The Presence Project

What is the Presence Project?

The Presence Project is a twelve course meal.
Twelve months. One simple spiritual practice a month. 

What will it look like?

  1. One webinar (or event at Holy Cross Cathedral, Loganville, GA if you’re local) at the beginning of each month. It will feel more like a retreat…teaching AND practice. Don’t worry, we’ll walk this out together.
  2. One simple, repeatable spiritual practice a month. And remember good things take time. Savoring. Lingering. Repetition is how we build new neural pathways.
  3. One community pulling up to the table, sharing our joys and our wrestles on a facebook group and here in this email.

Together we’ll be retraining our brains, rooting and establishing in Christ, and cultivating intimacy with God one month at a time.

No, this won’t cost you a dime.

But here’s my ASK:

I’m looking for an intentional group to pilgrimage with me. I’d love to have the type of engagement which could write a book, your stories, your victories, your struggles, my stories, my victories, my struggles all forming a year-long day book. But don’t worry, just journaling a few lines a day will suffice (though some days out of joy you’ll feel compelled to write more, I promise.) AND BONUS? Journal writing will strengthen the new neural pathway.

 

The Presence Project starts the week of January 13, 2019.

Put it on your calendar, grab a friend, and reply to this email if you’re interested.

The Atlanta cohort will begin January 13th, from 6-8 at Holy Cross Cathedral.
White tablecloths. Candles lit. Great Harvest bread.
And the teaching that has changed my life.

The Presence Project online Community Gatherings will begin that same week, January 17th Thursday afternoon 1-3 and Thursday evening 7-9.

AND, it looks like we may have a Tennessee introduction retreat at the end of January/beginning of February. Anyone else interested in this one-time retreat?

REPLY to this email to join the journey in ATL, explore the Tennessee retreat, or join the online cohort!

*Some of you won’t be able to make the online Thursday time even though you would do your absolute darndest. But guess what? The videos will be housed on our facebook group so you can click back and watch it later. BUT, I promise you’re going to want to be around the table if at all possible.  Why? People do hard things best with other people doing hard things. (Curt Thompson, M.D.)

 

 

Again, the Slow Word Movement won’t be changing. Each week I’ll still send out the scripture on the next week’s lectionary but I’ll be setting the table with this larger vision as well.

And here’s the quest which has become integral to my life’s work:
How do we overcome chronic anxiety and make our home in the love of God?

And if it’s true that 40 million people in the U.S. are on some type of anxiety medications, I’m not alone in this struggle. (And please hear me. I’m not scorning the greatness that is modern medicine. My dad’s a doctor and I’ve seen God do incredible work through medication. You are the only one who truly knows what’s going on in your brain. Be gentle with yourself.)

But yes, anxiety ruled my life for decades.

I spent decades believing I was the matchstick girl, begging for a few kind looks, peering through a glowing window at other people’s love, ducking what I believed was imminent rejection.

But here’s the issue. The church often shames the anxious. She stands at the podium and pronounces judgement but doesn’t often provide the tools to a deeper rest in God.

(And no, “Don’t be anxious” doesn’t cut it. Have you ever heard the SNL skit by Bob Newhart, “Stop It.” Get ready to live. Click here to view.  Oh my word, if my husband was a psychologist, I’m pretty sure he’d come from the Bob Newhart school of therapy 😉

For the last ten years I’ve been seeking, learning, and teaching simple, but profound ways to retrain our brains and rest in the love of God.

Ancient Christian practices. Modern practices created by Christian neuroscientists. Tested. Beautiful.

But please hear me. This beautiful work is not a formula and it’s not a quick fix. We’re walking slowly towards a Person, but a Person who has promised He’s knocking. He’s waiting. He’s longing to be invited in. 

Instead, these practices are like scooting up to my Abba’s table, over and over and over.

  • Over time I’ve come to trust what’s on His table.
  • Over time I’ve come to trust bread will always be there.
  • Over time I’ve come to trust He has my best interest at heart. 

Eventually, instead of begging for bread by searching in other people’s eyes, I’ve learn to scoot up to His table, lean against Him, and hold out my hand for the pieces of the bread He places there.

I stop. I linger. I savor. I gaze up into His eyes as He gazes into mine. And over time, I’ve learned to rest right there. 


Send an email to mtrsummer@gmail.com if you want to be a part of The Presence Project or keep learning more. Forward this email to a friend who might want to have a place set at this table.

First two photos by Hannah Busing at Unsplash
Second photo and headshot by the fantastic Jessie Parks
Third photo by Ingrid Hofstra

 

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2 Comments

    1. Hi Jane,
      The Atlanta cohort begins tonight from 6-8 at Holy Cross Anglican Loganville, GA.

      The online version begins Thursday the 17th at 1 or 7.

      Do either of those times work?

      Email me at mtrsummer@gmail.com

      Warmly,
      Summer