Next Steps

Next Steps Towards Discipleship

We encourage everyone to take steps to grow in their own journey of faith towards being a disciple of Jesus.  These steps include daily spiritual practices of prayer, Bible reading, and meditation, and meaningful relationships with others both within the church community and outside of it.  Below are some resources that we either offer or can point you towards.

Daily Devotionals
  • Unfolding the Light: 1 minute online spiritual devotions by United Methodist Pastor Steve Garnaas –Holmes.  Features a daily poem on faith.    
  • 3 minute online retreat by Loyola Press: invites you to take a short prayer break at your computer. Spend some quiet time reflecting on a Scripture passage.
  • 12 minute retreat: “Pray As You Go” offers an online guided reflection on a scripture passage each day including a variety of different styles of sacred music.  This is the link to this website, then select the day for that day’s reading.  Also available as an app for iPhones and Androids.  Go to the website to download these apps.
  • Printed Devotions:  Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young is very popular.  Bread for the Journey” by Henri Nouwen is also very good.  Talk to Pastor Kim for more information and to look at the books themselves.  We also have “Upper Rooms” at the back of the sanctuary.  These are a small magazine devotional guide that comes out every two months.
  • Year-long devotional book:  One book that Pastor Kim is using with the Wednesday morning Bible Study is ” Openings: A Daybook of Saints, Sages, Psalms and Prayer Practices” by Larry Peacock.  This daily prayer guide goes through all the Psalms in one year, and guides people in developing spiritual practices. Written by the recent director at Rolling Ridge Retreat Center.
Bible Reading
  • “Bible In One Year”This free daily Bible reading app can be read on a computer or downloaded to your smartphone. Over the course of one year, you will read the entire Bible (NIV translation) guided by Nicky Gumbel, an Anglican priest and pioneer of ALPHA, who provides commentary on the passages and short prayers.
  • “The Daily Message”The Message paraphrase translation by Eugene Peterson is available as a printed book or an Audible book.  Takes you through the Bible (The Message) in one year in six readings a week.
  • “The NRSV Daily Bible”Another way to read the Bible in one year in paperback or kindle version – link to more information. Each day has a commentary and prayer.  In the familiar NRSV translation that is in our pews.
  • “The Dickinson Series: Exploring the Bible”Sponsored by the Massachusetts Bible Society, this is a four-part series on the Bible –link to more information.  Our church has student copies of the first and second books – “What is the Bible” and “Introducing the Old Testament” –available to lend or to look at in the Upper Room.
Classes and Groups
  • AlphaALPHA is a series of interactive sessions that freely explore the Christian faith, the spiritual practices of prayer, and Bible reading.    If you are interested in learning more about it, talk to Ted Marcy.
  • Men’s Breakfast: Once a month on a Saturday, men gather for breakfast with conversation, a prayer, and a program.  For example,  recently we have selected, discussed, and debated one of the parables of Jesus.  All men welcome.  This group also performs various community mission projects during the year.
  • Wednesday Morning Bible Study: Open to men and women with all welcome for sharing, and Bible Study from 10-11:30am Wednesdays (link to event posting)
  • ChurchNext Online video coursesWe have free access for up to 10 people a month to do a variety of video courses on their own time and at home.  Contact Pastor Kim or Ted Marcy if you are interested, and we can send an email invitation to you for a course so that it is free.
Spiritual Direction

Dinny Adamson is a trained spiritual director who is meeting with individuals on Thursdays or Fridays at our church in the Ruth Bull Room.  Speak with Kim or Ted if you are interested.  Both have spiritual directors, and Ted meets with Dinny.  Below is a fuller description of this approach to spiritual growth.

The practice of spiritual direction offers an opportunity to reflect deeply on the experiences of your life and to recognize God’s presence and grace in those experiences.  The spiritual “director” is not there to “direct” you – that is the work of the Holy Spirit – but rather to witness to the unfolding of your relationship with God.  Spiritual direction is not counseling or therapy, but an opportunity to engage in a conversation that is focused and intentional, with the spiritual director reminding you to direct your attention to God. Regular meetings with a spiritual director (typically once a month) will help you to be faithful in prayer and in the living out of your faith.