October 26, 2021
David Wallace reflects on our practice of prayer and our invitation to contemplative prayer [Psalm 34:1-8].
- How might you see prayer as a relationship with God?
- What specific areas of life require you to seek refuge in God?
- Why does silent prayer seem inviting or fearful to you?
October 19, 2021
Nic Acosta reflects on pain and trauma and how we’re invited to explore and engage the tension and mystery that comes with it [Job 38].
- How can we bring our full selves to the table, both our joy and our pain, and still seek connection?
- What does it look like to lean into the mystery of Christ, leading us on our bright days and in our darkest hours?
October 13, 2021
Gena St. David reflects on the center of the Christ story and what it means to be saved. What are we saved from? How are we saved? What are we saved for? [Mark 10:17-31]
- How does your body respond to the image of nonviolent forgiveness in Jesus?
- What or who was Jesus trusting, and how did that trust enable him to respond nonviolently?
- What might become possible for us if we spent more time in embodied trust?
October 5, 2021
Weylin Lee reflects on how we are invited to center ourselves and our community around Christ in this next season together and we navigate reconnection and transition [Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12].
- How can we center ourselves around the embodiment of Jesus' life and teachings?
- Where can we let go of power and privilege to embrace downward mobility?
- Whom are the suffering that we can be in solidarity with?
- Reflect on who we center ourselves around. Who are the people we have intentionally or unintentionally chosen to center ourselves around? How can Vox be centered around embodying the life and teachings of Jesus?
- Downward mobility. Let go of power and privilege that you normally lean on. Experience a humiliation for your ego
September 28, 2021
Virginia Cumberbatch reflects on what it looks like to praise in the midst of the difficult season we have all been enduring [Psalm 124].
- How are you giving yourself permission to share and express gratitude for God's preservation, presence and protection?
- How will you express praise this week/in this season?
September 21, 2021
David Wallace reflects on how our need for belonging can lead us to experiencing being othered and how Jesus invites us to see ourselves and others [Mark 9:38-50].
- Reflect on a time when you felt "othered" and a time when you "othered" someone else. What feelings come to the surface for each?
- Recall a moment that contributed to masking over the child-like nature of your True Self? How might you see your innocence and release its burden on you?
September 14, 2021
Gena St David reflects on where we might find comfort in the Christ story when we suffer rejection for living what God invites us into [Mark 8:31-37].
- Which relationships help us endure rejection?
- Where might the Spirit be inviting us to risk rejection and wage “good conflict”?
- How might the Christ story comfort us when we suffer rejection?
- Name your five people – who helps us endure rejection?
- Name your loving reason – why is rejection sometimes worth it?
- Name your hope – what about the Christ story comforts us when we suffer rejection?
September 7, 2021
Weylin Lee reflects on our invitation to practice ordinary faith that's grounded in mercy as we push against celebrity culture [James 2:1-17].
- What does it mean for us to push against celebrity culture in our community?
- How can we make space to reflect on and receive mercy in our lives?
- How are we integrating the teachings and life of Jesus as an expression of our faith?
- Examine our culture. Reflect on the culture of our Vox community and who it is that we welcome and engage. How have we shown preference for certain types of people at the expense of others?
- Reflect on God’s mercy. Make space to reflect on the ways we have recognized and received God's mercy toward us. How might we need to unpack and process the barriers that keep us from fully receiving mercy in our lives?
- Podcast: The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill
August 31, 2021
Simone Talma Flowers reflects on Jesus' invitation to examine our hearts and to experience healing through God's love [Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23].
- Are there areas of my heart that are hardened and shut off?
- How do I invite God in my life and heal my heart?
- How can God’s love be central in my heart?
August 24, 2021
James Alison reflects on what Jesus is inviting us to when he asks us to eat the bread and drink of the life that he offers us [John 6:51-69].
- What is the difference between the Manna in the desert, and what Jesus offers in the Eucharist?
- Do Jesus’ words scandalize you?
- How do you understand “coming to be persuaded” that Jesus is the Holy one of God?
August 17, 2021
Naomi Jackson reflects on the life of Solomon and why God gave him what he asked for and what he didn’t ask for and how that impacts our understanding of wisdom [1 Kings 3:6-14].
- What do we learn about the character of God from their response to Solomon?
- How does wisdom frame the relationship between humans and God?
- How does one discern scripture into application? How does one discern scripture into an experience with God?
August 11, 2021
Gena St David reflects on what it means to believe and considers whether it’s less a choice we make and more something that expands within us as we “say yes” to encounters with Jesus that prove trustworthy [John 6:35, 44-51].
- How might I practice coming toward God with my hunger and thirst this week?
- How might I practice listening to God this week?
- How might I “taste” the life of Jesus this week?
- Prayer of Examen. What am I hungry for today?
- Listening Prayer. I’m listening...
- Eucharist. What does the Christ story reveal about God’s trustworthiness?
July 14, 2021
Jeff Chu reflects on where the Good News is as we continue to navigate difficult and disruptive transitions in our lives and those around us [Mark 6:14-29].
- What are the things that, like Herod's worldly allegiances, keep you from the allure of holy mystery?
- What might help you remember the heart of why Jesus's name became known—the good news of love?
July 6, 2021
James Alison reflects on how we might be scandalized and what our response would be to the presence of Jesus [Mark 6:1-6].
- What are you scandalized by and what does your scandal stop you from seeing?
- What does it mean to be scandalized by Jesus?
- Why are prophets likely to give scandal?
June 29, 2021
Jane Patterson reflects on the interaction Jesus had with the woman who touched his robe in order to be healed and what it means for our calling to serve others [Mark 5:21-43].
- Who has touched you in the last year?
- Who has touched you in the last week?
- Who has touched us?
- Church: Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (Minneapolis)
June 22, 2021
Insil Kang reflects on how our community has been and will need to prepare as we come back together physically and continue the work that God is inviting us towards collectively [Mark 4:35-41].
- How have we been preparing to come back together physically, to continue this ministry at Vox?
- What have we seen and heard in God’s working in us while we have been physically distant?
- How can we continue to prepare?
- Think of the “boats” that have been around you over this past year. Reflect on how they supported you and made you feel safe, even from a distance.
- Get a piece of stationary or a postcard, write them a note and physically mail it to them this week.
- As we consider this new opportunity of ministry and community at Vox, take time every day this week to pray for a member who comes to mind.
- Select a pump up song and play it LOUD as you dance and jump in anticipation of being back together.
June 15, 2021
Weylin Lee reflects on how we are invited to remain in the space of mystery as we begin to decompress from the past year and reimagine how our community might reconnect in new ways [Mark 4:26-34].
- How might we release control in order to experience divine transformation?
- How are we invited to welcome the unexpected and offer safe space to the vulnerable?
- Releasing Control. Practice centering prayer or the welcome prayer. Embody the release of control by opening your hands.
- Welcome the Unexpected. Imagine our participation as we reopen liturgy again. Consider ways to practice obnoxious hospitality. Consider how to offer safe space to the most vulnerable.
- Article: Think Outside the Banana (NYT)
June 8, 2021
Gena St. David reflects on what helps us not lose heart in the midst of grief especially in our personal and communal experiences [2 Corinthians 4:13-16].
- How is God renewing us as a Vox community?
- What do we need to grieve to make space for what’s next?
- And how might that grief moves us toward grace?
- Express Grief. Sit down with God, take a breath, say “I’m sad today”. Select 1-2 trusted friends, take a breath, say “I’m sad today”.
- Grief ritual. 1) Sadness – What has been lost? What do we miss? 2) Anger – What are we angry about? What do we regret? 3) Light – What memories do we wish to hold onto? What makes us laugh when we think about it? 4) Thanksgiving – What are we grateful for?
June 1, 2021
Weylin Lee, Lena Martinez-Wolfinger, Madyson Russell and Kimberly Culbertson reflect together on how Vox is invited to reimagine service in a season of transition and change [Jeremiah 29:4-7].
- What have you appreciated and valued about the Vox community?
- How has this pandemic created an awareness of needs that you had not noticed before?
- What’s in the pantry? What personal resources do you currently have? What have you appreciated and valued about the Vox community?
- Observe the needs. What have you observed in the neighborhood around you? How has this pandemic created an awareness of needs that you had not noticed before?
- The Church Lab
- Texas Impact
- Vox Values
- Vox Midweek Groups
- Austin Mutual Aid
May 28, 2021
Nic Acosta reflects on what it looks like for God’s chaotic goodness to interrupt our lives in disruptive and surprising ways [Ezekiel 37:1-14].
- What are some ways that God's message of hope and redemption has come through into our lives in unexpected or surprising ways? What did we learn?
- What would it mean to live in such a way that, when God's chaotic goodness interrupts the world, we're receptive to it?
- Video: Twin Peaks - Albert’s Path