Have you ever taken a year to study a book? I’m about to wrap up this experience. I and a small learning circle of people from Mays Chapel United Methodist Church have been on a quest pondering the writings of Brian D McLaren in his publication We Make the Road by Walking.
The rewards have been many in traveling through pages, words and phrases for the purpose of “spiritual formation, reorientation and activation.” Here’s an overview of the conclusions I’ve drawn from this experience:
- We all came to the experience with our own perspectives.
- It broadens our minds to listen and consider others opinions.
- In part, our life experience forms our individual understanding of spirituality/religion.
- There are no absolute rights or wrongs.
- What makes sense to one person may not make sense to another.
- It was healthy to discuss issues that perplexed, intrigued, aroused or questioned.
- Exploring our own spiritual/religious thoughts and beliefs is a valuable experience.
- Sometimes we encountered uncharted territory – things we had never thought about before.
- In every single chapter I was able to find something I could relate to my life which was useful.
We read fifty-two chapters (one chapter a week). Our weekly commitment averaged about four pages of reading crammed full of plenty of points for discussion, which took place on Zoom. People all over the country can form learning circles of their own on Zoom to have discussions from a distance.
I’d like to thank our leader Reverend Laurie Pierce Tingley and each individual in our learning circle for opening up themselves to this experience and for sharing their perspectives. In my opinion, the goal of providing a safe, non-judgmental environment for discussion was accomplished. I’d highly recommend We Make The Road by Walking to anyone who wants to go on a spiritual journey!