The Fruit of Active Waiting

Dear Friend of the Transforming Center,

Greetings to you this Advent season! During Advent we practice the spiritual discipline of waiting—waiting for the coming of Christ not only in the ancient world of the Biblical story, but in our own lives now. We become aware of those places where we long to experience Christ’s presence more fully… and we wait.  This is not mere passivity; it is an active waiting that is alert and watchful, full of anticipation and yet willing to be patient.

As I look back on the last 10 years of ministry in the Transforming Center, I am aware of how many times God has met us in our waiting and how fruitful waiting has been in our own transformation process. Even though leaders from around the country have implored us to bring the two-year Transforming Community® experience to other regions of the country, we have waited to expand beyond the Chicago area until we were sure we were ready.  Now that we have a team of volunteers on the East Coast who have experienced the Transforming Community and who are willing to serve, we are pleased to be bringing our first regional Transforming Community to Baltimore in May 2012.  Waiting has taught us to be alert to Christ’s presence so that we can align ourselves with his purposes in the world.

We have also been watching and waiting for the right time to launch the Transforming Church® network—an affiliation of pastors and ministry leaders who are committed to leading their churches and ministry organizations in becoming  communities of spiritual transformation that discern and do the will of God. Now we finally feel it is time to respond to alumni requests for additional resources and relationships that will support them as they lead their churches and organizations in becoming communities of spiritual transformation. We will launch this network in conjunction with the start of our new Leading a Transforming Church program in April 2012.

Through your faithful support we are encouraging and strengthening the souls of more pastors and leaders than ever before — leaders who are committed to an ongoing, intentional process of spiritual transformation so they can discern and do the will of God. (Romans 12:2) This is the kind of leadership the Body of Christ needs most. As we take these significant steps forward, we are increasing our program costs by adding faculty and staff as well as developing systems to manage these new initiatives. Waiting has taught us to trust God for all we need and that is what we are doing now—with much anticipation about what God will do.

Your year-end gift enables us to offer a clearly marked path for pastors and Christian leaders seeking to guide their churches and organizations to become transforming communities that are increasingly responsive to Christ in their midst. Join us in strengthening the souls of pastors and leaders which strengthens the soul of the Church.

With gratitude for your companionship on this journey,

Dr. Ruth Haley Barton
Founder

P.S. When you give a gift of $100 or more (by December 31), we will send our newly-released CD, Advent: Music in Solitude, as our thanks for your continued friendship in the mission and ministry of the Transforming Center.  Each of the instrumental selections is intended to help you quiet your soul as you watch and wait for the coming of Christ. Click to listen to a sample.

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Ruth Haley Barton

(Doctor of Divinity, Northern Seminary) is Founder and Chief Essence Officer of the Transforming Center. A teacher, seasoned spiritual director (Shalem Institute), and retreat leader, she is the author of numerous books and resources on the spiritual life including Life Together in Christ, Pursuing God’s Will Together, Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership, Sacred Rhythms, and Invitation to Solitude and Silence.

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