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Best Resources on Spiritual Practices

The practice of spiritual disciplines is making a comeback among contemporary American religious adherents and seekers. The return to spiritual practices is in keeping with today’s cultural move toward a religious devotion that seeks an experiential faith. Insights Into Religion offers resources and links for enhancing spiritual practice in your church.

Instituting or Enhancing a Program of Spiritual Disciplines

The Practicing Our Faith website is devoted to helping people of faith explore the way life is shaped by the practices they engage that respond to God’s grace and reflect God’s love for persons and creation. Based on the book Practicing Our Faith: A Way of Life for a Searching People, the website explores 12 timeless spiritual practices that have been shaped by the Christian community through the centuries and are still relevant to contemporary people. In addition, Way to Live provides material for teens wishing to embrace 18 practices that build and sustain lives of spiritual integrity.

Understanding Spiritual Practices

The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship focuses on helping faith community leaders enhance and enliven worship. Central to the site’s tenets is the notion that in Christ, God became human and took on flesh, and because God has a body in Jesus, our bodies are holy to God. The Calvin Institute offers this poetic and accessible reflection on the theology of respecting our bodies. Additionally, the site’s resource library offers a wide selection of practical and theoretical contributions to the exploration of spiritual practices.

Krista Tippett’s acclaimed NPR program, On Being, consists of one-on-one conversations about what it means to be human. Many programs address spiritual practices from a variety of faith traditions, or explore the behavioral, spiritual and ethical implications of blending spiritual practices from multiple traditions.

The acclaimed public television program, Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, explores and provides analysis of national and international events in the religious world. Many of the archived programs examine the implications and influences of spiritual practices on the lives of interviewees, or what it means to practice spiritual self-discipline for culture, society and the environment.

The U.S. Congregational Life Survey is the largest and most representative profile of worshippers and their congregations ever conducted in the United States; it reflects contemporary American congregational life as seen by those who participate in congregations. The survey uncovered interesting statistics about how people embody their faith, the differences in practices across generations, faith community leaders’ practices, racial differences and the implications of spiritual practices for congregational vitality.

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