage and Renewal of North Texas.” Here is their website, if you’re curious about it: http://www.couragenorthtexas.org)

We are reading a book by Parker Palmer (founder of the national Courage and Renewal movement) entitled, The Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward An Undivided Life. But it is not just a reading group… we are becoming what the book is about, a “Circle of Trust.” And in these circles, we are experiencing at a deep level, what the subtitle states, “Welcoming the Soul and Weaving Community in a Wounded World.”

Last Spring I wrote about a poem, “Tourist or Pilgrim,”  that challenges each of us to make an important choice about our life journey. In our busy world, it is sometimes important to pause and ponder the wisdom in the soul, before we can recognize the direction of our deepest callings. These small Hidden Wholeness groups are becoming deeply meaningful places to join with other pilgrims within our church, and are helping people find the “road that runs straight through the heart,” empowering us all to go out and be God’s people in the world…

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