Growing Together

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Spiritual Growth

The journey to which Jesus invites us is communal, meaning we can't do it alone. If we want to grow through all the challenges of daily living we will need help from others and we will need to learn to help others. While Sunday mornings provide a necessary place for large-group gathering and worship, we also need smaller environments where the content and conversation can be tailored to our individual needs and challenges. And we need to build trusting relationships. Below, you will find links and information to what we are currently offering to make this possible.

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Book Club 2022-2023

Last year I joined the book club facilitated by the non-profit group Renovare, and this year I'm doing it again. But instead of doing it alone, I'd like to invite you (or anyone you know) to join me. Reading books together is one of the best ways to build relationships, learn something new about our faith, and let the Spirit challenge and guide you into new places.

Email me or Visit the Info Page

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Monthly Gatherings

Starting in June 2022, we will be gathering on the last Thursday of the month at Emmaus Lutheran in Eugene for conversation and spiritual practice. Doors open at 6:30 for soup and bread, and you are welcome to bring a beverage for yourself or to share with others (beer or wine are ok!). Childcare is available as well. These gatherings are open to anyone without regard to church affiliation.

Monthly Gathering Info Page

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A Practicing Community

We are using to build community around practicing and processing together. To be notified about posts and invitations, create an account, download the IOS app, and turn on notifications for new content and opportunities to connect.

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Latest Content for Discussion

Follow along on the podcast by pastor Joel for content related to spiritual growth, questions for discussion, and spiritual practices. (Available on most major podcast services)

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Help Getting Started

Contact pastor Joel for questions related to spiritual growth and spiritual practices.

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Meditation on Transformation, by Jessie Proulx

When I was asked to lead a spiritual practice on transformation, I sat down with God and cycled wit Him, a way of individually connecting each part of the soul to the Trinity. Through this time a sort of poem/conversation emerged. If you're willing. I encourage you to invite God into this time.

What inspires you? What resonates? What causes you fear? What images or words or parts of your life are drawn to your attention?

This is simply a time for you and God to be actively quiet together for discovery and exploration...

Transformation does not come easily. It does not pass by unnoticed or unfelt. It does not work by ways of comfort and familiarity of whom I have been, But with dramatic change that drives towards who God has called me to become.

For only when the grape is first deconstructed can wine be produced, Only after a stone is under pressure that the diamond cam emerge, Only when an olive is pressed upon can its oil flow.

Whey then do I resist or fear, or deny being transformed? Are wine, diamonds, and oil not valuable, even preferred?

But I ask myself: If the grape could speak, would it not cry out when crushed? If the stone could feel, would it not fear the pressure place upon it? If the olive could flee, would it not run from being pressed upon?

The better question may be: Why would I not resist, or fear, or deny being transformed?

God answers: Were you not created to be more than the grape, the stone, and the olive? Were you not created with the ability to think, to connect, to choose?

But in my fear, I ask still: Why would I choose the pains of such a transformation?

And God answers: Because transformation is not arbitrary, it is acutely purposeful, and also not without reward.

True transformation, God's transformation, is an internal reshaping, a shift to better align myself with God's intended identity for me.

If transformation is a choice, It is only when I submit to the deconstruction, It is only when I trust the process of being under pressure, It is only when I embrace the pressing placed upon me, That Gd's grade-filled, loving, and righteous transformation works itself out in my soul.

So, I submit, Oh God, to the deconstruction, knowing You will rebuild me anew. I trust that the pressure I am put under will reveal my more authentic self. I embrace the press upon me, knowing that it is Your goodness that will flow from me.

Heavenly Father, reveal to me where I am being called to transform. Jesus, hold my hand and steer me back to You when my trust falters. Holy Spirit, lead me to the opportunities that allow Your good works in me.

If you have identified an area of transformation in your life and agree to it, repeat: Heavenly Father, I submit. Jesus, I trust. Holy Spirit, I embrace Your true transformation.