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March Newsletter

Dear friends,

I (Lauren) am the proud mom of a spunky 18-month-old. I have had several experiences that shifted my faith and the way I experience God, but nothing quite measures up to having a child. If you are a parent or caregiver, you may relate. For example, I thought I was a patient person. I thought I operated well even with little sleep and no time to myself. I thought I was capable of handling anything that was thrown at me. Parenthood constantly threatens my estimation of my own capacity, including my capacity to care for and steward the life of this small, beautiful being.

As part of OCE’s Formed in Faith Project, I have the privilege of spending a lot of time with other parents and caregivers grappling with how to parent faithfully and how to facilitate space at home to encourage our children’s experience of God. At a parent small group last month, caregivers grappled with the idea that God is our true parent. If this is true, it is ultimately…relieving. If God is my true parent, it means God is also my child’s true parent. It means I don’t parent on my own. Instead, I participate in God’s ongoing, parental care for my daughter. Or, as one parent in our group articulated, “It’s like God is my co-parent.”

It struck me that this gets at the core of who God is. God has no need of us and definitely doesn’t need us to accomplish whatever God wishes to accomplish. Yet God chooses – and even desires – to bring us in. To walk with us. To work with us as God accomplishes the ultimate good – making all things right and beautiful. In whatever season we are in or whatever care we provide for others, God is our partner.

If you are a parent, grandparent or caregiver and this example of parenting alongside God resonates with you, I invite you to join a webinar on March 25 at 7 p.m. put on by the Formed in Faith Project, where we will hear from Professor Emeritus Jerry Sittser. Jerry will spend some time unpacking the image of God as parent and share from his own experience raising three kids. There will also be lots of time for questions. The webinar is free.

Get the Link to Join

Read on for a few other things happening in the OCE.

A Few Updates

Mark your calendar for these upcoming events:

  • March 19 | Robert Chau Romero, professor of Chicana/o & Central American Studies at UCLA, will explore the history of the Brown Church and how Latina/o theological reflection on issues of racial justice may serve as a roadmap for healthy spiritual reconstruction, mission and identity formation. Join us at 7 p.m. in the Robinson Teaching Theatre.
  • March 25 | Jerry Sittser, professor, author and parent, will join us to explore the image of God as parent and what this means for our families. Register for the free ONLINE event here.
  • April 20 | Kayla Craig is the author of Every Season Sacred and the liturgist behind @liturgiesforparents on Instagram. She will join the Formed in Faith Project for an in-person workshop with parents and caregivers to explore the presence of God in the everyday, mundane tasks of caregiving. Registration is available here.

We are crowdfunding to support our Summer Fellowship students. If you’d like to donate to help fund a summer ministry experience for a Whitworth student, you can check out the campaign here >>>

The Liturgical Script of the Church is the latest addition to the Academy of Christian Discipleship study library. With over 40 video lectures from local pastors and professors, the track will give you a taste of the art, theology, hymns, poetry and more that are available to enrich our life of faith today. Learn more about it here >>>

Are you a preacher? Then join us for the first-ever Compelling Preaching Preacher’s Retreat, June 24-27 in Leavenworth, Wash. You will be surrounded by colleagues and guided by experienced preachers for four days of workshops, spiritual direction, quiet reflection time and worship. Learn more and register here >>>

A Gaza Ceasefire Pilgrimage is being held in Spokane by our friends at Global Immersion in partnership with an ecumenical group of local ministries. On March 30, you are invited to walk all or part of 25 miles through greater Spokane in prayerful solidarity with those suffering in Israel and Gaza. Find out more (including the route) on the Facebook event page here >>>

Want to keep up with all the latest OCE news and events? Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

We are so grateful for your partnership and hope to connect with you soon through one of our programs or events. If there are ways we can serve your ministry, please let me know!

Lauren Hunter & the OCE Team