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Lectio Divina Walks

Matt Saarem 

Pastor Matt Saarem
Balsam Lutheran Church
Amery, Wisconsin
August 2011

At Balsam Lutheran Church, north of Amery, Wisconsin, we have been taking small steps towards wholeness using Lectio Divina walks. (Lectio Divina is a spiritual practice that's been around for over 1,000 years.) The walks happen twice a week, one on Wednesdays at 9:00 a.m. for those who can make it, and one on Thursdays at 5:45 p.m. for those who work. The setting is a beautiful County Park nearby with a path around a lake of about .6 miles and a pavilion.

We meet at the pavilion and read one of the texts assigned for the following Sunday. We then walk one lap around the lake in silence, praying silently that God’s thoughts might come to our mind regarding the text. We then re-convene at the pavilion, read the text again, and take another lap around the lake, this time sharing and discussing the things God brought to our mind about the text on the first lap. We then re-convene a third time at the pavilion, read the text a third time, and then take a third lap around the lake, this time endeavoring to pray out loud the text in an impromptu manner (the hardest part of the process for some.)

The process takes from 45 minutes to an hour, and involves walking 1.8 miles, meditating and discussing the text for Sunday, and praying. It affords great flexibility, and is a continuing process that can go on indefinitely (unlike a structured Bible Study, which usually comes to an end.) We have advertised it as "Body-Mind-Spirit Walking."

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