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Calm Amidst the Chaos

BELOVEDNESS

“If you are unsure about your belovedness, I invite you to listen deeply to the Spirit of God. Listen to the Spirit whisper in your own depths that you are God’s beloved. And as you claim your own belovedness, begin to see others also as God’s beloved, so that we can participate in our belovedness together.”—Trevor Hudson, The Way of Transforming Discipleship
Resources for This Season
 Resources for Spiritual Wellness in Anxious Times

Pandemic Prayer Practices for Children, Youth, & Families

Our Freedom From Worry eCourse is now being offered free to all individuals through April 18, 2020. Use the promo code FREEDOM when registering.
Belovedness in the Midst of Crisis  
Beth A. Richardson“I am writing this message from my home office. Like many of you, The Upper Room staff are sheltering in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I have been surprised by the level of anxiety that I’ve felt during these past weeks. I wake up in the middle of the night sure that I have the virus. I am unable to focus and find that my daily meditation practice has fallen off. It seems that my whole body is vibrating with the energy of fear. It is in this extraordinary time of crisis that we consider our belovedness.A number of years ago I heard Henri Nouwen speak in the chapel at Scarritt Bennett Center. His lecture there eventually became the book, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World. I was in a difficult time, a “dark night of the soul,” struggling with childhood wounding, and feeling all alone in the world. Henri said, “The spiritual life starts at the place where you can hear God’s voice. Where somehow you can claim that long before your father, your mother, your brother, your sister, your school, your church touched you, loved you, and wounded you—long before that, you were held safe in an eternal embrace. You were seen with eyes of perfect love long before you entered into the dark valley of life.” Soon after that, I found a recording of the lecture and listened to it over and over. As I listened, my troubled heart began to ease, to feel God’s presence with me in my pain, to know at a deep, deep level that I am beloved of God.”Read more…

From the Academy Podcast

In this month’s podcast, our host, Claire McKeever-Burgett, sits down with Marjorie Thompson, longtime Academy faculty person, author, and Claire’s personal spiritual director. In the wake of recent tornadoes that devastated parts of Nashville and Tennessee, as well as growing concerns about the coronavirus throughout the world and a politically charged election season here in the U.S., Claire talks with Marjorie about how to remain grounded faith leaders in the midst of chaos, disaster, and fear.

Listen here.

Fear Transformed by Love
E. Glenn Hinson

Fear is a normal emotion. It isn’t always bad. It often energizes us and prompts us to do things we need to do, such as study harder for a test or contemplate our purpose in life. The question is: What will we do with fear when it takes control of our lives, panics us, immobilizes us, or causes us to speak or act entirely out of character? Unexpected and unaccountable fear can totally disrupt our life. Not only mastering fear but experiencing its transformation into positive energies is one of the most compassionate things we can do for ourselves.

Read more…

Spiritual Practice: Pay Attention to Your Breath  
Flora Slosson WuellnerIt is both healing and strengthening when in the midst of conflict and anxiety producing situations to pay attention to our breathing and to notice where our bodies feel especially stressed, tight, uncomfortable. It helps then to think of the living Christ beside us, enfolding us in God’s healing light (or some other image or thought) especially around the tight, stressed bodily areas. Then let the breathing become slow, deep, and gentle.Continue reading Seven Suggestions for Healing and Renewal in the Midst of Stress and Anxiety by Flora Slosson Wuellner.
The Upper Room is committed to praying with you during this season of uncertainty and isolation. We are hosting Morning Prayer on Facebook Live every day at 11:00 AM Central Time. Join us on Facebook here.
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