Forward Today: Rest and renewal

Dear friends in Christ,

Maybe you’re not like me, and your summer has seemed long and luxurious, with plenty of time for rest and renewal. But I’m guessing most of you feel the same way as I do: bewildered by the rapid turn of the calendar, with the beginning of school and the church’s program year just around the corner.

Like many folks, the staff at Forward Movement spent the spring and early summer vigorously preparing for General Convention. We wanted to share several new resources with you, the leaders of the church. And, by the grace of God and lots of hard work, we were able to showcase a slew of new resources, from ChurchNext to Mary Parmer’s book about the fabulous ministry of Invite Welcome Connect. But one of our new resources offered an important lesson to us.

Woman doing yoga

A week before General Convention, Forward Movement held a “day of refreshment.” We began with a lovely breakfast and conversation. After our daily prayer time, some stayed in their chairs while others rolled out yoga mats in the hallway. For twenty minutes, we followed the prayers and reflections from one of our new books, Faith with a Twist: A 30-Day Journey into Christian Yoga written by Episcopal priest Hillary D. Raining and yoga instructor Amy Nobles Dolan. I’m not a regular at yoga classes, but this brief respite of quiet reflection and gentle stretches reminded me of the importance of rest and renewal.

God calls us to times of rest-mandates it, actually, in the Ten Commandments, and we see its significance throughout scripture, from the story of creation to the number of times Jesus withdraws to the wilderness to pray. As we move into August, I pray that you find (or make) time for rest. The ancient wisdom of Christianity and the ancient spiritual practice of yoga teaches that Sabbath-keeping helps us maintain balance in the midst of competing demands and more importantly, draws us closer to God.
The divine in me honors the divine in you.


Richelle Thompson serves as deputy director and managing editor of Forward Movement. 

Today’s Flash Sale: The Spy on Jacob’s Ladder

Jacob's LadderHave you ever wondered what stories stones might tell or whether a fishing boat can be friends with a faithful sailor? In the kingdom of God, every single thing has a story to tell and a song to sing-donkeys, sewing needles, secret caves, and water jugs! From the author who introduced you to The Spy on Noah’s Ark, this collection of stories, told from the inside out, are sure to stir up your heart and mind as you read along, meeting old friends and making new ones. You are invited to be a spy too at some of the most beloved stories of the Bible, placing yourself as participant and witness to God’s unfolding and unfailing grace and love.

Normal: $12 | Today: $9