Peace be with you!
It’s an exciting time here at the PraXis Challenge as we wrap up before the holidays. Here is what is going on this week.
Group 2, folks connected with Brookside Church, have two more weeks. Group 1, you are done with the Challenge! Alleliuah-High-Five!
This Wednesday, we will meet at Brookside Church in person and on Zoom. If you want to bring some food for the table, please let us know. Otherwise I think Jamie and I will be making some kind of salad. Next week, our final Challenge session will be on Tuesday, over Zoom, only.
Group 2: This week’s theme is The Heart. You can see the prayers and theme for this week’s session here. In terms of your fast, you should be either expanding your 16/8 fast, or trying a one-to-three day fast this week. Resources on that are at the bottom of this post.
Group 1: Do you feel any more well? We hope so. We we hope you will continue to attend sessions, until Nov 23, when Group 2 is finished. We will have some kind of graduation ceremony for all the little praxicimos after Thanksgiving. So, stay tuned.
Everyone, please sign the attached waiver below. It is required by the Vancouver School of Theology. Next week you will be getting the exit survey. This is crucial for the project’s research.
Despite the obvious challenges of COVID, and our move from one coast to the other, Jamie and I really feel this project has been a great success.
The Capstone’s goal is to produce an organizational plan that will propose an answer to the question, what’s next? What does God want for this project? Should it be a free curriculum? A Christian Yoga studio? A book or podcast? We will be working on that question in the coming weeks. I have a Capstone presentation before a committee over Zoom in December. If you would like to sit in on it, let me know. We have a few “seats” available if you want to see all the details first hand.
I will also be speaking with Pastor Nicollette at Brookside Community Church to see what opportunities might be present in a continued partnership. So, long story short. Stay tuned. We will have something for you before Nov 23. I will also include a blog post about what I learned during the challenge. I’ll tell you one take away right now, the 16-hour fast was a game changer for me. (I know. Not what most people want to hear). It yielded the most benefits in the shortest time. I was completely surprised. But, each body is different.
Until then, if you want to pursue a praxis (practice) of your own, here are some resources we recommend.
- Fastic app The free level of this app is just a timer, but I find it helpful in keeping motivated to do short-term fasting. It shows you the different phases your body goes through during the different hours of your fast. It also awards you little prizes for continued practice, which does provide a slight motivational incentive for me.
- The Daniel Fast, books, and app. As we’ve mentioned, the Daniel fast is a plant-based diet challenge. It is the most popular ascetic practice among mainstream Christians. Susan Gregory’s books are easy to read and filled with useful recipes, and resources. The Daniel Fast app is a paid service. I haven’t used it yet but I plan to.
Mindfulness is everywhere on the internet but you really don’t need to know a lot, you just need to practice it. Mindfulness apps tend to be timers but also include podcasts and other inspiration and motivational content.
- Centering Prayer App. This app produced by Contemplative Outreach, the world’s leading Centering Prayer promoter, is a simple timer. Useful if that’s all you really want.
- Insight timer app. The free level of this app is fairly robust and offers content, podcasts, live teachers sessions as well as a timer that tracks your practice. You will find a wide range of spiritual philosophies and traditions discussed here.
- Headspace app. This app is not free, but it is an excellent “set it and forget it” guide to entering into a mindfulness practice. This is a completely non-spiritual approach to mindfulness. It uses entertaining cartoons and recent science to walk you through the ideas and practices that make up wellness-driven mindfulness practices.
- BetterMe app. There are so many fitness resources out there, obviously. I will only recommend BetterMe, because the free level of this app allows for a wide range of customization for fitness goals, based on body type and other factors. It also provides tracking for fasting and makes a number of other wellness recommendations as well as providing you with a guided daily fitness routine customized to your settings.
- Secular Yoga apps – Here are a few apps that Apple editors recommend for secular yoga. YogaStudioAtHome and PocketYoga
- Sanctified Yoga – here is a good free YouTube channel for Christian Yoga with lots of up to date content.
Lastly but not leastly:
- RuahSpace – holy yoga and spiritual practices. Our friends Pastor Phil Vestal and his wife Erin offer a membership-based online ministry that includes resources and guidance on sanctified yoga and contemplative practices. He and his wife do podcasts and spiritual direction services. Ruah Space really covers much of what we went over in PraXis. You can get a sample of what they do by visiting their free YouTube Channel.
Hope to see you at one of this week’s sessions.
So excited to see where God will lead us all next!
This Wednesday we are on Zoom, AND at Brookside Community Church in Mendham, NJ. If you wish to attend in-person, please arrive a good 10 minutes before we begin. Masks are required.
Note, if you wish to have chair yoga available, let us know a day or two ahead of time at email@example.com and we can accommodate you.
Tuesday, 6:30 pm, EST
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Wednesday, 6:30 pm, EST – In person and on Zoom.
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Thursday 10 am, EST – Fitness oriented wake-up practice
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