Many of you know that I am a survivor of childhood trauma. When I got to the point of being ready to face what had happened to me, I had the privilege of receiving lots of help from my community and from professional helpers. (I’m grateful!)
On this side of the healing journey, I can see that this terrible experience helped shape who I am today — and created in me the gifts that I give the world. I can see the presence of the Holy One who took those wounds and made them into strengths that I can offer to others who have gone through trauma. I believe that God takes our wounds and transforms them for the sake of the world.
I’m especially looking forward to sharing with you the conversation between Rev. Trevor Hudson and Rev. Sidwell Mokgothu, both from South Africa, both present and active during that country’s long journey from Apartheid to post-Apartheid healing. We’ll also hear from Rev. Dr. Ron Bell on the body’s responses to trauma. Rev. Dr. Amy Steele will offer us biblical narratives and a theological framework for understanding trauma. I’ll be the worship leader for this event.
The retreat is virtual — you can attend from your home or wherever! And if you cannot be present for the retreat — or if you miss any sessions — recordings will be available following the end of the retreat.
Friends, I hope you will consider joining me in this online event at the end of September. I’ll be leading worship for the retreat. We will open with prayer at 5:00 p.m. (CDT) on Thursday, September 30 and we’ll close with prayer at noon (CDT) on Saturday, October 2nd. Join us as we create spaces to heal.
Resilience: Healing Practices for Mind, Body, and Spirit
In March 2020, everything changed. As we reflect on the last 18 months, we find ourselves in a new and unfamiliar place. The world has changed. Our work has changed. Our families have changed. We have changed. These have been months filled with trauma for people all over the world.
Now we begin the task of finding our way in this changed world, of healing from our individual and collective trauma. How do we do this?
You’re invited to join The Upper Room as we create space to listen together as we find our way. Our virtual event will include storytelling, time for personal reflection and conversation, guided spiritual practice, and worship. This time of gathering offers spaciousness—time for reflection and interaction, a fresh array of spiritual practices to help with healing from trauma, and an introduction to spiritual tools you can use in your own healing journey or the healing journey through which you lead others.
Speakers and workshop leaders include Rev. Sidwell Mokgothu, Rev. Trevor Hudson, Rev. Dr. Amy Steele, Rev. Dr. Ron Bell, Rev. Kimberly Orr, Kara Lassen Oliver, Rev. Beth A. Richardson, and more.
I hope you’ll consider joining me. I’ll be leading worship for Courageous Curiosity: Cultivating an Antiracist Spirituality. An Online Academy Day Apart with Lucretia Berry and Ben Boswell. August 27, 2021. Learn more and sign up.
“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” -James Baldwin
“Why is it that Christianity seems impotent to deal radically—and therefore effectively—with the issues of discrimination and injustice on the basis of race, religion and national origin?” -Howard Thurman
Join us for this online Academy Day Apart retreat with Lucretia Berry, author, speaker and founder of Brownicity – Many Hues, One Humanity (brownicity.com) and Ben Boswell, Academy alum, pastor, and creator of a nine-week spiritual formation curriculum with the working title What Does it Mean to Be White? (slated for publication by Upper Room Books in July 2022). We will engage the deep soul work of antiracism supported by the resources of community, silence, worship, and embodied spiritual practice.
Space is limited. The registration deadline is August 15, 2021.
Retreat Rates: $75 full registration rate $125 full rate + sponsor another participant $40 student rate
Years ago when I was editor of The Upper Room’s website, I began collecting my favorite quotes from Upper Room Books and sharing them in the “Seasonal Reflections” emails. These quotes and their authors became friends I relied on when I hit difficult stretches of life.
It was so satisfying to pick out a selection of these “friends” to include in the pages of Walking in the Wilderness. And I was able to add some new favorite quotes and authors from more recent Upper Room publications.
I hope that you also learn to feel that these faithful friends are waiting to share their wisdom with you when you hit life’s difficult seasons.
Here are just a few …
We are invited simply to be with God. … Crawling up in the lap of Love, resting our head against Love’s breast, and taking comfort in that slow, steady heartbeat of grace that says, This is where you belong.
-Roger Owens, What We Need Is Here
God, collect our tears … And pour them back on us as life-giving water!
-Safiyah Fosua, The Africana Worship Book: Year B
Dear God, help us to see that we are more more than our scars.
-Michael W. Waters, Freestyle
Faithfulness is consecration in overalls.
-Evelyn Underhill, Writings of Evelyn Underhill
All things come and all things go over and over again.
-John S. Mogabgab, Weavings
Grief is such a messy thing.
-Roberta C. Bondi, Wild Things
“I never aspired to write a book for the Lenten season. I have always been so much more attracted to the softness of the season of Advent. In fact, I may have been heard to say, ‘I will never write a book about Lent.’ But here I am, writing a book for Lent, this season of wandering in the wilderness.”
-Introduction to Walking in the Wilderness: Seeking God During Lent
As I was considering my Lenten discipline this year, I decided to read my book in a different way. I’m finding that way to be creating a collage each day. This practice is keeping me grounded, letting me hear these words as if they were spoken to me.
Each day’s entry in Walking in the Wilderness includes a quote from an Upper Room author, a scripture reading, a reflection and prayer from me, and a word to carry in one’s heart through the day. As I tear apart the pages of the book, different elements speak to me and arrange themselves on a page.
I offer to you some of these pages. May the Holy One guide you through these days.