GPS GUIDE | Week of June 14, 2020
Weekly Grow-Pray-Study Guide
We're on week 2 of a new worship series, "Searching for Beauty - Returning to the Heart of Worship." Along with the worship series, we'll be sending out a weekly devotional guide called the GPS - the Grow-Pray-Study Guide - which will provide a weekly supplement of resources to guide you on your journey of faith.

In case you missed it, view this week's online worship service below.
We Were Made for the Beloved
Remember Who You Are
READ | Scripture Reading
You are encouraged to use the spiritual practice of Lectio Divina as you read this week's scripture passage.

Try reading the scripture through 3 times, aloud if possible. Pause when a word or phrase seems to “jump out” or “shimmer” as you read. Why does that word or phrase seem to stand out? What is God saying to you in this moment? What action is God calling you to?

I praise the LORD (Yahweh), who guides me;
even at night my heart teaches me. 

I’m always aware of your presence;
you are right by my side,
and nothing can shake me. 

My heart is happy and my tongue sings for joy;
I feel completely safe with you, 
because you won’t abandon me to the Grave;
you won’t let your loved one see decay. 

You show me the path to Life; 

your presence fills me with joy.
[Beautiful things are always in your right hand.] (a)
(a) Ref: CEB

WATCH | Interview with Dr. Wendy Farley
Each week, we'll be provided with a video discussion between Dr. Wendy Farley, Professor of Spirituality and Dr. Marcia McFee, Professor of Worship, as they delve deeper into the week's themes and ideas.

Watch the week 2 discussion:
REFLECT | Reflection Questions
These questions - based on the sermon & interview video - can be used as personal reflection questions, or as discussion questions with a friend or small group.
  • Dr. Farley says that we have the capacity to hold both the beauty and the suffering of life together. The Holy Spirit invites us to sit with both at once. What is an example in your life of experiencing beauty in the midst of suffering?

  • Dr. Wendy Farley speaks of “forgetfulness” as a way that people feel distant from God. We forget who God is and how we are beloved by our Creator. What mental habits have you perhaps developed that are in conflict with the belief that you are beloved? What practices could help you keep new affirmations in front of you daily?

  • What has helped you in the past to remember your belovedness? Can you imagine now a time when you have been loved and expand that into an awareness that God’s love for you is multiple times more vast than even that experience?
Starting this week: join a small group discussion at Wednesday Night Live - an outdoor gathering for live & in-person faith conversations. Wednesdays, 7:00 PM, outdoor patio behind the Wing in the Woods at Polk City United Methodist Church!
(masks and physical distancing strongly encouraged)
PRACTICE | Weekly Spiritual Practice
This series invites us to integrate spiritual practices into our daily lives as a way of opening to the Divine in deeper ways, thereby training our spirits for compassion in all things.
This week’s ritual action is a time of feeling warmed by God’s love. Set a reminder to spend some time each day being “warmed” by sitting/walking in the sun or sitting/lying while wrapped and cradled in a soft blanket. As you do so, allow your mind to slow, your heart to open, your eyes to drink in your surroundings.

You may want to put a note nearby, “Your very being is warmed by the presence of diving love. Offer that warmth to others... for the beauty of the earth.”
PRAY | This week's prayer requests
  • Prayers for Charlotte Loter's sister in law Connie Woodsmall (Bob's sister); she begins a long recovery from falling down the basement stairs. 
  • Jackie Cook's brother went home Friday and is still recovering and in need of prayers.
  • Suzanne McKinstry's mom Connie was taken by ambulance to the hospital during the night last night with heart problems. She has been admitted and is still awaiting relief from her symptoms. Because of Covid, family can’t be with her during this scary time. Prayers for her safety as well as wisdom for the doctors trying to find a treatment that works.
  • Elaine Haugen has been diagnosed with a paralyzed vocal chord and sees an ENT again tomorrow to have more tests done, including a possible biopsy, to explore a growth on her thyroid, which they believe is the culprit with the voice. She requests prayers for positive results and the use of her voice to return.
Want to Go Deeper?
It's not too late to join our online study, Tuesdays at 2:00 PM

Do you long for a deep, fundamental change in your life with God? Do you desire a greater intimacy with God? Do you wonder how you might truly live your life as God created you to live it?

Sacred Rhythms is a curriculum designed to help you arrange your life around a regular pattern of traditional spiritual practices that God can use to nourish your soul and transform your life.
To participate in the study, you will need to purchase a copy of the Sacred Rhythms Participant Guide .

Note: the participants guide is different than the original book, and is all you will need for this study; the videos will be provided.

We will use the Zoom platform to share the video sessions together, then engage in discussion. You can listen to the session and participate by audio only by dialing in by phone, or you can access both audio and video using your smartphone, tablet or computer and clicking the link to Join the Zoom meeting at the start time for each session.

Register for the study below, and you will receive the information to join.