From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Spiritual Formation group hears Bonnie Thurston

Date 21 Jun 2002 16:07:36 -0400

Note #7318 from PCUSA NEWS to PRESBYNEWS:


Spiritual Formation group hears Bonnie Thurston

by Jane Hines

COLUMBUS, OH - Going back to stories told in the Acts of the Apostles, Dr. Bonnie Thurston helped those attending the Spiritual Formation dinner on June 19 to understand spiritual discernment. "We engage in discernment so that we can figure out what God wants us to do and then do it," she said. 

"There are three steps to discernment," she said: (1) Pray; (2) Follow commands of Jesus; (3) Don't get ahead of the Holy Spirit. Wait."  

"The community is better at discernment than one person is," she counseled. "We apply Scripture to a situation, not for our own comfort, but for boldness in advancing  the Kingdom of God. Make the furtherance of the Kingdom the Polar Star," she said.    

"One person does not need to take on full responsibility. The whole community with its variety of gifts is better at the discernment process, and consensus discernment where there are not winners or losers is possible," she advised.

Dr. Thurston is the William F. Orr Professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and a Disciples of Christ minister.  She is also a founding member of the International Thomas Merton Society.

The Spiritual Formation Dinner was sponsored by the Office of Spiritual Formation of the Presbyterian Church (USA).  
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