But community is only one aspect of Christian spirituality.
One of the major features at Calvin Church was that we integrated spirituality into the life of the congregation not by starting with a focus on individual spiritual practices.
Rather, Calvin Church began weaving such practices into the various groups in the life of the church.
More Christians, including many Presbyterians, are engaging in practices such as contemplative prayer, reflective reading, journaling and guided meditation, especially in the context of small groups and church practices.
The rediscovery of Christian spirituality, which began in the 1960s and 1970s, has been nurtured through the influence of an ever-growing number of influential Catholic and Protestant writers and teachers.
For example, over the years there, I taught our confirmation class a practice called lectio divina, which translates as “divine reading” or “spiritual reading.” This is a multistep practice of reading and reflection dating back to around the 10th century.
A reader slowly reads a small passage of Scripture and then invites listeners to sit in silence as they meditate on the passage and think about what God is saying to them through it.
It has sparked a much-needed growth in awareness of Christ’s presence everywhere, calling us to a deeper way of life that nurtures the fruits of the Spirit, such as compassion, generosity, self-discipline, patience, kindness and peace.
It used to be that spiritual disciplines were something only monks and nuns, and some Protestants, did in solitude, but even their solitude was still in connection with community — the monastery or the church.
So I embarked on my own pursuit of God that led me on a journey of spirituality, including early stopovers in Buddhist and New Age thought.