Volume 8| May 25, 2023
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Faith Formation Findings
resources for everyday faith living
“Lifelong faith formation in the ELCA is guided by our baptismal covenant and the Holy Spirit's ongoing guidance as we live among God's faithful people, hear the word of God and share in the Lord's supper, proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed, serve all people, following the example of Jesus.
From Easter to Pentecost
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
As the season of Easter with images of rebirth, blends into the wild visions and voices of Pentecost, I am reminded that life is in fact a wonderful complex path: sometimes rugged and dry, and other times smooth and refreshing, always accompanied by a radically loving God. Wherever you find yourself today, I invite you to look for signs of God at work in your life, places where the Spirit is moving you or your surroundings, and where you have seen Christ in an unexpected person. Keep moving, but find time to rest too.
In this issue, we will move our bodies in prayer, share stories of faith in action, and read an update on the Life of Faith initiative.
If you have questions about any of this or anything else faith formation, please give us a shout and we will see how we can help, or find someone to help you. Likewise, if you have some favorite faith practice you would like to share, please let us know and we can pass it along to share.
This month the Southwestern Texas Synod cohort leaders met with the leaders of Life of Faith to start gathering their own participants in their congregations. Mid-June they will gather in Corpus Christi in person for a day-and-a-half retreat before setting their plans in motion at home. Each congregation will be accompanied by both Life of Faith leaders and coaches. An interesting finding that is really amazing is about this new way of looking at ourselves and our lives of faith, is that it’s not a one size fits all program but allows flexibility on where each congregation wants to go! I think we will have more to share next month after we have met in person. More information about Life of Faith can be found on their website: https://lifeoffaith.info/
A Life of Faith Initiative
Learn more about what the Life of Faith is all about in the Southwestern Texas Synod and what the scope is. Hear from Pastor Dwight DuBois, Professor Craig Nessan, and Deacon Tammy Devine.
Faith Practice
Quadratos Body Prayer
Sylvia Miller-Mutia is a priest in the Episcopal Church and serves as Associate Rector at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Albuquerque, NM with a focus on outreach, evangelism, and family ministry. We shared this “Stretch and Pray” with us.

If, as scripture tells us, our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, then caring for our body is a form of prayer and devotion to God. Sylvia often encourages people who struggle with so-called "self-care" to try thinking of themselves as members of the "Altar Guild for the Temple of the Holy Spirit" so that they can begin to recognize that careful attention to eating, sleeping, exercise, etc. is not an expression of selfishness, but rather an expression of deep faithfulness to the ministry to which God has called each one of us. What the secular world might call "self-care", we in the Church might better call "good stewardship."

Here is one prayer to support you in ensuring that the temple of God's Spirit, your body, remains as open, expansive, and flexible as possible as you move through your life and ministry. It is called the Fourfold “Quadratos” Prayer, a simple 4-fold prayer from Alexander Shaia who views the gospels as a spiritual guide for a 4-part journey he calls Quadratos. Recognized by every religious faith and school of psychology, the four-part journey was at the very heart of early Christian belief and practice.

I bow to release
This movement is our body-prayer answer to the universal spiritual question: How do we face change? Read it in Matthew’s Gospel.

I rise up to wait
This movement is our body-prayer answer to the universal spiritual question: How do we move through suffering? Read it in Mark’s Gospel

I open to receive
This movement is our body-prayer answer to the universal spiritual question: How do we receive joy &union? Read it in John’s Gospel

I step out to serve
This movement is our body-prayer answer to the universal spiritual question: How do we persevere &mature in service? Read it in Luke’s Gospel

Let’s do it one more time; I bow to release; I rise to wait; I open to receive; I step out to serve. Amen
Stories of Faith in Action
We are a church that shares our faith by telling stories. It comes to us naturally from our Judeo-Christian roots: before the Old Testament was ever written down it was told as a story, verbally passed down from priest to people. Jesus was a great storyteller, and his disciples learned about God’s love by hearing parables in story form.
So it comes to reason that sharing stories is still, even today, sharing faith. We have 2 really wonderful resources where we can read stories. So gather your bible study, your small group, your family and friends and read a story aloud, listening for something new in one of the great stories of today’s faith, where Christians like you and I, are doing amazing things in the world, on behalf of the Gospel, on behalf of Christ.

to find a new story of faith.