Falling in Love with God Again

Our deepest joy comes as we journey into the heart, mind and will of Christ.  The context for this journey is now a multi-cultural, interreligious world, a place where seeing the face of Christ occurs in new ways. That is why this year’s Five-Day Academy for Spiritual Formation holds such promise for renewal. Meeting at the Redemptorist Renewal Center September 15-20, this year’s event will be offered for both English and Spanish speakers, clergy and lay, United Methodist or those with other or no religious affiliation.

During these five days together in covenant community, participants will gather for worship, silence and prayer as they hear presentations from Rabbi Chava Bahle and Dr. Frank Rogers on the theme “Sources of Compassion and Strength.” The theme goes deep into the Christian tradition, reconnects us to our Hebrew roots and builds a bridge to other traditions. Rabbi Bahle is currently pursuing a doctorate in interfaith spirituality in Chicago while serving on a national board for Jewish Renewal. She lives in Suttons Bay, Michigan. Dr. Rogers teaches at the Claremont School of Theology and serves as co-director of the Center for Engaged Compassion. While these presenters will bring focus and insight, an essential component of the program is the time and space allowed for individual participants to wrestle with their own convictions and beliefs.

Developed by The Upper Room in 1983, “The Academy” is a unique and tested model for lay and clergy with a commitment to grow in their relationship with God. The gathering in September will be the thirteenth Five Day Academy sponsored by the Desert Southwest Conference. Members of the leadership team are Jerry Haas, Julie Yarrow, Paul Cho, Mary Lou Adame, Fay Sias and Irving Cotto. Rev. Cotto is a member of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference who is often recruited nationally to teach and mentor Hispanic pastors on worship and music leadership.

Jerry Haas, a clergy member of DSC, attended the two-year Academy in 1992 in California, then led the first Five Day Academy here in 1995 before serving as Director of the program in Nashville. “I was pastor of a busy suburban church went I went to the Academy, very close to burn-out. At seminary and in the early years of my ministry, I had never taken the time to develop a strong spiritual life and so I lost my love for God. At the Academy, I simply fell head over heels in love again, and the Academy gave me both the personal and the intellectual tools I needed to regain my focus.”

Sometimes referred to as “the best-kept secret in the United Methodist Church,” more information about The Academy for Spiritual Formation can be found on its website “academy.uppperroom.org”. Those interested in attending can register by following this link https://dscumc.org/arizona-five-day-academy/ or by emailing Lori at . To print and view the 5-Day Academy Flyer please click here.

Click here to register today, or contact Jerry Haas for more information at

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