Dear friends of our Good Shepherd,

With Ron’s help as our Spiritual Growth Guy, we have taken some important steps in our lifelong journey of spiritual growth, or spiritual formation – especially with a focus on reading the Bible. Spiritual growth can feel like an unreachable goal, so it’s helpful to break it down. Here are seven Spiritual Practices, or Faith Practices:

  1. Prayer and meditation, listening for God
  2. Reading the Bible, and other spiritual writings, listening for God’s voice to speak to us through holy texts
  3. Worship, coming together to sing, pray, listen, and experience God in water and bread and wine.
  4. Inviting others to join us in our journey of faith
  5. Encouraging others through time spent together or even a phone call or letter or card
  6. Serving others and standing in solidarity with our neighbors
  7. And giving of your time, talents, and treasure to God’s work beyond our own lives.

Our goal is to be a community united in our mission, Living and Sharing Jesus. A good place to start is to put the Spiritual Practices at the center of our common life.  The goal is not to be perfect: we do not do Spiritual Practices to prove anything to God or ourselves. Rather, we turn our hearts and lives to Spiritual Practices out of gratitude for what God has already done for us, through Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Spiritual Practices are a way of opening ourselves to the power and presence of God in, with, and around us each day.

This past week, my mom Karen Holm went on hospice care. She is surrounded by people that love her and care for her, and we are so thankful that she is receiving comfort care in her own apartment. It’s been one year since my dad died, so  this is a hard time for my family and me. I ask for your prayers, even as I pray for you and keep you in my heart. You are our Rockford family. Thank you for walking together during good times and hard times.

Living and Sharing Jesus, Pastor Eric