Preview Small Group Discussion Guide
Transforming Work: Spiritual Renewal for Your Work Life is now available as a preview. Our small group discussion guide is designed to help people connect their faith or spirituality and their work, and to help them find ways to deal with work related issues. Each session includes a passage of scripture, a short commentary, and questions for discussion.
While it is formatted for use by small groups, it can also be used for individual study and reflection.
Our plan is to offer it for free as a digital download for thirty days and then, after receiving your feedback, offer it for sale. if you would like to download it for free, please visit our Transforming Work page and we will be happy to send you a link.read more
The story of the wise men – – also known as the Magi – – is one of the great stories of the Bible. The late James Dittes of Yale saw in the story a battle between two conflicting aspects of our human nature, a drive for stability and control, and a drive to forsake stability and control in order to pursue a quest for the sacred. In the story, the desire for stability and control is represented by Herod and the quest for the sacred is represented by the wise men.
Both are necessary and contribute to human flourishing.
The drive for stability, in its uncorrupted form, is important to us. It provides the foundation for the coherence that helps us make sense of daily life. It enables us to make decisions regarding our work, our family, and other areas of our lives. Too much turmoil makes it almost impossible to make clear decisions and to build effectively for the future.
But the quest is important too. What I am calling the quest has to do with our search for the sacred, for transcendence, for meaning. We can think of the quest as the natural outgrowth of the intuitive human desire to connect with something deeper than ourselves – to experience a deeper sense of connection with God. It is as though over the course of our lives we are being drawn to God.
Listen on: (Time: 11:37) iTunes / Stitcher / Google Play or
What might spiritual renewal mean? In this episode we explore what spiritual renewal could mean for our work life. Maybe it would lead to working with greater purpose, compassion, and equanimity, and help us develop a higher level of collaboration and teamwork. We also discuss how our faith and spirituality might help us find spiritual renewal.
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This is a very busy time of year for many of us — maybe the busiest. But Advent should also be a time of waiting, reflection, and spiritual renewal.
To help you wait and reflect, we will offer again this year a series of weekly recorded meditations. Each one is designed to provide a starting point for your own meditation. Each contains a passage of scripture, two or three questions for reflection, and some peaceful background music.
This week’s reflection, A Message of Hope During a Time of Trouble, is based on Isaiah 61:1-4read more
Scholar and sociologist Nancy Ammerman has spent a great deal of time studying what she has termed “lived religion”, the “embodied and enacted forms of spirituality that occur in everyday life”, including the workplace. She includes beliefs and religious in lived religion, but goes well beyond these to include everyday practice. Ammerman found that religion and spirituality helped individuals find meaning throughout their daily lives:
“Looked at from one angle, what we found in stories of everyday life was that individuals were cultivating a religious consciousness and weaving a layer of spirituality into the fabric of their individual lives, a warp and woof that extend far beyond the institutional domain designated as ‘religious’.”
Please let us know if you are interested in hosting or attending one of a series of retreats we call Spiritual Practices for Your Work Life. It has been a couple of years since our last series, and we are putting together a new version.
In these retreats we expose the participants to a number of spiritual practices that can help them in their work life. We also provide some time for small group discussion and individual reflection, and in general help people see how their faith and spirituality can inform and support their daily work.read more
The Center has long been interested in the example set by the Fulton Street Prayer Meetings that sparked the revival of 1857-1858. The Fulton Street meetings, which eventually involved hundreds of thousands of business and trades people in cities across the United States, were organized and led by business people. These prayer meetings were held at noon during the work week at locations near heavy concentrations of businesses.read more
Different spheres of life have different grammars. By this I mean that not only do we use different words in different spheres, but that the logical rules and structural relationships between the words can be quite different as well. This can create a problem when we are trying to connect our faith and our work — two domains with two different sets of grammar. This is especially true when the differences are unconscious.
Compare the grammar of business with that of the “typical” church.read more
Workplace chaplaincy services are receiving increased attention and appear to be a growing phenomena. An article by Cheryl Hall in the Dallas Morning News (November 25, 2014) reports on the firm Marketplace Ministries, Inc., and its founder Gil Stricklin.
Hall reports that Marketplace Ministries hires chaplains and provides services to businesses and other organizations for a fee. The chaplains provide a variety of services, all at the option and initiation of the employee. These can include counseling, providing a sympathetic ear, and helping the employee find resources for dealing with personal and family problems. Spirituality can be involved — but only at the invitation of the employee.
Recommended: The current issue (October, 2014) of Leadership Journal (subscription required) has an interview with Lou Huesmann, senior pastor at Grace Brethren Long Beach. In it he talks about how his view of pastoral ministry has changed over the years, and...read more