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1001 New Worshiping Communities introduces spiritual health series

‘The Way of Spiritual Fortitude’ grounds church leaders for ministry

by Scott O’Neill | Presbyterian News Service

Registration is now open for 1001 New Worshiping Communities’ spiritual fortitude series, which begins Oct. 20.

LOUISVILLE — What is fortitude?

In the context of an upcoming seminar series presented by 1001 New Worshiping Communities, it’s the “mental, emotional and spiritual strength to bear pain and encounter adversity or temptation with courage.”

And that’s the work of a pastor and spiritual leader, according to the Rev. Jeff Eddings, spiritual formation & coaching associate for 1001 New Worshiping Communities, who is presenting “The Way of Spiritual Fortitude,” a four-part, eight-hour event designed to help spiritual leaders develop a healthy inner strength to perform the tasks of ministry.

Registration is open at pcusa.info/spiritualfortitude.

“The work of a pastor or spiritual leader is growing those spaces of emotional, spiritual strength to bear pain with others,” says Eddings. “That’s a big part of what we do — we have compassion, we suffer with others and we’re always encountering adversities, challenges and temptations.”

“The Way of Spiritual Fortitude” consists of four online meetings, or “conversations,” across a series of topics that will help church leaders build skills to do ministry work while caring for themselves mentally, emotionally and physically.

“In this work, a lot of people are not doing a good job of caring for themselves and don’t understand how to build that space inside them,” according to Eddings. “That’s why I call the series ‘The Way of Spiritual Fortitude,’ because this will create something within you beyond just saying ‘I need to do better at self-care.’”

“The Way of Spiritual Fortitude” features leading theologians and spiritual directors.

The seminars feature leading theologians and spiritual directors offering their unique insight and perspectives for sustaining spiritual health. Starting on October 20, the series consists of:

  • October 20 — The Way of Spiritual Fortitude with Brian McLaren
  • October 27 — The Way of Spiritual Fortitude: Contemplative Spirituality with Therese Taylor Stinson.
  • November 3 — The Way of Spiritual Fortitude: Decolonizing Your Practice with Leeann Younger
  • November 10 — The Way of Spiritual Fortitude: Faith and Doubt with Jonathan Tran.

For more information on each session, including start times, visit the seminar web page. Participants will receive a reminder email prior to each session.

Eddings prefers the term “conversation partners” to lecturers or speakers and is hoping to create a space that is highly conversational while still providing practical advice and applications for participants to grow spiritual fortitude in their lives. Registration gives admittance to all four sessions, and while the sessions do build on each other to an extent, Eddings says there is value in each as a standalone session.

The Rev. Jeff Eddings

“In some ways the four sessions build on each other but in other ways they are also independent of one another. I know it may be a challenge for some to attend all four, so participants should feel free to step into any number of them,” says Eddings.

More than anything else, Eddings wants participants to take away a sense of hope from the conversations: a sense of hope around how one can better care for oneself and a hope that one doesn’t burn out.

“Jesus never said, ‘burn out.’ He modeled ways of caring for ourselves, so I hope participants take away a sense of hope for how to care for their own spirit,” says Eddings.

Register for “The Way of Spiritual Fortitude” series here.


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