Welcome to the Slow Word Movement.
I love to set the table for people to spend time with Jesus.
As a spiritual director who spends much of my ministry creating space for people to be in the Presence of God, I know the value of setting the table for just two. And when one of my people needs a nourishing meal? I’m there. My beautiful sister Stephanie is a busy mama who runs a non-profit bringing awareness to human trafficking. When we celebrated her birthday last month over brioche at a small cafe, she leaned over and said she was feeling hungry for more of the Word. I watched her try to enjoy breakfast with a toddler whose curiosity meant she could barely carry on a conversation. She asked me for these small videos setting the table for her to be with Jesus. A few simple unpolished videos and a few days later she asked if she could start sending them to friends. The SLOW Word Movement was born.
Why a SLOW word?
Because it takes time:
to be comforted when we’re struggling with chronic pain.
to recognize a rich feast is already spread before us so we don’t run to fast food.
to hear God’s heartbeat and receive God’s dream.
for hope to conquer incessant despair.
for any relationship of substance to thrive.
As a minister, I know the truth of the WORD heals and transforms us. When His Presence walks into our dark places, everything changes.
I also know that distraction is a disease, a disease I’m combatting along with every one of you. All those beeps and dings and I find it much harder to be still with the Word. Am I really getting more done or am I fracturing my attention from the ONE THING that’s needed? (Luke 10: 38-42). Distraction leads to emptiness. Listening in the Presence leads to fullness. “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.” (Colossians 3:16)
There’s nothing new about this. Other nerdy church history types like me will recognize this Slow Word Movement as something that’s been going on for centuries: Lectio Divina. These Latin words just mean “divine reading” and was always served with stillness, with repetition, and with a slow reading carving out space for the Holy Spirit to speak.
Baron von Hügel described spending time with the Word in Lectio Divina like this: “letting a very slowly dissolving lozenge melt imperceptibly in your mouth.”
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What others are saying about the SLOW Word Movement:
Do you have a hungry spirit thirsting for God? Are you in need of a regular challenge from a fresh perspective? Then the Slow Word Movement is for you. Summer is a deeply spiritual person whose insights will bless and encourage you. Do check it out!
The Very Rev. Dr. Henry Baldwin, Dean of Holy Cross Cathedral
Summer, I cannot thank you enough for the Slow Word Movement. Your invitation to meet you in the Word opens my eyes to the greater invitation God offers me there as well. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for your obedience. Jenni Wilson Bartling, Titus Church Planting
I am writing to THANK YOU! Your Lectio Divinas have saved my spiritual well-being!
Each week has given me a word to hang onto and recently I noticed the words are forming a message – which seems to be from God and is directing my spiritual development!
Georgette Forney, Anglicans for Life
These slow word meditations have become a cherished part of my week and sermon prep.
Karen Woods, Anglican Deacon, Pittsburgh PA
I’ve often been a performer and a striver when it comes to the Word, and lectio puts me in a totally different place… a much more receptive place. Sometimes I’ll go over to YouTube and listen to your older lectio videos when I just need to sit and open my heart to His word.
Jamie de Silva, elementary school teacher
I cherish my time in the Word through Summer’s lectio divina. The Slow Word Movement is a welcome respite in the Scriptures, and a precious break from the academics of life. Summer’s invitation to rest is a much-needed reminder that sitting with Jesus is always choosing what is better, and having a passage on which to meditate is a delightful gift.
Jessica Hughes, Professor, Uganda Christian University and SAMS missionary
Upon being recommended to listen to Summer Gross’ Lectio Divina, I was reticent – 15 minutes seemed a lot of time to be spending on something I didn’t quite comprehend. From the first minute of my first video, Summer’s soothing voice put my soul into rest mode. “Come Lord Jesus come” has become a phrase that heightens my awareness to the presence of God, calms my mind and opens my heart to the wisdom being shared. Living with a chronic pain condition, CRPS, has led me to seek ways to disconnect from the pain even when keeping my eyes open is hard. Tucked up in bed, these Lectio Divina videos are literally a Godsend. God’s word washing over me eases my pain and reminds me to whom I look in my times of struggle. I’ll admit, I read the verse being covered sometimes and wonder what I am to glean from it and yet, without fail, after those 15 minutes I have learnt something new and feel I’ve received a hug from God. I listen to several one after the other sometimes, other times I listen to one on repeat but now, 15 minutes flies by and I am so grateful to Summer for slowing it down for me and dedicating time to doing these Lectio Divinas. Kelly Hodgkins, Marketing Strategist