Taking Time for Sacred Listening

3 03 2014

by K. Scott Murphy, First Presidency

Scott Murphy, First Presidency

Scott Murphy, First Presidency

At the 2013 World Conference, the church was both blessed and challenged by words of counsel shared by President Steve Veazey..

It has been almost a year since these words were shared. During this time we have rested with these words through our own reflection and at places like reunions, camps, and our congregations.

Now it is time for us to hear these words again. The church is invited into a time of sacred listening to deepen our understanding and awareness of how these words guide our response to live Christ’s mission in the world.

On April 6 President Veazey will begin a process of engaging the church in further reflection on the words of counsel through a live webcast.

The church also has the opportunity to study the words of counsel through the commentary series in the Herald. This commentary series, which began in January, will provide lessons that individuals or groups can use for formational experiences.

As we prepare for the webcast, I want to invite you into this time of intentional preparation while the church community comes together to be blessed through the words of counsel as a gift of God’s presence with us.

It’s important that we choose to listen and reflect on these words together. When we do so, we become intentional in our effort to place ourselves in a sacred space and in the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Sharing together as a church allows us to experience the rich tapestry of culture and life perspectives we bring into the conversation.

Our listening together is a time for allowing the words to probe us and to penetrate deeper into our consciousness. Listening together can open us to see our world and the world’s needs in new ways.

As we share and listen together in ways that reflect our love for one another, we make it possible to be formed in the experience of discernment.

This process is not about finding some tool to help us determine if we agree or disagree with the words. Rather, discernment is more about the attitude and spirit in which we enter the journey and process of listening.

As Carolyn Brock reminds us:

Discernment is an ongoing process; a stance toward life. A discerning disciple has the attitude or intention to seek the presence, wisdom, and compassion of the Spirit at all times and in all dimensions of life (www.CofChrist.org/discernment/whatis.asp).

In many ways, to enter into sacred listening is to share together in prayer. It is in the spiritual practice of prayer that we begin to awaken to a clearer awareness of God’s call to us that always takes us into God’s vision. At times this can be exhilarating; other times it can be disruptive. But as a people of faith we must choose to be vulnerable to the possibilities these words of counsel call us to.

May we have the courage to open our eyes, ears, hearts, and minds as we seek to better understand how these words of counsel move us to become fully embraced by the call to be and live Christ’s mission in the heart of people’s lives.

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3 responses

4 03 2014
Greg Clark

Hi John K,
My name is Greg Clark, and I’m with the Herald magazine. We’d be interested in using your comment. To do so, we need your full name and place of residence. You can reply here or send me an e-mail at Herald@CofChrist.org. Many thanks.

3 03 2014
terryflowersblog

Reblogged this on Terryflowers Blog.

3 03 2014
John K

I am comfortable with the idea of change, and the opportunities that become available when the church moves in a new and different direction. But not everyone is like me, and not everyone likes a lot of change in a short amount of time. Change is stressful to some, and can cause seperation and anxiety. So, my prayer is that God grant us patience, in this time of change, in the church.




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