September 29, 2016

Christian Formation is a dynamic process. God’s Spirit is unpredictable, ever beckoning us to take our faith seriously and ever wooing us to new ways of doing this. There are a number of spiritual practices we can engage to deepen our faith, yet the spirit is always broader and more complex than any one practice. In John 3:8, Jesus explains that the Spirit, like the wind, blows where it will – the invitation is to hear it, not fully knowing where it comes from or where it is leading. As a blowing wind can touch our face and flush our cheeks, so God’s spirit can spring up at any moment to stir our souls.

At September’s Educational Ministry meeting, our department took some time to step outside of planning events that help us deepen our faith to listening for where God’s Spirit is already manifest in the life of Lakeshore. Where, we asked ourselves, do we see people’s faith being formed in the various activities of the church? How are we able to deeply engage our faith and encounter God’s Spirit? Here are some of answers we came up with: Vacation Bible Camp, the Church Retreat, Standing and Singing for Justice, engaging in mission work, participating in Forums, at the Soup and Study table, the work of the Hunger Task Force such as the Hunger Walk and Sponsor-A-Family projects, visiting the sick, sharing communion and making phone calls or sending cards, welcoming different voices to the pulpit and hearing from different servants of God, 5th Sunday Worship services, and lay participation in worship, from greeters to singing to spoken word.

God’s Spirit is on the move at Lakeshore – sometimes within traditional spiritual practices and sometimes far beyond these familiar ways of encountering God. Where have you felt the Spirit of God stirring in your life? How have you encountered a breath of fresh air lately? These are important questions to reflect upon every now and then, lest we miss out on some of the surprises God has in store for us!