2019 Emphasis

We, as a community faith, are engaging more deeply in a sacred journey of life in Christ as we emphasize the second part of our church’s mission statement this year – “formed in Christ”. Throughout 2019, we will journey as a community of faith as each individual intentionally finds ways to engage in a process of spiritual formation and open one’s heart to God. There will be a variety of opportunities available at Shades Crest that are designed to assist you in your own journey with God. We hope the opportunities available and the suggestions for personal engagement will be meaningful springboards for God’s transforming presence in your journey.

If you were not able to attend one of the “Formed in Christ” Orientation Sessions, we hope you will jump right in by visiting this page of the website each week and engaging in the opportunities for this emphasis.

Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers as you seek to go “further in” with God.

Here are some ways you can “systematically and progressively rearrange your affairs” this week as you “devote yourself to becoming more like Jesus

Time Alone with God

Click here for four opportunities to personally reflect and talk with God about some of the things discussed in the “Formed in Christ” Orientation Sessions.

“Formed in Christ” Worship Series

Click here for suggestions about what you can do this week to prepare for the three worship series on the theme of being formed in Christ. The first series, “Becoming Your True Self” begins Sunday, Jan. 20.

Click here to listen to the first worship series.

Monthly Spiritual Reading Preparation

One of the opportunities for your spiritual formation this year is to engage in spiritual reading. Each month, February-November, a book will be suggested for our congregation to read individually. A couple weeks prior to the month, the title of the book and publication information will be listed on this page so you can order it before the month begins. A link will also be provided with some information about why this book was selected and some suggestions about your engagement with the book. At that time, you will also find the date of an informal, optional opportunity for conversation about the book if you would find that enriching and/or helpful. These dates will be scheduled toward the end of the month so you will have ample time for reading.

Click here to learn more about the nature and purpose of spiritual reading.

Book for February:
The Good and Beautiful God: Falling in Love with the God Jesus Knows by James Bryan Smith. (Intervarsity Press, 2009)
Note: This book is the first one of a series. While all of the books in the series could be valuable reading, we will not be reading  the other books in the series as a part of this emphasis.

Book Discussion for The Good and Beautiful God: Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 6:30 pm in the Fellowship Hall.

Click here to read about why this book was selected and suggestions about your engagement with this book.

Book for March:
Love Beyond Reason: Moving God’s Love from Your Head to Your Heart by John Ortberg. (Zondervan, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2004)
Note: This book is no longer in print. Used copies can be purchased from Amazon.com or from the Barnes and Noble website. If you need assistance ordering the book, please contact Connie Shaffer in the Church Office at (205) 822-1360.

Book Discussion for Love Beyond Reason: Tuesday, April 2 at 6:30 pm in the Fellowship Hall.

Click here to read about why this book was selected and suggestions about your engagement with this book.

Book for April:
Invitation to a Journey: A Road Map for Spiritual Formation by M. Robert Mulholland. (Intervarsity Press, Revised and Expanded edition; April 25, 2016)

Book Discussion for Invitation to a Journey: Tuesday, April 30 at 6:30 pm in the Fellowship Hall.

Click here to read about why this book was selected.

Contemplative Worship Services

Throughout this year, we will have four contemplative worship experiences as a part of the “formed in Christ” emphasis. We hope you will join us for the first of these services on Wednesday, March 6 at 6 pm in the Sanctuary. This service will include scripture, prayer, and times of personal reflection as we prepare for the season of Lent.