Bible, Baggage, and an Empathetic Approach

Hebrew and Christian scriptures are woven throughout the Way of the Spirit program. That sounds reassuring to some participants, terrifying to others.

In Way of the Spirit we relate to the Bible in varied ways—with great love, fearful skepticism, or deep-seated allergies to the blatant sexism, racism, colonialism, homophobia, and violence it contains. Sometimes we come to the text with jumbled reactions not reconsidered since youth. So, please be reassured that many perspectives are welcome.

In Way of the Spirit, we practice an experiential approach to the Bible guided by the Holy.  Former guest presenter, Wess Daniels, introduces an “empathetic” lens in a helpful blog post: The Company We Keep: Empathy and Reading the Bible Together. We encourage engagement with a variety of translations and helpful resources for historical/cultural context.

Each retreat includes a reference list of passages related to the retreat theme. Lectio Divina and Friendly Bible Study reflect the heart of our approach. Guided reflection exercises during sessions invite you to explore in new ways. A daily worship may include a spoken “message” on a relevant Bible text by a facilitator.

Way of the Spirit offers an open-hearted container to explore big questions with scripture: How might these ancient stories intersect with our own, and how does God continue to reveal the Divine nature through both the Bible and contemporary sensibilities?

And the end of words is to bring [us] to the knowledge of things beyond what words can utter. So, learn of the Lord to make a right use of scriptures: which is by esteeming them in their right place, and prizing that above them which is above them.  Isaac Penington (Quaker, 1616–1679)