Continuing Education

Thursday, September 12

9-12By Evelyn Spence of Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA

Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

—Philippians 4:9

My husband and I attended two Community of Christ-sponsored events last fall—a retreat and a tour. Both enriched our spirituality and further equipped us for Christ’s mission.

In September, we attended our congregational weekend retreat at the Guthrie Grove Retreat Center in Iowa. Our daughter, her 11-year-old son, and two great-grandsons, ages 9 and 11, accompanied us. We enjoyed classes, indoor and outdoor games, campfires, and worship. Everything was intergenerational. We witnessed remarkable spiritual growth in one of our great-grandsons.

In October, we joined the Community of Christ Historic Sites Foundation’s tour. We were in the company of David Ettinger, Barbara Walden, and about 50 other Community of Christ learners. We had 10 days of sightseeing, bus riding, visiting, and lessons taught by Barbara and David. We introduced ourselves to church tourists from all over the country.

We visited Frankenmuth, Michigan; Niagara Falls, Ontario; and Shaker, Amish, and Oneida communities. For fun, we dropped by the Baseball Hall of Fame and saw other sights.

Best of all, we visited Palmyra, New York; Kirtland, Ohio; Nauvoo, Illinois; and Lamoni, Iowa—all places dear to our hearts and full of church history. The meals and worship services prepared for us by the congregations we visited are now treasures to our souls. How great it was to immerse ourselves in meditation and learning, while seeking a deeper connection to God. How great it is to join with companion disciples!

Prayer for Peace
God of Wisdom, may our minds always be open to learn of you. Help us continue learning as you continue to reveal yourself to us. May we join in community to share Christ’s lessons and peace.

Spiritual Practice: Develop Disciples to Serve
Read and reflect on Psalm 42:1–2. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to respond to people and their needs. The call to journey inward can restore us in times of physical or spiritual depletion. Imagine you can feel a vessel at the center of your being (a clay jar, a crystal vase, a metal bucket, or other container).

Imagine drawing something from the vessel to share with another person, but as you reach inside you find only a tiny pool of stagnant liquid. You are thirsty and dry; empty. Listen prayerfully again to the psalm, “As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” As you feel restored, thank God for the opportunity to be a responding, serving disciple while you move into the outward journey. Remember this exercise as you drink water throughout the day.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will review what I have learned and seen in Christ to become a better disciple.

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