Dear friends in Christ,
In late 2017, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church invited a few of us to Atlanta to think creatively about our church and how we might focus our work. Our small group quickly settled on the idea that discipleship—the daily work of those who are committed to following Jesus—was key. And we settled on some spiritual practices. By the time General Convention rolled around in 2018, the Presiding Bishop and his staff had taken our suggestions and crafted the Way of Love as an invitation to seven spiritual practices: turn, learn, pray, worship, bless, go, rest.
There are lots of resources now—including several from Forward Movement. There are podcasts and books and courses and more. The question I kept hearing from Episcopalians across the church is, “This sounds great. How do I get started?”
That question echoes my experience as a parish priest. Churches are filled with people of all levels of spiritual maturity and commitment. This diversity is one of the wonderful facets of parish ministry. The person who spends an hour a day in prayer works alongside the person who hardly prays. Each can inspire the other at times.
What I noticed in my ministry is that there are a lot of people who want to be committed followers of Jesus, but they’re not quite sure what that might look like in their own lives. “I would love to pray every day, but I’m not sure how.” “I’ve always wanted to read the Bible, but it’s too scary to start.” And so on.
Thinking of all those people—and remembering my own journey as a disciple—I wrote a small book with very practical guidance on how to get started. Or if you’re already started in the work of discipleship, it might provide some fresh ways to renew your practices. This is not a book for spiritual ‘experts’. It’s a book for regular people who aren’t quite sure how to translate the lofty ideals of following Jesus into their own lives.
This Friday is the official publication date for The Way of Love: A Practical Guide to Following Jesus. I’ve written a short chapter on each of the seven Way of Love practices, and each practice also includes a personal testimony from a lay person who has lived out these practices. There are reflection questions, biblical passages for study, and a list of resources for further exploration. You can find reviewers’ comments on our website.
I hope you’ll buy this book if you’re not sure where to start following Jesus. And if you’re well on your way in following Jesus, perhaps you’ll get a copy or two for friends.
The book is available for a special pre-order price of just $12 now, and the Kindle ebook is also available for pre-order on Amazon. If you want to buy the book for your book group, it’s just $10 when you buy five or more.
Next week, I’ll get back to reflecting on life in the church and in the world. Thank you for indulging an excited author this week.
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Listen to today’s Forward Day by Day reflection on the Forward Day by Day podcast. Find morning prayer on the Morning at the Office podcast and end your day with the Evening at Prayer podcast. Available anywhere you listen!
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