Upon completion of this workshop, you will 1. Meet God in Scripture and 2. Embrace God in Life by practicing the ABC’s of Faith Listening. Awaken to God’s Life Bless God’s Name Celebrate God’s Presence
A prayerful response to daily life experiences and relationships A learned ability to discern God’s Presence A practical skill to hear a person’s story in the context of God’s Life A sensory capacity to claim the Kingdom A simple discipline of Spiritual Formation
We are formed in the image of God Gen. 1:26-28 and transformed into the likeness of Christ Rm. 8:28-29 I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. … Romans 12:1-2
Discerning God’s Presence ◦ Assumes God is actively present in and among us! Do your eyes to see and ears hear? ◦ Depends on Blessing God Do your prayers include the Prayer of Adoration? ◦ Be Reconciled to God … II Cor. 5:20 Are you reconciled to God in your experiences and relationships?
Psalm 23:1-6 RSV 1 The L ORD is my shepherd, I shall not want; 2 he makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters; 3 he restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me 5 Thou prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies; thou anoints my head with oil, my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the L ORD for ever. The ABC’s of Faith Listening
Biblical Tradition … Naming God ◦ Remembrance (Anamnēsis … Remembering God) ◦ Blessing God (Prayer of Adoration … God is ) Monastic Tradition … Naming God ◦ Kataphatic … the way of knowing … Calling God by name based on learned knowledge about God in Scripture ◦ Apophatic … the way of unknowing … Calling God by name based on the experience of God in creation.
One God … Many Aspects
How do we know God? ◦ Head … explanations about God ◦ Heart … experiences of God How do we name God? ◦ The Way of Darkness … Seeing the seen in the unseen ◦ The Sounds of Silence … Hearing the heard in the unheard ◦ The Sensations of the Body … Feeling the touch in the untouched
How do you recognize and respond to God? Job says in Job 33:1-4, ◦ Visions and Dreams ◦ Pain and Suffering ◦ People and Stories How do you meet God in your daily life? Paul says in I Cor 3:16; II Cor. 3:3 ◦ Sensory-based Experiences ◦ Life/Death Events ◦ Challenging Relationships
Snow on the Mountain
1. Station 1: Prayer Postures 2. Station 2: Clay Formations 3. Station 3: God Images 4. Station 4: Praying the Psalms Practice the ABC’s of Faith Listening A – Awaken to God’s Life B – Bless God’s Name C – Celebrate God’s Presence
Encounter The Living God You are a Temple of the Holy Spirit. I Cor. 3:16 ◦ A – Awaken: Connect with God. 1. Think about an experience or relationship in which you felt distress or disconnection from God. 2. Become aware of your body posture. Pay attention to your breathing and any other sensations in your body. ◦ B – Bless: Move with God. God is Spirit. Spirit is Breath. Breath is Life. Life is God. Breathe deeply. Imagine the Spirit of God flowing through your body. Reposition yourself. Open your body to a posture in which you are connected to God…in which you know you are the Temple of the Holy Spirit and the Spirit dwells within you. ◦ C – Celebrate: Dance with God. Embrace God’s Presence. Hold your Prayer Posture as you review your original experience or relationship. What is the Name of the Living God you encountered? Reflect on what happens when you focus on God and invite God to be present in your world. The Kingdom of God is within. Lk. 17:21
Embrace the Living God I am the Potter, you are the clay. Is. 64:8 ◦ A – Awaken: Connect with God. Take a piece of clay. Shape it to represent the type of vessel you are today when you are conformed to the world. Consider what shape you take when 1. An emotion such as anger or worry that consumes you 2. A behavior such as yelling or procrastination that dominates your actions. ◦ B – Bless: Move with God. God is Spirit. Spirit is Breath. Breath is Life. Life is God. Breathe deeply. Imagine the Spirit of God moving through your hands. Take your piece of clay and add some water. Allow your shape to be transformed by the power of God’s Presence. ◦ C – Celebrate: Dance with God. Review the emotion or behavior you selected while you dance with God and embrace God’s Presence. Reflect on what happens when you focus on God and invite God to be present in your world. The Kingdom of God is at hand! Mt. 3:2; 4:17; 10:7; Mk. 1:15; Lk. 21:31
Engage the Living God God speaks to us in pain and in dreams. Job 33:1-4;15-19 ◦ A – Awaken: Connect with God. Take a piece of paper and represent your pain or dream... your spiritual suffering or dryness. ◦ B – Bless: Move with God. God is Spirit. Spirit is Breath. Breath is Life. Life is God. Breathe deeply. Take a piece of paper and represent your understanding of God. Imagine the following: 1. If God had a color, what color would it be? 2. If God had a shape, what shape would it be? 3. If God had a line, what would it be? ◦ C – Celebrate: Dance with God. Shift your perspective. Look at your picture of God. Compare this picture with your picture of pain, dream, suffering or dryness. Find the colors, shapes and lines of God in this picture. Focus on the colors, shapes and lines of God while you open to the Light of God and embrace God’s Presence. Reflect on what happens when you focus on God and invite God to be present in your world. The Kingdom of God is near! Lk. 10:9
Discern God’s Presence God is with us! Jn. 1:14 ◦ A – Awaken: Connect with God. Select a Psalm or a Story 1. Read the Scripture or write your own story. 2. Circle all the action words (verbs.) Remember, God is What God does. ◦ B – Bless: Move with God. God is Spirit. Spirit is Breath. Breath is Life. Life is God. Breathe deeply. Create a Blessing Litany by turning the action words into a Name for God. Make a list. Blessed are You, LORD God, _______________________________ ◦ C – Celebrate: Dance with God. Turn your Blessing Litany into a Breath Prayer. Say the Blessing Litany out loud and/or to yourself. Pay attention to the Name of God in the Blessing Litany that releases a sigh or a muscle. Breathe God’s Name through your body with an inhale as you say, “Blessed are You, LORD God,” and with an exhale as you say God’s Name. Repeat the Blessing Prayer three times. Reflect on what happens when you focus on God and invite God to be present in your world. The Kingdom is among us.
What difference does it make when you practice the ABC’s of Faith Listening? ◦ Provides an avenue of hope in times of despair ◦ Confirms salvation (health) in times of trouble, pain or suffering ◦ Creates an environment for reconciliation and healing ◦ Claims the Kingdom of God
1 So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life - your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life - and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. 2 Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. 3 I'm speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it's important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him. 4 In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. 5 The body we're talking about is Christ's body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn't amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ's body, 6 let's just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren't. If you preach, just preach God's Message, nothing else; 7 if you help, just help, don't take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; 8 if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don't get bossy; if you're put in charge, don't manipulate; if you're called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don't let yourself get irritated with them or depressed By them. Keep a smile on your face. Romans 12:1-8 The Message
Margo Casey, MA. Margo is a spiritual director and medical social worker. Currently, she serves as Director of Counseling for Inner City Health Center in Denver, CO. Margo attends St. Brigit’s Episcopal Church in Frederick, CO. Please contact Margo at or Jo Anne Grace, Ph.D. Jo Anne is a pastoral theologian, spiritual director, and health educator. Currently, she serves as Spiritual Health Care Coordinator (Chaplain) for NWCOVNA Hospice and Palliative Care in Steamboat Springs, CO. Jo Anne attends St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Steamboat Springs, CO. Please contact Jo Anne at , or
Romans 12:1-8 RSV 1 I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. 3 For by the grace given to me I bid every one among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith which God has assigned him. 4 For as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; he who teaches, in his teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who contributes, in liberality; he who gives aid, with zeal; he who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. The Heart of Worship
Resources: Articles Practical Spirituality: The ABC’s of Faith Listening The ABC’s of Kingdom Living Spiritual Formation for the 21 st Century The God of Nehemiah Soul Structures: Mapping Interior Life Pneumasomatic Care: A Ministry of Reconciliation and Healing Note: These articles were written to illuminate and explain the concepts and practices of Pneumasomatic Care™. Some articles are written for publication. Others are transcripts of conference presentations. All are used to inform courses, worships and retreats led by Jo Anne Grace, Ph.D. Please contact Dr. Grace at or at
Pastoral Care Series Living Epistles: A Pastoral Response to People in Pain Living Laments: A Pastoral Response to People in Emotional Pain Living Covenants: A Pastoral Response to People in Relational Pain Living Apocalypse: A Pastoral Response to People in Traumatic Pain Resources: Articles Note: These articles were written to make practical theological processes drawn from Scripture. They offer spiritual formation practices that reveal Who God is and How God is actively present in and among us. Some articles are written for publication. Others are transcripts of conference presentations. All are used to inform courses, worships and retreats led by Jo Anne Grace, Ph.D. Please contact Dr. Grace at or at
This study guide offers participants 26 practical applications of Pneumasomatic Care™. Pneumasomatic Care™ is a theological approach to healing and wholeness. It explores the dynamic relationship between faith and health. It seeks to discover how God’s Spirit, Pneuma, moves through a body, soma, to form human beings in the living image of God. It finds its place of practice with those who seek to integrate physical and spiritual experiences and with professionals who seek to bridge the gap between religion, psychology and medicine. Learners will draw upon scripture, reason and tradition to minister whole person care. Each lesson defines a theological principle by providing a Biblical and modern example. The learner is then asked to use creative art exercises to become aware of a personal example before applying his/her lesson learned with others. Upon completion, the learner will practice whole person care by applying three skills: 1) faith listening, 2) faith reasoning and 3) faith reflecting. Resources: Guidebooks Practical Spirituality: The ABC’s of Kingdom Living. Christian Formation Course ( ) taught by Dr. Jo Anne Grace at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Steamboat Springs, CO. This course was designed for parishioners based on The ABC’s of Pneumasomatic Care. For a sample, please go to The ABC’s of Pneumasomatic Care™ by Jo Anne Grace, Ph.D. ( First published by Altar Calling, 1996 entitled The ABC’s of Spiritual Health Care.)
Resources: People Margo Casey, M.A. Integrating Daily Life with Faith Spiritual Direction Pastoral Counseling Workshops Retreats Jo Anne Grace, Ph.D. Integrating Health and Spirituality Spiritual Direction Spiritual Health Care Counseling Bereavement Counseling Workshops Retreats