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.

Spiritual Practices Seminars


Through the centuries Christ-followers have longed for an intimate, interactive relationship with God. These faithful followers discovered and passed on a variety of spiritual practices or habits that opened up space in their lives for God’s grace or action to transform them in Christ’s image. As we continue this year to explore ways to open ourselves more and more to “being formed in Christ,” you are invited to join us in discovering or becoming reacquainted with some of these practices or habits.

On Sunday, May 19 from 5-7 pm in the Fellowship Hall, the first spiritual practices seminar will provide a foundational understanding of what spiritual practices are, why Christ-followers have found them to be life-giving, and how one can develop a deeper awareness and practice of these habits.

Following the introductory seminar, once a month from June-November, we will explore specific clusters of spiritual practices in a seminar format. Each seminar will introduce the spiritual practice cluster, provide an opportunity for participants to experience the practice in some way, and dialogue with the presenter about the practices. Each seminar will be from 5-7 pm on a Sunday evening. Below you will find the list of the seminars that will be offered along with the date.

  • May 19 – Spiritual Practices: What? Why? How?
  • June 23 – The Practice of Spiritual Reading
  • July 21 – The Practice of Silence and Solitude
  • August 25 – The Practice of Prayer
  • September 22 – The Practice of Examen and Discernment
  • October 20 – The Practice of Spiritual Friendship and Spiritual Direction
  • November 17 – The Practice of Soul Care – Sabbath, Retreat, and a Rule of Life

Spiritual Conversation Groups for Women

Had you hoped to be able to participate in the women’s spiritual conversation groups last spring but were unable to do so?

You are invited to participate in a special summer group that will be held on Monday evenings, July 22-August 26 from 6:30-8 pm! The goal for this group is to read the first book, Sensible Shoes: A Story About the Spiritual Journey by Sharon Garlough Brown and share in conversation with other women about the impact of the reading on your own spiritual journey and life with God. This will also provide a way for you be ready to join a spiritual conversation group as the groups reconvene this fall for book two if that is something you would find helpful.

We believe you will have a meaningful experience as you explore the spiritual journey of the four fictional female characters through your reading as well as become more familiar with spiritual formation and some of the practices Christians through the centuries have found foundational in their own walk with God.

Please contact Suzanne Reece or Clella Lee no later than Sunday, July 14 if you would like to participate in this group. At that time they will be able to give you the details in preparation for our first gathering on July 22.

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.

Discovering Our Spiritual Identity: Practices for God’s Beloved by Trevor Hudson. (Intervarsity Press, 2010, 2011 )

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


  • July 7-12            Chapter 9: Practicing the Presence of God, pp. 90-100
  • July 14-19          Chapter 10: Opening Our Hearts to God, pp. 101-110
  • July 21-26          Chapter 11: Overcoming Evil Within and Around Us, pp. 111-123
  • July 28-Aug 2   Chapter 12: Witnessing to the Good News, pp. 124-136

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.

Click here to listen to the second worship series, “The Disciple’s Triangle.”

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 our third contemplative worship experience on Tuesday, August 27 at 6:30 pm in the Fellowship Hall.