Spirituality in a Time of Crisis

Can Spiritual Disciplines Be a Source of Courage and Hope?

2020 is a momentous year for Christian congregations. The national elections in November will be a turning point, not only for the country but also the church. For many Christians, especially church leaders, this is a time of anxiety, fear and fatigue.

Since 2016, rights and freedoms that many of us have taken for granted have been reversed by executive order or subjected to renewed attacks. Shameless racism has re-emerged from the shadows, hate crimes against LGBTQ Americans are on the rise, and as the world’s largest polluter we are losing valuable time in the fight against environmental destruction. Our country is deeply divided, and many of us in the church who have been working and praying for a better future are experiencing frustration, hopelessness, pain and anger—further complicating the tensions and struggles that always accompany ministry in the church.

In difficult times, what are the spiritual practices that keep us centered in Christ, and sustain the hope we need to engage the mission of the church with confidence and joy—both in our congregations and the communities we serve? The rediscovery in mainline Protestant and Evangelical churches of historic spiritual disciplines gives us an opportunity to reclaim ancient forms of prayer, meditation and ritual in new ways that are realistic in complicated and busy lives. Spiritual practice, in this context, is not an escape from reality but the daily bread we need to stay grounded in a loving relationship with God—the source of Christian advocacy for justice and peace.

The 2020 Craigville Theological Colloquy will be organized as a retreat, with ecumenical services of Holy Communion Monday afternoon and Friday morning, a service of sung Taizé Vespers Wednesday evening, and daily services of morning and night prayer with psalmody, silence and hymns. Presentations and workshops will focus on a diversity of spiritual practices, and small groups will give participants an opportunity to share their own experiences of prayer and worship. Afternoons Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are free: participants may enjoy the famous Craigville Beach on Nantucket Sound, explore historic Craigville Village, or visit other sites on Cape Cod. Quiet spaces will be set aside in the Craigville Tabernacle and other locations throughout the village for prayer and reflection at any time.

Presentations and Workshops

In March, we’ll post titles and summaries of presentations and workshops in this space, along with suggested readings.