A Spiritual Check-in with President Steve Veazey

hello and welcome from my home office
here in Independence. I hope you and your family and loved ones are doing well
during these trying times. As congregations and mission centers around the world are suspending in-person gatherings for a while, many are
exploring meaningful and effective ways to stay connected to God and each other.
This is fitting and encouraging since spiritual community in Christ is exactly
who we are. We know these times are stressful and anxious for many, others
may find the challenge of creatively closing the social distance gaps
invigorating and some are just so tired of the barrage of information they need
to take a break and rest. All these responses are natural and valid so here
are some questions for us to consider: how are you doing right now? Listen
carefully to your body mind and soul. What do you need? What do the people
around you and in your larger community need as well? I’ve been asking myself
these questions each day. I’ve discovered that the stress of the past few weeks
left me physically and emotionally in need of rest, quiet time, and re-centering in God’s Spirit. So I’ve begun taking additional time each day to
increase my practices of praying for the church and others, contemplative prayer,
and scripture study that involves imagining myself in the story being
presented. During times of deep concern and trouble we can go deeper in our
faith and relationship to God in ways that will be transformative for the rest
of our lives. I’d like to offer some possibilities as you discern your
response to the questions I posed. I’m grateful to Katy Harmon McLaughlin, our
spiritual formation specialist, for most of these ideas. Details are posted on the
church’s web site. Embrace Sabbath. Each day discover the quiet center of God’s
peace in your life through regular spiritual practices. A resource entitled
a few recommended spiritual practices is now available to guide you. Weekend
Prayer for Peace. Each Saturday and Sunday, for the next several weeks, we
invite you to join world church leaders on Facebook live for the daily prayer
for peace at 1:00 p.m. central Daylight time. You don’t need a Facebook account
to participate. Daily Bread. Also remember the church provides the Daily Bread
online each day. It provides a short devotion and related spiritual practice.
Right now the focus is on the season of Lent
don’t miss the spiritual nourishment of daily bread you can find it at www.CofChrist.org/daily-bread. Do you need to electronically connect with others? Join an online Community of Christ gathering. Links to opportunities
for gathering with other community of Christ members and friends around the
world are listed at www.CofChrist.org/online-ministires Choose one and invite others to join with you online. Consider creating and facilitating a new online gathering. Maybe it’s a worship experience or a book study or a youth gathering or a virtual campfire. Maybe it’s just a way to listen to each other and share stories. Helpful tips and videos can be found in the Pastors and Leaders section of the church’s COVID-19 web page. Reach Out. We all can use this time to be more intentional about our relationships with each other, especially the most
vulnerable and isolated. Consider a phone call to check in with others to see how
we can be helpful to provide a space for deep listening as people share anxieties
or concerns, or just to be available in a time when many are missing in-person
connections. I urge priesthood members to organize to create a coordinated response, such as a call list, to insure everyone is included. May the “spirit breathe” through us as we connect in many forms to support each other. I hope these comments and ideas are
helpful to you as we navigate the challenges before us. No doubt we will
emerge from this experience spiritually and relationally stronger and better
connected. Now until we connect this way again I’d like to leave you with a
scripture reading from Romans chapter 8 verse 26 for reflection and
encouragement “Likewise, the spirit helps us in our weakness: for we do not know
how to pray as we ought, but the very spirit intercedes in sighs too deep for
words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit,
because the spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. May God bless you.

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