Religion & Spirituality:Christianity
Today our guest is Jerusalem Greer, member of the "Way of Love creation and leadership team with The Episcopal Church. Jerusalemis an author, public speaker, multi-hobby enthusiast, and blogger on her website jerusalemgreer.com. She is the leader for the upcoming Episcopal Province of New England Faith Formation Leaders Gathering all about the Way of Love. She was also just named staff officer for evangelism for The Episcopal Church.
For Lent, The Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Church in Connecticut are embracing the Way of Love, encouraging folks to Turn, Learn, Pray, Worship, Bless, Go, and Rest.
Jerusalem calls us in from her farm in Arkansas. We begin our conversation about the Way of Love and Lent by asking what is the Way of Love and how she became involved in the creation and leadership. Jerusalem says that it is not a program, first and foremost, but rather it is a Rule of Life, similar to that of a monastic Rule of Life, with seven spiritual practices. It came out of the Presiding Bishop’s launch of the Jesus Movement and people’s reflections on how to participate. RenewalWorks later wrote a white paper based on its research showing that Episcopalians have a deep hunger for a deeper spiritual life.
The Way of Love started with two questions: "how can we help disciple our people in practical ways?" and "how what does it mean to be a part of the Jesus Movement?”
Alli asks how Jerusalem got herself involved. Jerusalem is very involved with FORMA and The Episcopal Church’s Evangelism team, and was asked to help come up with this initiative. They were in a room in Virginia Theological Seminary for many hours looking at various monastic traditions and writings, and came up with six practices to which they gave one-word names: Turn, Learn, Pray, Worship, Bless, and Go. The Presiding Bishop came up with the seventh, Rest. Although the Presiding Bishop starts with Turn and ends with Rest, Jerusalem assured listeners it's ok to begin and end wherever.
For Lent, which begins on Wednesday, there are curriculums and various resources available at Episcopalchurch.org/wayoflove. One curriculum works through the seven words and practices and can be applied to small groups, bible studies, etc. There is also a curriculum dedicated for silent days and reflective days, perfect for Lenten retreats. It is also possible to look for resources on the website by word as well, and narrow it down by desired audience and media.
Jerusalem said that the two Way of Life practices that she has felt God “pressing in,” are in Rest and Bless. She explains that she feels that Rest is really about posture and how we define Rest — treating yourself and true soul rest. She asks what practices can help her establish a resting soul rate, like a resting heart rate. For Bless, Jerusalem views it as Evangelism and how that looks like as a blessing, which is different than Go, which is more like Outreach.
During Lent, the Episcopal Church in Connecticut will offer weekly reflections following the Way of Love from our Region Missionaries on all our social media platforms! All of this information will also be available on the ECCT’s weekly eNewsletters which you can subscribe to here.
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