Caring for our bodies and living holistically

Jesus models a way of living mingles the physical with the spiritual and acknowledges that our bodies, just as temples, house the spirit of God. This holistic life involves living with the rhythms that allow us to thrive, finding a balance between work, play, rest and reflection. Jesus calls his followers to more than just unbridled consumption or production. Rather, the Scriptures see our lives and bodies as gifts that should be nurtured.
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"This We Affirm connects prophetic leaders to inspiring resources. If you are committed to creating a more just and generous world, the resources you need are here."

God and Guns

COMMENTARY  |  Convergence Network

Riverside Church in the City of New York, in partnership with Everytown for Gun Safety, hosts "God and Guns: Faith Leaders Address Gun Violence", an intensive training on gun violence for faith leaders. Interview segments include Rev. Rachel Johnson, Rev. Rob Schenck, Lucy McBath, and Abigail Disney (director of the documentary film "Armor Of Light"). Filmed & edited for Manhattan Neighborhood Network....


COMMENTARY  |  Parker Palmer

Parker Palmer Five Habits of the Heart

Litanies and Prayers- Ken Sehested

OTHER RESOURCES  |  This We Affirm

Ezekiel 37:1-14

The Relational Body

COMMENTARY  |  Søren Lorenzen

Isaiah 40 - 66

This resource is a short analysis on the concept of name in Isa 40-66. It reveals how human beings universally are called by name, given an ultimate narrative and is deemed honorable by sheer existence. Further, it illuminates how human beings are intersubjectively connected and are responsible for each other in our differing proximate contexts....


SMALL GROUPS  |  This We Affirm

Psalm 10

A teaching guide and Resource on violence that had happened in France
Great Questions and How to discuss the Violence. ...

Mental Health Is Physical Health

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Monica Coleman

Monica Coleman explains that the brain is a part of the body.  Taking care of our mental health is just as important as taking care of our physical health....

Parker Palmer on Depression

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Parker Palmer

Quaker author and educator Parker Palmer talks with Anne Strainchamps about the two different things we mean by the word depression: a downturn in the economy and an illness of the psyche. Palmer's most recent book is "A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life."...

“Welcome to the Human Race” an Interview with Parker J. Palmer on the topic of depression

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Parker Palmer

A Standing Meditation for Self-Care

OTHER RESOURCES  |  This We Affirm

A guide to standing meditation for self-love....

You Are What You Eat: The Body of Christ

COMMENTARY  |  This We Affirm

John 6:51-52, Ezekiel 3:1-4

John van de Laar writes about mindful eating, communion and Ezekiel 3....

Pregnancy and Loss

SERMONS  |  This We Affirm

Pregnancy and Loss
Prayers and suggestions for those that have lost babies.......

A Sermon on No Time to Rest and Also No Jetpacks

SERMONS  |  Nadia Bolz-Weber

Matthew 11:28 Matthew 11:29 Matthew 11:30

Nadia Bolz-Weber preaches on the importance of rest....

4 Things to Ask a Therapist

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Candice Czubernat

Candice Czubernat discusses preparing to begin therapy, including finding the right therapist and how what questions to ask early on....

4 Black Church Resources That Can Help People Living With Depression

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Monica Coleman

Monica Coleman discusses how Spirituals, Charismatic Worship, Getting Happy, and Liberation Emphasis can help those with Depression....

10 Ways You Can Pray for Mental Illness

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Monica Coleman

Monica Coleman lists 10 tangible ways to support those with mental illness....

Wrestling with God and Depression

SERMONS  |  Monica Coleman


"On November 18, 2012, I spoke at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, CA in the Rector’s Forum on “Wrestling with God and Depression.”  I referenced the story in the gospel of Mark where Jesus meets the man named Legion and casts out the and casts demons out of him.  I talk about what I think that has to do with depression, mental health and living whole lives."...

On Forgiveness and Abuse

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Rachel Held Evans

Rachel Held Evans discusses what forgiveness and grace mean for those that have suffered abuse....

The Healing Power of Meditation

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Richard Rohr

The Center for Action and Contemplation gives a daily meditation on the importance of healing through prayer and meditation with less of a focus on transactional encounters....

A Dissipating Rage Against the Machine

OTHER RESOURCES  |  This We Affirm

Andy Gill talks about Anger and what allows him to move past it....

Self-Care Episode 1: Busy—Restoring Connection to an Unhurried God

COMMENTARY  |  Darkwood Brew

Mahatma Gandhi said, “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” If it seems like the world keeps moving faster, and you along with it, there is another way. This is the first episode in a six-part series lead by Rev. Eric Elnes Ph.D. that explores the personal and spiritual benefits that come with slowing things down and aligning ourselves to God’s time. You’ll feel better, connect more fully, realize what’s important and maybe even get more done.

Waging the War Within

SERMONS  |  This We Affirm

Genesis 32:22

Pastor Colby Martin discusses the story of Jacob and who it might have been he wrestled with in the night....

The Power of Vulnerability


Brené Brown studies human connection -- our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk to share....

Listening to Shame


Shame is an unspoken epidemic, the secret behind many forms of broken behavior. Brené Brown, whose earlier talk on vulnerability became a viral hit, explores what can happen when people confront their shame head-on. Her own humor, humanity and vulnerability shine through every word....

Self-care as a Spiritual Discipline

OTHER RESOURCES  |  This We Affirm

Jes Kast discusses the Scriptural call to take self-care seriously....

God's Calling to Take Care of Yourself

OTHER RESOURCES  |  This We Affirm

Elizabeth Hagan discusses God's call for us to practice self-care according to Scripture....

How Vulnerability Holds the Key to Emotional Intimacy


In and interview, Brene Brown discusses shame and it's relationship with vulnerability, and their affects on us....

Gays, Christians, and Therapy

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Candice Czubernat

Candice Czubernat discusses the purpose and beauty of therapy, and specifically what therapy for a gay person might look like....

Living By Faith

SERMONS  |  This We Affirm


For Jesus to walk the path that he did, faced with abandonment and suffering, meant that he lived a life of deep faith. He trusted that great Love was holding him and guiding him. We, too, are invited to lean into a faith that sustains us, when our circumstances and the world around us can seem so broken and bruised. Jessica reminds us that faith is not the absence of fear, or doubt, or pain, but that the love of God is the river that carries us through all of it.

Do I Believe I Can Be Well?

SERMONS  |  This We Affirm

Continuing our series "Bloom: Reflections on the Cycle of Life", Pastor Stan explores the question "do I believe I can be well?" and works through what it even means to be "well" in this context. This is the archive recording of the message portion of our service from Sunday, March 20, 2017.


A Matter of Interpretation

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Candice Czubernat

Matthew 19:24 Mark 10:25 Luke 18:25

Candice Czubernat discusses different interpretations of three verses.
Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God. – Matt. 19:24
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God. – Mark 10:25
Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God. – Luke 18:25...

3 Examples of Self-Care in the Bible

OTHER RESOURCES  |  This We Affirm

Matthew 11:26 Matthew 11:27 Matthew 11:28 Matthew 11:29 Matthew 11:30 1 Kings 19:3 1 Kings 19:4 1 Kings 19:5 1 Kings 19:6 1 Kings 19:7 1 Kings 19:8 1 Kings 19:9 Luke 5:16

Steve Austin discusses three stories in the Bible that deal with self-care.  One, when Jesus says to come to Him when we are tired.  The second when God took care of Elijah when he fled to Beersheba.  The third when Jesus, himself, would retreat for prayer....

Learning to Lament: The Culture of Denial


Rob Bell talks about God's heart and the danger and courage of lament....

Worship Series: Holy Vessels

WORSHIP  |  Marcia McFee

This non-lectionary series originally designed for Lent focuses on the journey of brokenness, healing and wholeness utilizing the anchor image of beach glass. The worship resources included here contain ideas for each of the worship arts areas and can be adapted to fit any community's context. Compatible with Affirmation #11, Self-Care....

Bless to Me, Part 1: Holy Days

SERMONS  |  Eric Elnes

Psalm 113 Matthew 6

What if you could experience the holy each day, such that each day became a holiday ("holy day")?  This is Part 1 of a 4-part series on blessings that may be found in everyday life....

Bless to Me, Part 2: Holy Moments

SERMONS  |  Eric Elnes

Genesis 1 Luke 12 Colossians 1 Gospel of Thomas 77

What if you could find holiness in each moment, such that the experience of time itself became a living Gospel?  This is Part 2 of a 4-part series on blessings that may be found in everyday life. Sermons in this series may be integrated with Marcia McFee's Worship Design Studio series of the same name. (

Bless to Me, Part 3: Holy You

SERMONS  |  Eric Elnes

Psalm 104 Luke 12:13-23

This is Part 3 of a 4-part series, Bless to Me.  By making gratitude your life's essential pursuit, you become, as Jesus says, "rich toward God." Your mindfulness and discipline, like drops of water falling on a stalagmite, slowly build something within you that can never be taken away.  In this day and age, things that can never be taken away from us are increasingly rare.  This series is integrated with Marcia McFee's Worship Design Studio series of the same name.

Bless to Me, Part 4: Blessings That Endure

SERMONS  |  Eric Elnes

Isaiah 41:27-31 2 Corinthians 4:8-10

This is Part 4 of a 4-part series called Bless to Me.  In our day, despite the struggles we face in our country - be they catastrophic flooding or catastrophic political polarization - neither faith, nor loving community, nor hope have been entirely stripped away. In fact, you can still find a lot of these resources if you have "eyes to see." This reflection integrates scripture with Celtic Christian spirituality to develop these very eyes so that we make fuller use of overlooked resources around us. This series is integrated with Marcia McFee's Worship Design Studio series of the same name.  (

Listen! Hearing That Still, Small Voice and Finding Your Own - 6 sermon packet

SERMONS  |  Eric Elnes

1 Kings 19 Genesis 2:7 Romans 8:26-27 Psalm 46 Mark 9:14-29 Romans 12:1-2 Matthew 26:36-46

This is a 6-sermon resource packet on focussed on how progressively-oriented Christians may develop a prayerful relationship with God.  Also available (at additional cost) are a complete set of worship resources to accompany this series from Marcia McFee's Worship Design Studio ( as well as complete small group video resources produced by Darkwood Brew which are available in DVD and internet streaming formats (

Sermons include: (1) Finding Your Cave: Listening Spaces; (2) Finding Your Breath: Listening to Our Bodies; (3) Finding a Word: Listening to the Texts; (4) Finding Your Power: Listening for Healing; ...

Converging Paths Interview with Rita Otis


Eric Elnes interviews spiritual director, Rita Otis about "God experiences" and how they continue to shape her personal and professional path.  Rita is also a Tai Chi instructor as well as a facilitator for Interplay, a national organization whose goal is to create active creative ways to unlock the wisdom of your body....

Converging Paths Interview with Eric Elnes


Eric Elnes interviews ... himself!  In this podcast he speaks about two significant "Road to Damascus" experiences he had that continue to shape is personal and professional life.  Elnes is the author of a number of books, including Gifts of the Dark Wood: Seven Blessings for Spiritual Wanderers (and Other Skeptics), and The Phoenix Affirmations: A New Vision for the Future of Christianity - the first commentary on the 12 Phoenix Affirmations that are used as an organizing structure for's website.  A 2007 documentary, The Asphalt Gospel, film was made about his walk across the U.S. with CrossWalk America to raise awareness of the twelve Phoenix Affirmations....

Converging Paths Interview with Ashley Swartz


Eric Elnes interviews Ashley Schwartz, a farmer, grandmother, volunteer firefighter, a Christian, and transgender activist who made her gender transition twenty years ago while continuing to live and farm in her hometown of Malmo, Nebraska. Ashley credits her transition as instrumental in bringing her into closer relationship with God and her community.  In this interview, Ashley shares intimately about her path and the "God experiences" that continue to shape it....

Worship Series: Busy

WORSHIP  |  Marcia McFee

"Busy: Reconnecting with an Unhurried God" is a fully-scripted worship series for Lent that supports Affirmation #11, Self-Care. The theme draws on the need for self-care in order to continue our work of caring for others. It addresses the growing intensity and frenetic pace of life. The series will invite folks to practices of making room, clearing out, slowing down, and prioritizing for the sake of holistic lives. Includes full worship service scripts for six weeks of Lent, plus Ash Wednesday. Also included: pre-Lent retreat materials, small group ideas and sermon fodder for pastors, visual and media arts suggestions, children's worship ideas, and more!

Go to to purchase this item (regularly $99) with a 20% This We Affirm discount. Use promo code TWA20 at checkout on the Worship Design Studio site.

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