Today we hosted a luncheon for our Celtic planning group. At one point we stared discussing spiritual formation and the most effective ways of accomplishing this. Since then I have been thinking about not only how I accomplish spiritual formation in my own life but how I assist others to move closer to God. Most spiritual formation occurs in informal settings a fact that has been born our for me this week. My most meaningful times of spiritual formation this week have been walking around Costcos with our intern from Whitworth College and picking raspberries with my friends.
Walking around Costcos may not sound like the ideal place for growing ones’ spiritual life but in many ways it is in situations like this that the rubber hits the road. As we walked around we talked about the struggles we have to live simply in a culture that takes such abundance for granted. We talked about fair traded products and how we can help the poor and the marginalized through our choices. We also talked about buying organic and the ways in which we can support local family farms by investing in community supported agriculture (CSA). This may not sound like a very spiritual discussion but we covered the spectrum from social justice and the minimum wage to care for the environment.
As you know I am not a fan of teaching “spiritual formation” by sitting people down in chairs and yakking at them. Unless we give people an opportunity to practice what they are learning and show them that we are also practicing what we preach than I don’t think anyone is learning anything about what it means to be a Christian. Personally I would like to scrub Sunday school all together. Hands on spiritual learning is far more effective