Wednesday, November 01, 2006

FAQ: What is "Spiritual Experiments?"

Spiritual Experiments is the Port City for the Seeker Island on the NCC Discipleship Map. In Spiritual Experiments, we strive to create a safe environment for people to try out different spiritual disciplines in a casual, encouraging, no pressure community of other experimenters.

In college, I spent a lot of time in the lab. Because labs are designed to control and contain messes, they allow students the freedom to try new things. That's the purpose of the Spiritual Experiments group.

We've only run this group once, so the curriculum is still in flux. But here is a sampling of the disciplines we covered during our first run:
  • Journaling- we talked about the reasons for journaling and the different types of journaling and committed to keeping a journal of our spiritual experimentation throughout the semester.
  • Prayer- we talked about 7 different prayer models and experimented with them throughout the week.
  • Fasting- we talked about the Biblical and historical precedents for fasting, the purposes of fasting, and guidelines for fasting. Then, we picked a fasting model to try out during the week.
  • Slowing- we talked about silence, solitude, and retreating and tried to be intentional about incorporating them into our daily lives.
  • Worship- we spent most of the group time in worship and talked about different ways to worship. Over the next week, we sought to incorporate worship into our daily lives and view it as a lifestyle and not an activity.
  • Ancient Disciplines- we talked about pilgrimage, stations of the cross, and the Ignatian Examen and the applicability of these ancient disciplines in our generation and culture.
A print curriculum of Spiritual Experiments will be available in 2007.


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