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Jason Feffer

2.11.18 Journey to the Cross

By | Reflections | One Comment

Last night was such a deep and wonderful service. Dr. Warren Anderson and the Judson University Choir led us in our opening liturgy. What a gift it is to be so beautifully led by a full choir!

Then Father Michael led us into the third movement of the Spiritual Exercises. “It is one thing to be with Jesus in his glory,” he said, “it’s another thing when Jesus invites us to be with him in his hour of agony.” Father Michael called this third movement, a time leading us into the season of Lent, a “purification of love.”

We enter this season of preparation for Easter with three traditional practices, prayer, fasting, and alms-giving. Last night, we began to consider how God might be inviting us to deepen our experience of prayer, to let go of something we that keeps us from surrendering to God, and express solidarity with the poor and suffering face of Christ in the world.

Father Michael led us in a profound practice of imaginative prayer to begin asking Christ how we might enter the season of Lent with these three practices. If you were not able to be with us last night, please listen to the full teaching and practice.

Kingdom Practices
This week, let’s continue to ask these three questions in preparation for Lent.

How is God inviting you to deepen your practice of prayer during Lent?
What might God be inviting you to fast from to experience greater freedom in Christ?
How is God inviting you to express solidarity with the poor and suffering face of Christ in the world?

Imaginative Prayer Series: Peter’s Confession (Mark 8:27-30)

By | Imaginative Prayers | No Comments

This is the final contemplation in a series of imaginative prayer resources written by and recorded for The Practice community. Imaginative prayer is way of meeting with the Lord by using our imagination to enter a Gospel story. Using our imagination to experience the sights and sounds of the scene helps to bring our whole selves into the presence of Christ. The purpose of this prayer is to meet Jesus face-to-face and grow in intimacy with Him.

Our first prayer written by Father Michael brought us into the room with Mary at the annunciation, and the second contemplation was a reflection on the shepherds outside of Bethlehem written by Jason Feffer. In our third imaginative prayer Kellye Fabian helped us join the story of the Magi as they travel to worship the newborn king and the fourth was a reflection on the holy family’s escape to Egypt written by Roselyn Heims. Our fifth contemplation was written by Sam Tinken and placed us on the banks of the Jordan at the baptism of Jesus. The sixth imaginative prayer, written by Lori Shoults, led us in a reflection on the miracle during the wedding at Cana. In the seventh meditation, written by Ashlee Eiland, we join with Simon and Andrew, James, and John as Jesus calls us to follow him. The eighth prayer was written by Gail Donahue, and led us into the Parable of the Prodigal Son to personally experience the remarkable grace and hospitality of the God. In our ninth meditation, written by Joan Kelley, we join the apostles in the boat as Jesus calms the storm.

In this final contemplation, we join the apostles as Peter declares Jesus is the Messiah.

Imaginative Prayer Series: Jesus Calms the Storm (Mark 4:35-41)

By | Imaginative Prayers | No Comments

This is the ninth contemplation in a series of imaginative prayer resources written by and recorded for The Practice community. Imaginative prayer is way of meeting with the Lord by using our imagination to enter a Gospel story. Using our imagination to experience the sights and sounds of the scene helps to bring our whole selves into the presence of Christ. The purpose of this prayer is to meet Jesus face-to-face and grow in intimacy with Him.

Our first prayer written by Father Michael brought us into the room with Mary at the annunciation, and the second contemplation was a reflection on the shepherds outside of Bethlehem written by Jason Feffer. In our third imaginative prayer Kellye Fabian helped us join the story of the Magi as they travel to worship the newborn king and the fourth was a reflection on the holy family’s escape to Egypt written by Roselyn Heims. Our fifth contemplation was written by Sam Tinken and placed us on the banks of the Jordan at the baptism of Jesus. The sixth imaginative prayer, written by Lori Shoults, led us in a reflection on the miracle during the wedding at Cana. In the seventh meditation, written by Ashlee Eiland, we join with Simon and Andrew, James, and John as Jesus calls us to follow him. The eighth prayer was written by Gail Donahue, and led us into the Parable of the Prodigal Son to personally experience the remarkable grace and hospitality of the God.

In this imaginative contemplation written by Joan Kelley, we join the apostles in the boat as Jesus calms the storm.

1.28.18 The Rite of Forgiveness

By | Imaginative Prayers, Reflections | No Comments

Friends, I am so grateful for our community. I am grateful to be a part of a community that is willing to learn from and engage practices from deep streams of the Christian tradition that are different than ours. Last night we welcomed Eastern Orthodox teacher and author Frederica Mathewes-Green back to The Practice. Following our opening liturgy, Frederica introduced us to the Rite of Forgiveness.

She pointed out that the most persistent formation we receive in how to see our life and identity comes from advertising. We are told that we are the center of the world, that we are superior, and we should enjoy ourselves at all costs. But this formation stands opposed to the humility of Christ, who emptied Himself in order to become one of us and redeem His creation.

The Rite of Forgiveness stands as a counter-formational practice. It reminds us that our sin is more than a collection of things we have done or not done, it is a condition like air pollution that we all contribute to and suffer from. As we stand across from one another and ask forgiveness for the way our sin pollutes the world in which we all live, we are formed into the kind of people who can own our brokenness and live in humility and love.

It was a beautiful practice. I was deeply moved as I confessed to our community and friends to my mother-in-law and to Erin. Thank you for engaging this uncomfortable and holy practice.

Have a listen to the full teaching and practice.

Kingdom Practices
This week, let’s continue the practice of forgiveness. Is there anyone God might be inviting you to humble yourself toward and ask for forgiveness? We will also continue our practice of imaginative prayer. This week’s original contemplation was written by Joan Kelley, and it places us in the boat with the apostles as Jesus calms the storm.

Imaginative Prayer Series: The Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32)

By | Imaginative Prayers | No Comments

This is the eighth contemplation in a series of imaginative prayer resources written by and recorded for The Practice community. Imaginative prayer is way of meeting with the Lord by using our imagination to enter a Gospel story. Using our imagination to experience the sights and sounds of the scene helps to bring our whole selves into the presence of Christ. The purpose of this prayer is to meet Jesus face-to-face and grow in intimacy with Him.

Our first prayer written by Father Michael brought us into the room with Mary at the annunciation, and the second contemplation was a reflection on the shepherds outside of Bethlehem written by Jason Feffer. In our third imaginative prayer Kellye Fabian helped us join the story of the Magi as they travel to worship the newborn king and the fourth was a reflection on the holy family’s escape to Egypt written by Roselyn Heims. Our fifth contemplation was written by Sam Tinken and placed us on the banks of the Jordan at the baptism of Jesus. The sixth imaginative prayer, written by Lori Shoults, led us in a reflection on the miracle during the wedding at Cana. In the seventh meditation, written by Ashlee Eiland, we join with Simon and Andrew, James, and John as Jesus calls us to follow him.

In this imaginative prayer written by Gail Donahue, we enter the Parable of the Prodigal Son to personally experience the remarkable grace and hospitality of the God.

1.21.18 The Public Life of Christ

By | Imaginative Prayers, Reflections | 2 Comments

Last night, we continued our contemplation of the life and ministry of Christ. Gail Donahue led us through a meaningful exploration of hospitality. Hospitality is more than table settings, well cooked meals, and welcoming people into our homes. We can extend hospitality to everyone we interact with on a daily basis.

We see in the way Jesus was with people that extending hospitality is not simply nice to do. It is something we must do. The life of Jesus demonstrates that God’s heart is overflowing with hospitality. Gail shared the key elements of bringing hospitality into our everyday lives, and guided us in a practice that helped us experience the hospitality of Jesus and extend that hospitality back to God and to those in our lives.

Have a listen to the full teaching and practice.

Kingdom Practices
This week, let’s rest in the hospitality of Christ, and extend God’s loving hospitality to those in our lives. We are also continuing our practice of imaginative prayer. Our latest original contemplation was written by Gail, and it places us in a parable that demonstrates God’s extraordinary hospitality, the Parable of the Prodigal Son.

Imaginative Prayer Series: Jesus Calls the Disciples (Mark 1:16-20)

By | Imaginative Prayers | No Comments

This is the seventh contemplation in a series of imaginative prayer resources written by and recorded for The Practice community. Imaginative prayer is way of meeting with the Lord by using our imagination to enter a Gospel story. Using our imagination to experience the sights and sounds of the scene helps to bring our whole selves into the presence of Christ. The purpose of this prayer is to meet Jesus face-to-face and grow in intimacy with Him.

Our first prayer written by Father Michael brought us into the room with Mary at the annunciation, and the second contemplation was a reflection on the shepherds outside of Bethlehem written by Jason Feffer. In our third imaginative prayer Kellye Fabian helped us join the story of the Magi as they travel to worship the newborn king and the fourth was a reflection on the holy family’s escape to Egypt written by Roselyn Heims. Our fifth contemplation was written by Sam Tinken and placed us on the banks of the Jordan at the baptism of Jesus. The sixth imaginative prayer, written by Lori Shoults, led us in a reflection on the miracle during the wedding at Cana.

In this meditation written by Ashlee Eiland, we join with Simon and Andrew, James and John as Jesus calls us to follow him.

1.7.18 Discovering the Will of God

By | Imaginative Prayers, Reflections | No Comments

It was so great to be back together with everyone last night and continue our journey through the second movement of Ignatius Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises. Our opening liturgy led us through a reflection on the baptism of Christ. We rested in the personal love of God, and soaked in the words of the Lord, “You are my child, the Beloved, with you I am well pleased.”

Then Ashlee helped us move away from experiencing God’s will as a formula to solve and build a foundation of connectivity, gratitude and retreat. In Jesus, we see that every part of discovering God’s will happens in the presence of the Lord. I continue to sit with something Ashlee said as we transitioned into the practice. Do I want God’s loving presence more than I want an answer to a question?

Ashlee then guided us through a practice of recognizing where we are in proximity to God, releasing our anxieties and fears in order to receive God’s thoughts, and resting in the God’s loving presence.

Have a listen to the full teaching and practice.

If you would like to continue exploring the will of God, we would recommend Surrender to Love, The Gift of Being Yourself, and Desiring God’s Will by David Benner.

Kingdom Practices
This week, will you join me and continue to engage the practice Ashlee taught? Will you recognize, release, and rest in God’s presence this week?

We are also continuing our practice of imaginative prayer. This week’s original contemplation was written by Lori Shoults, and it will lead us deeply into the first miracle Jesus performs in the Gospels.

Imaginative Prayer Series: The Wedding at Cana (John 2:1-12)

By | Imaginative Prayers | No Comments

This is the sixth contemplation in a series of imaginative prayer resources written by and recorded for The Practice community. Imaginative prayer is way of meeting with the Lord by using our imagination to enter a Gospel story. Using our imagination to experience the sights and sounds of the scene helps to bring our whole selves into the presence of Christ. The purpose of this prayer is to meet Jesus face-to-face and grow in intimacy with Him.

Our first prayer written by Father Michael brought us into the room with Mary at the annunciation, and the second contemplation was a reflection on the shepherds outside of Bethlehem written by Jason Feffer. In our third imaginative prayer Kellye Fabian helped us join the story of the Magi as they travel to worship the newborn king and the fourth was a reflection on the holy family’s escape to Egypt written by Roselyn Heims. Our fifth contemplation was written by Sam Tinken and placed us on the banks of the Jordan at the baptism of Jesus.

This imaginative prayer, written by Lori Shoults, leads us in a reflection on the miracle during the wedding at Cana.

Imaginative Prayer Series: The Baptism of Christ (Matthew 3:13-17)

By | Advent, Imaginative Prayers | No Comments

This is the fifth contemplation in a series of imaginative prayer resources written by and recorded for The Practice community. Imaginative prayer is way of meeting with the Lord by using our imagination to enter a Gospel story. Using our imagination to experience the sights and sounds of the scene helps to bring our whole selves into the presence of Christ. The purpose of this prayer is to meet Jesus face-to-face and grow in intimacy with Him.

Our first prayer written by Father Michael brought us into the room with Mary at the annunciation, and the second contemplation was a reflection on the shepherds outside of Bethlehem written by Jason Feffer. In our third imaginative prayer Kellye Fabian helped us join the story of the Magi as they travel to worship the newborn king and the fourth was a reflection on the holy family’s escape to Egypt written by Roselyn Heims.

This fifth contemplation written by Sam Tinken places us on the banks of the Jordan at the baptism of Jesus.

(artwork by Daniel Bonnell)