New Streams to post Bible studies online, offers re-designed e-newsletter


Church leaders will have a new tool to help people deepen their understanding of a variety of spiritual disciplines beginning in January. Best of all, there is no book or DVD to purchase – these new resources will be available as a free download from the conference website.

The New Streams Team will be posting a series of short Bible studies, each focusing on one specific spiritual practice. Disciplines covered will include both acts of piety, such as prayer, fasting, and searching the scriptures, and acts of mercy, such as feeding the hungry, welcoming the stranger, and visiting the sick and imprisoned. The studies will include a Bible passage, reflection/discussion questions, and a prayer suggestion, and would be very appropriate for use during opening devotions at the beginning of a committee meeting.
Those who have subscribed to the New Streams e-news list will begin receiving one of these Bible studies each month in the newly redesigned New Streams e-newsletter. In addition to the Bible study, each monthly e-newsletter will include a tip on how your church can engage more fully in one specific spiritual practice, as well as helpful links to additional online resources or upcoming events. The tips and Bible studies will be archived on the New Streams section of the conference website for easy reference.
If you do not already receive the New Streams e-newsletter, you may subscribe by going to and clicking on “Sign up for our e-newsletters.” This will also offer you the opportunity to select other e-newsletters you may be interested in receiving. If you run into difficulty subscribing, you are welcome to e-mail Beth Fender ( from the e-mail address you would like added. Be sure to mention that you would like to be added to the New Streams e-news list.
For several years, the New Streams Team has supported local church leaders in the Illinois Great Rivers Conference and beyond as they seek to teach the practice of spiritual disciplines, or what John Wesley called “the means of grace.”
Opening Ourselves to Grace (the New Streams DVD) provides an introduction to these basic Christian practices, along with a number of stories and visual images to illustrate each one. Churches are using this resource in a variety of ways: with new member and confirmation classes, for sermon illustrations, as an all-church study, for leadership training, and more.