What is “The Way We Practice”?

The early Jesus movement called the path they followed “The Way.” This newsletter is an exploration of that way with a nod to its double meaning. The Way is what we seek, a joining in what one friend has called “the uprising of Jesus.” But how do we travel that path? In what way do we practice it? Those are the questions to which I keep returning. This newsletter is my attempt to answer those questions with various journeys down spur trails.

I’m a Christian priest in the Anglican/Episcopal tradition with a love for compost and birds, the given world of creation. I prefer forests to church buildings. I agree with Wendell Berry that there are “no unsacred places, only sacred places and desecrated places.” When I see the wild world I love desecrated by the Machine I want to speak toward its healing. And yet I don’t want to speak from the frenzy of so much online life. I want to be like the monk Thomas Merton, addressing war and racism from a hermitage in the woods. It was there he could come to terms with the fascism in his own heart and call for change from a place of long silence.

This newsletter takes many forms and genres. Mostly it is short essays reflecting on how we are to live as flourishing creatures. Sometimes I offer series on a particular practice like fasting or an exploration of a book of scripture. Other times I post interviews with a Christian practitioners from whom I seek to learn the way of faith. During certain seasons like Advent there will be a daily devotion. Whatever the form, my aim is to offer something that will help you on your path toward flourishing and renewal, whether you claim the Christian way or not.

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“We live the given life…” - Wendell Berry

I offer “The Way We Practice” as a gift. The core of its content will always be free to subscribers of all levels, free and paid. If you can subscribe at one of the paid levels it will help me continue this work and support my family. To thank paid subscribers I will include special limited posts and occasional events. Do whatever feels possible and remember to keep the gift moving.


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Ragan Sutterfield
Ragan Sutterfield is an Episcopal priest and writer working in his native Arkansas. His most recent book is "Wendell Berry and the Given Life" (Franciscan Media). You can find out more about his work at ragansutterfield.com