Spiritual Formation Events

Christ has called us to be his disciples, and as a community we focus on discerning and responding to this call individually and corporately, for the sake of the world.

Through the leading of the Holy Spirit, our hearts can be transformed to become the persons God created us to be by loving God and our neighbors more deeply. Spiritual formation is key to this transformative journey.

We invite you to join us on this journey, to partake of spiritual formation opportunities we offer throughout the year—practices, experiences, and disciplines for people of faith to deepen our relationships with God, neighbor, and self.


2018 Personal Spiritual Growth Opportunities

The Spiritual Formation Council hopes that these opportunities
will help strengthen your spiritual growth.


Academy for Faith and Life Classes
Bible Study
Contemplative Retreats
Pilgrimage Trips
Labyrinth Ministry
Lenten Path of Discipleship Series


Academy for Faith and Life Classes

This adult education program has included courses such as “The Enneagram as a Spiritual Tool” and “Many Names for God.” In the fall of 2018, Vicky Curtiss will teach a class on “Celtic Spirituality.”

For information about upcoming Academy classes, click here.

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Bible Study

Fourth Church offers a variety of Bible studies, meeting with different frequenices and at different times. Find one that fits your interests!

For descriptions of current Bible study opportunities, click here.

Faith Today
12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m.
Room 5E (Gratz Center

“Faith Today,” offered through the Center for Life and Learning (CLL), is a “hybrid” Bible study: part fellowship, part practice of the ancient prayer style of lectio divina, part learning about scripture, and part prayers of the people. Led by CLL Program Coordinator Susan Quaintance, this class is open to anyone on a drop-in basis, and no RSVP is required. All ages and walks of faith are welcome. For more information, contact Susan Quaintance at 312.981.3386.

Horizons: A Monthly Women’s Bible Study
Second Wednesday of the month
12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. 
Room 4H (Gratz Center) 

Interested in taking part in a Bible study that has been field-tested by women’s groups all over the country? Join us for a monthly women’s Bible study, offered through Women at Fourth, based on the guide from Horizons magazine. For more information and to sign up (required), contact Anne Ellis at 312.573.3369.

Men’s Bible Study
First and third Tuesdays of the month
7:30 a.m. in the Loop

A Men’s Bible Study focusing on lectionary readings from the pulpit meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 7:30 a.m. in the Loop. For more information or to RSVP (required), contact Anne Ellis at 312.573.3369.

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Contemplative Retreats

Contemplative retreats are held at a suburban retreat center at various times during the church year, typically during Advent and Lent. Each retreat offers a variety of practices, such as Lectio Divina, working with mandalas, SoulCollage©, observance of silence, as well as opportunities for worship.

For information about upcoming retreats, contact Vicky Curtiss.

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Pilgrimage Trips

Spiritual Pilgrimage to Ghost Ranch, New Mexico
“Faiths Finding Each Other” and “Practicing the Presence of God”
April 6-13, 2018 (Friday to Friday)
Sponsored by the Spiritual Formation Council

Pilgrims will initially join other guests of Ghost Ranch in the beautiful high desert, canyon land of northern New Mexico for an opening retreat led by John Philip Newell and Cami Twilling called, “Faiths Finding Each Other.” The retreat will celebrate the wisdom of prophetic teachers from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. These great spiritual traditions each hold unique treasure that teaches us the way of love. From Sunday evening through Thursday evening, participants from Fourth Church will gather with each other for continued retreat led by Vicky Curtiss. Those days will have the theme of “Practicing the Presence of God.” Poetry and writing from Martin Buber, Thomas Merton, Rumi, Mary Oliver and others will guide us in noticing God’s presence in our midst.

Throughout the week, there will be teaching and spiritual practice in the mornings and evenings, and in the afternoon there will be rest and opportunity for hiking. Our meals will be taken together in the Dining Hall on the main campus of the Ranch. We will sleep in nice rooms with private baths on the Upper Mesa. The common life will combine times of silence and times of sharing in conversation.

Travel arrangements
Participants arrange their own flights. If traveling on the same day as it starts using shuttle ground transportation: either arrive in Albuquerque no later than 1 pm or in Santa Fe no later than 3:00 p.m. If renting a car, arrive at Ghost Ranch by 5:00 p.m.

See www.ghostranch.org for more information on shuttle services, travel times, and driving directions.  

Nature of Pilgrimage
spiritual formation, contemplative, community-building

Vicky Curtiss, Associate Pastor and certified spiritual director

Age range
Eighteens years and older

Estimated Cost
$1,645 per person, plus airfare (if sharing a double room; for a single room, cost will be an additional $455)

Applications due
January 15, 2018 (a deposit of $845 is required)

Register by clicking here.

For more information, contact Vicky Curtiss at 312.981.3598.

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Labyrinth Ministry

A tool for prayer and meditation for those seeking God, the labyrinth in Buchanan Chapel is available for walking several days of most weeks. Hosted labyrinth walks in Anderson Hall are also offered monthly.

For more information and a schedule of open labyrinth hours, click here.

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Lenten Path of Discipleship Series

Tuesdays, February 20–March 25
6:00–8:30 p.m.
Cost: $65 to cover the meals. (Scholarship aid is available.) 

Space is limited, so please register online soon!

“Path of Discipleship” is a six-week Lenten series of gatherings that will explore and apply particular spiritual practices that can deepen our faith journey as disciples of Jesus Christ. 

This year we will focus on the book SoulFeast by Marjorie Thompson and will be led by our Associate Pastors. The expectation is that participants will buy their own book and attend all gatherings. Each Tuesday we will begin with a shared catered meal, followed by a one-hour presentation and Q & A, and then spend an additional hour in small groups sharing and closing with worship. Participants will be in the same small group throughout. 

(In advance of the first week, read both forwards and thefirst two chapters of the book.)

February 20
"The Nature and Practice of Spiritual Reading"
Led by Rocky Supinger

February 27
"Communication and Communion with God: Approaches to Prayer"
Led by Lucy Forster-Smith

March 6
"Reclaiming Sabbath Time"       
Led by Judy Watt

March 13
"The Practice of Self-Emptying: Rediscovering the Fast"
Led by Vicky Curtiss

March 20
"Of Conscience and Consciousness:
    Self-Examination, Confession, and Awareness"
Led by Nanette Sawyer

March 27
"Entertaining Angels Unawares: the Spirit of Hospitality"
Led by Matt Helms

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Those interested in meditation will find a variety of opportunities available at Fourth Church. Members of the Center for Life and Learning (a program for adults sixty and over) gather weekly for “Mindfulness Meditation,” and the Replogle Center for Counseling and Well-Being hosts weekly meditation workshops on Tuesday evenings. Each Tuesday morning, Sacred Pause—twenty minutes of meditative silence to begin the day—is held at 7:45 a.m. in Stone Chapel.

Mindfulness Meditation
Mondays, 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Room 5A
(Gratz Center)

A weekly session for members of the Center for Life and Learning (a program for adults sixty and over).

Sacred Pause
Tuesdays, 7:45 to 8:15 a.m.
Stone Chapel (enter at 123 E. Delaware)

Twenty minutes of silence surrounded by an opening reflection and a closing benediction.

Meditation: Silence in Community
First Tuesday of each month, beginning October 3, 2017
7:00 to 8:15 p.m.
Boyle Conference Room

The program consists of a forty-minute meditation session (after which people who only wish to meditate may exit); a thirty-minute discussion; and a short time of social engagement. For more information, call the Replogle Center for Counseling and Well-Being at 312.787.8425.

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For More Information

Contact Vicky Curtiss
Associate Pastor for Mission, Fourth Presbyterian Church

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