Is the church a club for those who have arrived, or a community of disciples who are on the way?
— Brain McLaren, contibuting author to the Ancient Practices series

Do you sometimes feel adrift in "mushy spirituality" or caught between the absolutes of fundamentalism? We too feel a need to ground ourselves and reconnect with what is true, eternal, and solid. Saint John's turns to the ancient practices of the church, those that came about before the global institutions of the Christian church existed. These are lifelong and unique to each Christian. We, like our spiritual ancestors who embraced these practices, find the Holy Spirit “growing us up” into the image of Christ.

If we want to see things changed, it starts with prayer. It starts with a new spirit of prayer, using all the traditions, ancient and modern. When it comes, it will be linked to what has gone before, but it will look different – because it is a new renewal for new times. God’s created community is perfectly designed for its time and place. It almost always comes from below. It comes from Christians seeking Christ.
— Justin, Archbishop of Canterbury

If you engage with these methods of spiritual living, they can offer a doorway into deeper contemplation of your faith and spiritual growth. They have instructed, comforted, encouraged, directed, and enlightened God's children for thousands of years. 21st century angst and consumer culture don't lessen their power. You can learn about them in well-illustrated detail with a book series on spiritual discipline that thoroughly discusses the history and how-tos of these ancient practices and how they can transform our spiritual sojourns. Find them below or ask a priest about where to begin.

 Pilgrims receive communion at the closing eucharist of SOULWorks Spiritual Weekend #1

Pilgrims receive communion at the closing eucharist of SOULWorks Spiritual Weekend #1

List of Ancient Practices:

  • Fasting
  • Bible Study
  • Constant Prayer
  • Sabbath
  • Liturgical Year
  • Baptism & Sacramental Meal
  • Empowering Sacraments
  • Pilgrimage
  • Tithing
  • Alms to the Poor

Ancient Practices Book Series

As a guide to the Ancient Practices of our faith, Saint John’s recommends a book series on spiritual discipline edited by Phyllis Tickle that thoroughly discusses the history and how-tos of these ancient practices. In the first book, Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices, Brian McLaren explains these timeless traditions---some dating back to Abraham---as antidotes to "mushy spirituality" which cleanse us, enlighten us and bring us closer to God. 

Ancient Practices Book Series:

  • Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices, Brian McLaren
  • In Constant Prayer, Robert Benson
  • Sabbath, Dan B. Allender
  • Fasting, Scot McKnight
  • The Sacred Meal, Nora Gallagher
  • The Liturgical Year: The Spiraling Adventure of the Spiritual Life, Joan Chittister
  • The Sacred Journey, Charles Foster
  • Tithing: Test Me in This, Douglas LeBlanc

Available from Amazon.comChristianbook.com, and other online retailers.