Birthdays are a big deal. I love to celebrate birthdays! In our family, birthdays mean parties, balloons, cake, gifts, pictures, and friends. We like to do birthdays big because we want to celebrate that an individual is a gift to our family and that we see the ways in which they are maturing each year.
When each of my children turned two, I felt a small sense of grief that babyhood was officially behind us and that toddlerhood was now the order of the day. However, every day also brought new discoveries of profound wonder; play-doh, crayons, and sand between toes were overwhelming joys to behold. Running, climbing, and full sentence communication were evidence of growing strength and independence. And of course, new challenges to boundaries were also a common experience in the world of parenting two-year-olds.
The Center for Spiritual Formation is now officially two years old. In many ways, the Center is also moving toward its own toddlerhood by beginning to grow in independence, gain strength and form partnerships outside of Highland Oaks church of Christ. This was always the dream for the Center and God has begun to whisper the possibilities in more audible tones. As a part of the Center’s family, I wanted to offer you the opportunity to celebrate these milestones as well!
Partnerships – The Center has begun working in partnership with the Institute for Christian Spirituality, Missions Resource Network, Leadership Camps at ACU, CenterPeace, Graduate School of Theology at ACU, the Raymond Hardin Endowment for Leadership Development, and Hope Network. Each partnership represents souls invited to revel in the loving Presence of our God in order to continue in their work of furthering the Kingdom of God.
Strength –This past year, the Center offered over 90 hours of one on one spiritual direction, created a blog that you are currently reading, and participated in a retreat for young preachers in the churches of Christ. Meanwhile, regular spiritual formation opportunities were offered for the ministry staff of Highland Oaks and new curriculum created for two different prayer classes. Highland Oaks hosted seasonal prayer experiences during Easter and Christmas inviting participants to engage in the central stories of our faith with all of their senses. I had the distinct honor of presenting an original workshop to the yearly conference for Spiritual Directors International in Minnesota this spring.
Independence – Just some of the exciting work on the horizon for the Center outside of Highland Oaks includes an ongoing spiritual formation group for female youth ministers in the DFW area and co -hosting a day retreat for spiritual caregivers with Spiritual Ministries Institute. A new logo is also in the works. Part of the dream for the Center is that it becomes a 501-c3, so a board will be formed in order to incorporate in the calendar year of 2014.
With every new possibility comes a new challenge. Each and every one of these possibilities requires resources of time, prayer, and money. If the work of the Center to care for souls is meaningful to you, would you consider becoming a partner in the work? The Center needs willing bodies to serve, available hearts to pray, and generous givers to contribute.
In the coming months, the Center needs funds to officially incorporate ($2,000) (independence), purchase new technology for presentations ($1,500) (strength), and provide scholarships to those who cannot afford to pay for spiritual direction($600/per year/per individual) (partnerships). All of your donations are tax deductible as the Center still exists under the umbrella of Highland Oaks and can be sent to:
The Center for Spiritual Formation
10805 Walnut Hill Dr.
Dallas, TX 75238
The Center for Spiritual Formation is blessed each day to catch new glimpses of the work that God has set before us. On this occasion, of celebrating a second birthday, would you consider blessing the Center with the ability to continue to grow? Your gifts of prayer, time, and money are icing on the Center’s birthday cake!