You are invited!
To something new I’m cultivating centered around rest. I’m guessing if you are anything like me, a regular rhythm of rest is more of a dream than a reality.
Over the past few years I’ve been on a journey to learn more about God’s intention for Sabbath and it’s proved to be transformational for me. Part of that transformation has come from being part of an online global community called the Sabbath Society, currently expanding into small groups called Sabbath Society Circles. I’m excited about being part of the initial launch of this fresh vision and am hosting a Circle right here in North Bend, both in person and online, I would love for you to join me!
Our gatherings will include meditating on scripture, open conversation, prayer, a meal, a craft, a walk, or just tea and cookies, as we learn practical takeaways for making rest realistic and most of all, cultivating community. Because let’s face it, it’s hard to find margin for friendship, but we all need community desperately.
Sound intriguing? Read on….
Or you can sign-up by clicking here to find out more. There will be an introductory call or in person meeting (depending on interest and where you are located!) at the end of September.
WHAT IS A SABBATH SOCIETY CIRCLE?
Sabbath Society Circles are designed to be autonomous, self-sustaining groups of people that meet routinely for storytelling, prayerful support, searching scripture, and sensing God’s presence in the mundane of life. Circles are an outflow of the Sabbath Society online community, curated and led by Shelly Miller, author of Rhythms of Rest: Finding the Spirit of Sabbath in a Busy World.
WHY SABBATH SOCIETY CIRCLES?
While the world has advanced technologically and society is better connected, in fact most people feel more lonely, busy, and disconnected than ever before. Hustle and hurry are an attempt to fit into cultural norms for success while Sabbath is an invitation from God to pause, slow down, and remember this: you belong and are known by the Creator. While Sabbath-keeping is unique to each individual, weekly rest doesn’t have to be a solitary endeavor. We cannot get to clarity on our own and Sabbath Society Circles provide an intimate, supportive, safe space for curating a rhythm of rest in the spirit of ease and togetherness. Empathy and compassion in the embrace of friendship does some deep soul work within us, providing spiritual growth and greater intimacy with Jesus.
WHAT A SABBATH SOCIETY CIRCLE IS:
- A welcoming, supportive space for sharing openly in the spirit of love.
- A compassionate and non-judgmental atmosphere for challenging the assumptions we tend to make about Sabbath.
- A time set apart for exploring Sabbath as a rhythm of life.
- A safe community of belonging and being known by God and others.
- A place to share stories that inspire creativity in rest.
- A time for listening to others and God before rushing to interject, problem solve, or create solutions.
- An opportunity to cultivate deeper intimacy with Jesus and friendship with kindreds.
WHAT A SABBATH SOCIETY CIRCLE IS NOT:
- A counseling or therapy session.
- An opportunity for sharing your experiences as a method for fixing someone.
- An academic exercise on the right or wrong theology of Sabbath-keeping.
- About legalism—telling people what they should and should not do.
WHY SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES?
“Superficiality is the curse of our age. The doctrine of instant satisfaction is a primary spiritual problem. The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people. The classical Disciplines of the spiritual life call us to move beyond surface living into the depths. They invite us to explore the inner caverns of the spiritual realm. They urge us to be the answer to a hollow world.” ~Richard Foster, Celebration of Disciplines
OUR CORE VALUES
Friendship and Support: While serving as a Rest Mentor to a global community over the past six years, my experience reveals that most people struggle less with what Sabbath is and how to rest practically and more with achieving sovereign perspective–why God created Sabbath for us from the beginning. Until we discover rest as a core value of life, Sabbath remains elusive and impractical. And we cannot get to clarity alone. We need the perspective, support, and encouragement of others to persevere in finding rhythms of rest. In a chronically tired and lonely world, Sabbath Society Circles endeavor to fill that vacuum by creating safe, supportive communities.
Dispel Sabbath Myths: Many of us have been ill-informed or had negative experiences when it comes to Sabbath-keeping in the past. Sabbath Society Circles seek to stay away from legalistic mindsets and debating Sabbath theology. As we explore scripture together, learn from one another, the focus of the Circles will be based on the simplicity of the Gospel message–Christ crucified and resurrected, setting us free from Sabbath rules. Two predominant questions reign at the forefront of discussion: What has God done? And what is God doing now?
Deeper Intimacy with Jesus: Because most people struggle with achieving sovereign perspective versus situational clarity, practicing spiritual disciplines can lead to growth and vitality. Through Lectio Divina, worship, celebration, silence and listening prayer, Sabbath Society Circles create space to explore new practices in a loving and accepting environment. The primary requirement for achieving successful rest is a longing for more of God.
Creative Expression: Sabbath comes from the Hebrew word Shabbat which means to cease or stop; and to celebrate. The way we are created to rest is unique to each of us. What one person finds restful and rejuvenating, another person may find hard work and depleting. Each Sabbath Society Circle has a unique personality in the spirit of celebration. Circles can be gathered around a table with candles aflame or in a field after a morning walk; at a corporate conference table during lunch or on a blanket around a picnic lunch. Leaders will gather people in places and around activities that curate conversation, creativity, and inspire new ways to rest.
Now that you’ve read the visions and values for Sabbath Society Circles, let’s begin a journey through the Old Testament passages where our Sabbath Roots began. Together may we discover God’s heart in the creation of rest and find clarity in the throes of a supportive community.