As we continue to live and work and worship during the COVID-19 pandemic, the people of St. Elisabeth’s are embarking on a journey of prayer and discipline, examining practices and teachings within the tradition of Christianity.

This study of prayer and discipline is for those who wish to deepen their spirituality and for persons seeking confirmation in the Episcopal Church.

D. Elton Trueblood shares this in the forward to “Celebration of Discipline:” “The greatest problems of our time are not technological, for these we handle fairly well. They areA not even political or economic, because the difficulties in these areas, glaring as they may be, are largely derivative. The greatest problems are moral and spiritual, and unless we can make progress in these realms, we may not even survive. This is how advanced cultures have declined in the past. It is for this reason that I welcome a really mature work on the cultivation of life of the spirit.”

All are invited to participate. To do so:

  • Buy the book. If seeking confirmation, books.
  • Have a journal.
  • Join us via Zoom, Thursday evenings, 7:30PM – 8:30PM by LINKING HERE. To obtain the password EMAIL KEVIN.

The full schedule is below.

A Celebration of Discipline

As we live with COVID-19, all of our lives have suddenly been drastically altered. As we hope to keep up by responding and reacting to the rapidly-changing circumstances, now more than ever, we must cultivate healthy ways of living. Within our current context, this is more challenging, important and attainable.

As Richard Foster points out in the opening chapter of “Celebration of Discipline,” “God intends the Disciplines of the spiritual life to be for ordinary human beings: people who have jobs, who care for children, who wash dishes and mow lawns. In fact, the Disciplines are best exercised in the midst of our relationships with our husband or wife, our brother and sisters, our friends and neighbors.”

As we connect and worship virtually, work from home, school our children, isolate from the vulnerable, and make decisions with little to no factual information, we must seek to be grounded. As Christians, our faith is grounded in God through Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. As we live during this time of disorientation > reorientation, the study of Disciplines, rooted in Christian theology and practice, may give us some stable ground.

The three goals of our study of spiritual disciplines are – 1) understand how spiritual disciplines deepen our spirituality 2) connect to history and traditions of those who have made the journey of faith before 3) building community with each other and connecting with those discerning confirmation.

My Faith My Life – Confirmation Prep During COVID-19

Confirmation is a public declaration of commitment to God and God’s people in which we express a mature commitment to Christ, and receive strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands
by a bishop.

The three goals of confirmation preparation at St. Elisabeth’s are – 1) connecting more deeply and developing meaningful relationships within Christian Community 2) exploring The Bible and The Book of Common Prayer with the staff and a mentor 3) understanding the journey of faith and spiritual maturity is the work of a lifetime.

During our time of Christian community with COVID-19, 2/3rds of the preparation for this important step of commitment happens online through zoom. The remaining preparation work involves community service which can be completed once stay-at-home directives have been lifted and we may safely serve God and neighbor.

The goals of this formation program are:

  1. Take responsibility for one’s own baptismal vows
  2. Glimpse what adult church responsibilities are
  3. Building relationships with the church community
  4. Exploring and sustaining a life of faith guided by spiritual disciplines and practices

To discern confirmation, you must prepare by:

  • Class with teachers (10 sessions – 8 My Faith My Life, 2 Baptismal Covenant)
  • Formation with St. Elisabeth’s Community (2 sessions – Celebration of Discipline)
  • Four discussion modules with non-parent mentor
  • 1-1 Scripture study completion
  • At least two (2) weekday touchpoints

PREPARING TO JOURNEY TOGETHER

Order your copy of Richard Foster’s “Celebration of Discipline” by LINKING HERE. It is available in print and digital formats.

For those seeking confirmation in the Episcopal Church, order “My Faith, My Life” by LINKING HERE. It is available in print and digital formats.

GROUP NORMS

As we embark on this study via ZOOM, here are the expectations and desires of our study time together:

  • Be prepared for the session.
  • What is shared during the Zoom meetings is confidential and remains within the groups shared experience.
  • Listen with curiosity and empathy.
  • Speak. Allow time for others to speak.
  • We are not debating. We are discovering. We are not gathering to change each others minds but to experience truth through the power of the spirit.

2020 Forum | Celebration of Discipline
7:30pm – 8:30pm, Thursday evening, via Zoom

May
5/7 – Beginning – Introducing “Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth,” pgs. xxi – 11
5/14 – The Discipline of Meditation, pgs. 15 – 32
5/21 – The Discipline of Prayer, pgs. 33 – 46
5/28 – The Discipline of Fasting, pgs. 47 – 6

June
6/4 – The Discipline of Study, pgs. 62 – 76
6/11 – The Discipline of Simplicity, pgs. 79 – 95
6/18 – The Discipline of Solitude, pgs. 96 – 109
6/25 – The Discipline of Submission, pgs. 110 – 125

July
7/2 – The Discipline of Service, pgs. 126 – 140
7/9 – The Discipline of Confession, pgs. 143 – 157
7/16 – The Discipline of Worship, pgs. 158 – 174
7/23 – The Discipline of Guidance, pgs. 175 – 189
7/30 – The Discipline of Celebration, pgs. 190 – 201

2020 Forum | My Faith My Life
11:00am – 12:00noon, Wednesday morning, via Zoom

June
6/3 | My Faith My Life, Chapter 1
6/10 | |My Faith My Life, Chapter 2
6/17 | |My Faith My Life, Chapter 3
6/24 | My Faith My Life, Chapter 4

July
7/1 | My Faith My Life, Chapter 5
7/8 | My Faith My Life, Chapter 6
7/15 | My Faith My Life, Chapter 7
7/22 | My Faith My Life, Chapter 8
7/29 | My Faith My Life, Chapter 9