Renovaré. Reno-what? Renovaré is a Latin word meaning ‘to renew’, and for me, it also names a new adventure, begun August 1. In February, I discovered the Renovaré Institute of Spiritual Formation while researching continuing education opportunities. I was slightly familiar with Renovaré, having purchased resources from them, and through a relative who serves on their teaching staff. The program kept pulling at me; other opportunities did not. The two-year commitment seemed substantial, yet do-able. The reading list contained books I’d been eyeing. A couple of the key founders and teachers, namely Dallas Willard and John Ortberg, were Christian leaders I admired. Some travel is involved, but I have a relative who works for an airline. Yet the commitment seemed demanding on top of fulltime work, the cost would impact our family, and the deadline to apply was almost immediate. And as we say in the office, I’m a crockpot rather than a microwave, preferring to let things simmer before making any big decision. Both my husband Jon and Pastor John offered encouragement, and I was able to gather the needed recommendation letters. So I jumped, taking a leap of faith. Acceptance into the program, with a cohort of 40 students from around the world, affirmed this new venture.
My reading and writing began this month, and I’m already a little daunted by that. The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard is filling my evenings and challenging me in welcome ways to live what the author describes as the ‘with-God life’. I am beginning to meet my fellow students via e-mail and facebook, a fascinating group of people serving and working in God’s kingdom all over the world ~ a Compassion International staff person living in Thailand, a retiring seminary president from Pennsylvania, a writer from England–all striving to grow as disciples, whether living in Auckland, New Zealand, or Woodbury, Minnesota. Each of us hopes to be transformed by the renewing of your minds (from Romans 12:2) and was drawn to some aspect of Renovare’s mission to ‘resource, fuel, model, and advocate more intentional living and Spiritual Formation among Christians and those wanting a deeper connection with God. A foundational presence in the Spiritual Formation movement for over 20 years, Renovaré is Christian in commitment, ecumenical in breadth, and international in scope.”
Another intent of the program is that students will share what they learn in their own communities; I will have projects to complete that I hope can be of value to the Resurrection family. In the meantime, I welcome your prayers as together we continue to seek the Vibrant Life of faith in Jesus Christ.
Whatever leap of faith God is inviting you to take, I would love to hear more about the excitement, the hesitations, the fears, and the joys that so often accompany His call. How is God offering renewal to you?