Spiritual Development and Support for Christ Church and the Wider Community


We anticipate a new “settled” priest at Christ Church in September, and thus, once again, beginning a process of mutual formation. Because of our commitment to the “mutual ministry” model, this process has depth and urgency. In mutual ministry we engage in the ministries of the church and find that in this involvement, our lives in Christ are formed and grown. It is a stimulating, challenging, and life-enhancing (and sometimes life-defining) process. We come to recognize that, along with so many other aspects of church life, our personal spiritual development is our responsibility, not the responsibility of our ordained leadership.

GRAINS is our ministry of spiritual support and development for Christ Church and the wider community. It encourages us to increase our awareness of our personal needs and hungers for spiritual support and development, and to step out and speak up to have our needs met and our hungers satisfied.

As we approach entering into relationship with a new ordained leader, we are encouraged to identify our needs and hungers and let them be known.

Here are some ideas floating in our church (and non-church) community. Share your responses, your interests, and/or your own ideas through This will be updated weekly and published here.

ENGAGING THE BIBLE: How might you like to do this?

Here are some possibilities:

A Lectionary-based Bible study, engaging the Gospels as they are broken open throughout the liturgical year.

For a book group format, resources that might be useful include:

Bread Not Stone and But She Said both by Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza offer practices of biblical interpretation that are spiritually and politically empowering for women.

The Hidden Gospel by Neil Douglas-Klotz decodes the spiritual messages of the Aramaic Jesus.

Conversations with the Scripture and with Each Other: Spiritual Formation for Lay Leaders by M.Thomas Shaw SSJE. There are copies available to look at.

What are your ideas? What would work for you?

PRAYER/SPIRITUAL SUPPORT GROUP/S: Perhaps “hybrid” groups to share our spiritual journeys and support each other on the way, maybe some mutually wanted prayer component.

EXPLORING AN EMERGENT THEOLOGY: The Franciscan, Richard Rohr, reminds us that the Christ is not Jesus's last name. How would it be if we thought of the Christ (or christ) as the Divine force, God's instrument, that surges through history for the evolving of consciousness? A force that Jesus surely incarnated, but which we see evident in other spiritual figures? In the Spark work we experience that this force is currently surging globally, moving us toward a new level of consciousness. What does this do to our faith? What does it mean for us as members of the Christian tradition?

You are invited to respond and/or add some ideas of your own by emailing Martha Holden: These responses will be published weekly.

Spark of Humanity

The Spark of Humanity Network meets monthly by teleconference for practice and application. To learn about upcoming events, click here.