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"As it is." These three little words embedded in the lines of a prayer taught by Jesus remind us to seek the workings of the divine "on earth as it is in heaven" — that is, to approach our many challenges in union with Sacred Presence. But how? One profound and reassuringly helpful tool to foster this sense of unity is spiritual journaling. Through contemplative writing, we get practice in recognizing and responding to our relationship with God, self, others, nature, work, and society just "as it is."
Spiritual journaling opens space to relate to deep questions:
- What does this event or this emotion have to say to me?
- What can this disappointment teach me about healing?
- What does this discovery reveal to me about the presence and leading of the Holy Spirit?
- How can my anguish over the suffering of this person or that group stir my love into action?
- How can my felt sense of yearning guide me in taking the next best step in this situation?
Whatever spiritual path you are on, this e-course will equip you to explore interior, interpersonal, social, and sacred realities. Holy questions gleaned from scripture, poetry, and literature will offer a variety of perspectives on faith and doubt, action, and reflection. In emails, sent every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, you will receive:
- An introductory reflection on the day's topic
- A tip for getting started with your writing
- A special query to spark your thoughts and journal writing
- A suggested action for going deeper if you wish
- A link to a Practice Circle (24/7 forum) open for sharing with the course's worldwide community guided by Judith Favor.
Judith began journaling when she was ten, in a small blue diary with a gold lock and miniature key. She chose a ballpoint pen, because she knew that writing in pencil would let her fudge the truth. In 1974, she began a lifelong love affair with keeping a journal, studying journaling as an art form and not only writing but also inserting soul collages, tree photos, and icons in her journals.
In 1981 she enrolled at Pacific School of Religion and then went on to be pastor of United Church of Christ congregations in San Francisco until the ministries of spiritual formation and writing laid claim to her soul. She now lives at Pilgrim Place in Claremont, California. Her heart is enriched by her work in spiritual accompaniment, teaching, and contemplative writing.
Judith invites you to freely express your full range of written reactions in this e-course — confused or certain thoughts, positive or negative emotions — because each aspect of the truth of yourself will reveal valuable insights. You may want to follow her journaling prompts exactly; you may also view them as a trampoline and record the bouncing associations that follow. This e-course gives you lots of freedom, most of all the freedom to follow your heart and the arc of your own life's story.
She is also offering a day-long retreat on Saturday, July 25, "Writing for Change in Challenging Times" with a gentle rhythm of Zoom sessions and time for personal contemplation. Take both the day retreat and the four-week e-course for a discounted price.
(4 CEHs for chaplains available.)
(choose your own start date and frequency)