In winter 2019 Christ Church is reflecting upon The Way of Love, practices for a Jesus-centered life that were developed by our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and his staff. Through these practices, Bishop Curry invites all Episcopalians to grow more deeply with Jesus Christ at the center of our lives, so that we can bear witness to Jesus’ way of love in and for the world.
We have designed a sermon series and an adult education series on The Way of Love practices for following Jesus: Turn, Learn, Pray, Worship, Bless, Go, and Rest. On this page you will find resources for pursuing the spiritual disciplines. We add to the page as we move through our series.
Bishop Mariann’s podcast series on the Way of Love, “Experiencing Jesus with Bishop Mariann” is available through Apple, Google, Spotify, or Stitcher
Learn: Reflect on Scripture each day, especially on Jesus’ life and teachings
Suggested Bible Resources
Our preferred translation is New Revised Standard Version (NRSV).
Bible Apps: Olive Tree (includes reading plans), YouVersion (free, audio listening options, reading plans), NRSV Bible (simple, easy to use)
HarperCollins Study Bible contains introductions to each book of the Bible and footnotes with information about translation choices, word meanings, and cross-references to other books of the Bible.
Suggested Bible Reading/Study Guides
NT Wright’s “For Everyone” Series: Matthew for Everyone, Mark for Everyone, Luke for Everyone, Acts for Everyone, etc. We recommend starting with the Gospels and Acts. These volumes are very readable and each one covers an entire book of the Bible. They consist of many small chapters, with verses from the relevant book of the Bible and a mini-sermon/meditation by N.T. Wright.
Sacred Space App: Daily Bible reading and meditation questions put out by the Jesuits. Easy to skip to Gospel passage of the day or walk through the meditation.
The Path, condensed version of the Bible, published through Episcopal Forward Movement. Uses Biblical texts, but edits and condenses them. Gives all main stories and overarching view of Bible.
Forward Day by Day, subscription online or in paper. Chooses Bible readings based on lectionary and offers meditations on them. Does not read any book in full or in order. Requires user to have access to own Bible. h
Moravian Daily Text, online or in paper. Provides 3 year reading cycle for whole Bible, plus Bible verses of the day (and related hymn verses in the hard copy). Reads texts in order. All the Psalms are read each year. No separate sermon/meditation. Requires user to have access to own Bible.
Amy Jill Levine’s Short Stories of Jesus explores familiar parables through the lens of the first century Jewish community to whom Jesus is speaking. This would not be a good introduction to Scripture, but would be great for deeper study.
Three Questions to Ask Yourself
- Where did the text catch you and cause you to pause?
- Why did the text catch you there?
- What do you learn about God in that place in the text that caught you?
Other ways to get into the text
- Focus on the verbs and what they tell you about God. Is the passage active/passive? What if some of the verbs were changed?
- Who gets to speak and who doesn’t?
- Play with what is said by reading it out-loud with different emotions – happy, sad, angry, etc.
Worship: Gather in community weekly to thank, praise, and draw near to God
Liturgical Life Principles: How Episcopal Worship Can Lead to Healthy, Authentic Living by Ian Markham. A good, relatively short introduction to the flow and ritual of Episcopal services. In clear, accessible language, Markham demonstrates how the liturgy of the Episcopal Church can enable us to cope more effectively with the stresses and strains of modern life.
How2Charist: Digital Instructed Eucharist. This new resource explains the Eucharist as its happening, including vocabulary and purpose of various actions. It lasts a little over an hour but you can view it in 15 minute chapters. Very well done. https://how2charist.com/
Go: Cross boundaries, listen deeply, live like Jesus
There are so many good books modeling Go but a favorite is:
Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion by Gregory Boyle.
Turn: Pause, listen and choose to follow Jesus
Here are two good books on choosing to follow Jesus’s way of love and mercy over the way of temptation and sin: Forgiveness: Finding Peace through Letting Go by Adam Hamilton and Reconciliation: Preparing for Confession in the Episcopal Church by Martin L. Smith.
Rest: Receive the gift of God’s grace, peace, and restoration
Here are three books about Sabbath and embracing rest.
For Sabbath’s Sake by J. Dana Trent (May 2019 Friday Night Book Club pick)
The Sabbath as Resistanceby Walter Bruggemann
Sabbath in the Suburbs by Mary Ann McKibben Dana.