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Adult Discipleship

If You Liked “The Office,” You’ll Love “The Committee”

10/31/2019

Utilizing its popular character from the “Chuck Knows Church” video series, Discipleship Ministries released a series of sixteen videos, “The Committee.” The videos focus on the fictitious Park Grove Community Church, which is without a pastor and contemplating closure. Mixing “Office-like” humor and familiar traits of many of our United Methodist churches and leadership teams, each episode lasts about 15 minutes and follows meetings of the committee as our hero, Chuck, helps them process their ...


Message from Bishop Wallace-Padgett: Read Together and Pray Together

10/8/2019

Dear Friends, Every Christian is called to be a follower. Indeed Christian disciples are continually growing in our capacity to follow Jesus. Though God is the One who empowers us to be faithful followers of Jesus Christ, we have an important part to play in the process. Practices that result in our spending regular quality time with God make a huge difference in our development as disciples. Since discipleship is not a solo venture, it is essential that we practice holy habits both as ...


Silent Retreat ideal opportunity for prayer and contemplation

2/27/2019

It's a busy, noisy world out there. Advanced technology has its rewards, but it also has its drawbacks. Information sometimes comes at us faster than we can process it. Many of us yearn for time and space to just be, and be in the presence of God. The Silent Retreat offers just such time and space. The next retreat is April 5-7, 2019. Retreats are held at the Benedictine Sisters Retreat Center of the Sacred Heart Monastery, 916 Convent Road NE in Cullman. Imagine peace and tranquility in a holy...


Opportunity for Spiritual Formation and Growth

12/20/2018

Opportunity for Spiritual Formation and Growth: Metagem Institute's Spiritual Direction Training Program What: A two-year certification program for the formation of spiritual directors in the Christian tradition and for our time. Who: Those who have discerned a sense of call to offer spiritual direction or spiritual companionship are invited to apply. This program is open to laity and clergy. When: 2019-2021 Cohort starts coursework in March 2019 with the first intensive May 2019 and  program ...


Adult Discipleship Book Review: The Soul of Money

7/31/2018

“Where your treasure is, there will be your heart.”—Jesus “Follow the money.”—Deep Throat “Show me the money!”—Jerry McGuire In a recent daily devotion email, Richard Rohr commends Lynne Twist’s The Soul of Money. Lynne has been a long time global traveler and fundraiser for The Hunger Project, a worldwide effort. Among those with whom Lynne has hung out are Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, Oprah, corporate heads, and movie moguls. And also, with Gertrude and friends in the basement of a Harlem ...


Opportunities for Silence

3/1/2018

Many of us long for an escape from the noise and stress of our daily lives. If you've ever wished you could escape the ringing phone, the demands of work and family life, the bad news that can seem to surround us—here's good news. The North Alabama Conference Adult Discipleship Team supports Silent Retreats throughout the year. At a silent retreat, you can leave the world behind and find rest. Silent retreats were brought to the North Alabama Conference by the late Rev. Claude Whitehead in ...


Adult Discipleship Blog: What Spiritual Direction Is Not

9/7/2017

In my last blog posting I wrote concerning the question: What is spiritual direction? I quoted William Barry’s and William Connolly’s book, The Practice of Spiritual Direction: “Help given by one Christian to another, which enables that person to pay attention to God’s personal communication to him or her, to respond to this personally communicating God, to grow in intimacy with this God, and to live out the consequences of the relationship.” I expanded on that definition, and I shared some of ...


Benedictine Silent Retreat scheduled for September 7-9

7/26/2017

In 1988, the late Claude Whitehead, UMC pastor, counselor and spiritual director, began the Silent Retreats at Sacred Heart Monastery in Cullman. Since then, Silent Retreats have been offered twice a year as a means of spiritual formation. This year, the Fall Retreat is scheduled Thursday-Saturday, September 7-9, so that clergy who are interested can attend without missing a Sunday in church.  The Benedictine Silent Retreats continue to follow the format Rev. Whitehead created. The theme of the...


New retreat format offers "Taste of Silence"

7/7/2017

If you've ever wondered if a silent retreat is right for you, there's an opportunity to find out at Sumatanga's new retreat, A Taste of Silence. "It's for those who are fearful of silence but would like to try," says Rev. Judy Shepherd, retreat leader. "It's for those who want to experience a silent retreat but don't have time, or for extroverts who hate silence but crave time with the Lord." A 24-hour experience, A Taste of Silence offers the same amenities as the full silent retreats offered...


What Is Spiritual Direction?

5/16/2017

What Is Spiritual Direction? [Jesus says,] “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8 NIV) Shortly after I first began to long for spiritual direction, an imaginary picture temporarily dampened my soul’s deep longing. It was the image of a symphony orchestra. In my imagination I saw many musicians together with their instruments arrayed in sections—strings, brass, ...


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