Academy Bulletin - August 2018

Friday, August 17, 2018

Have you felt like you’re a valley of dry bones? Sometimes God blowing through hollow bones brings those bones to life and creates music that no one has heard.

—Ray Buckley, Academy Podcast, Episode 12 (Listen here!)




At the end of July, 56 participants, along with faculty, Roger Owens and Wilkie Au, and a Leadership Team comprised of five devoted souls (Jennifer Goto, Sungho Lee, Hee Soon Kwon, Shalom Agtarap, and Barbara Howing), gathered together at San Damiano Retreat Center in Danville, CA for Session One of Two-Year Academy #40.
Five international participants (four from Korea and one from Trinidad) and others from up and down the West Coast, Alaska, Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Louisiana began the journey in Christ that is the Two-Year Academy.
Thank you for including Academy #40 in your prayers and for helping us recruit its participants in the first place. We are a richer, more expansive community because of it.
As Ray Buckley highlights in this month’s Academy Podcast episode, God brings us to life and helps us create music that no one has heard. It is our prayer that each person who attends The Academy, at both Five-Days and Two-Years around the world, finds their God-breathed music and shares it with others so that we become a chorus of love-creators and life-changers wherever we are!
Read on for resources, events, prayers, and more that help deepen your spiritual life and, in turn, connect you more fully to the world.




Let us LISTEN & SHARE. In this month’s Academy Podcast episode, Ray Buckley illumines the theme of bearing witness. His teaching considers what it means to be clay in the hands of a God who holds us when we break, and he invites all to bear witness to the hope and possibility that come when we simply let God do the work. Listen and share here!
Let us PRAY. On August 27, 72 participants will begin Two-Year Academy #41 at Camp Sumatanga in Gallant, AL with faculty Loyd Allen and Roger Owens. Please join us in praying for the Leadership Team, participants, and faculty as they begin this most sacred journey in Christ.
Let us GATHER. The National Prison Summit on Mass Incarceration, hosted by Strengthening the Black Church and sponsored by Discipleship Ministries and The Upper Room, will take place in Nashville, TN, October 25-27, 2018. Read more here about the summit’s inspiring teaching, national networking, and policy and impact development designed to empower, encourage, and equip those who work in the areas of restorative justice and family outreach.
Let us READ. The Academy for Spiritual Formation Recommends The Upper Room Disciplines for personal devotional use, group study, or sermon preparation based on the Revised Common Lectionary.

Disciplines 2019 includes meditations from the following Academy participants, faculty, and Academy family members: Stephen Bryant, Daniel Benedict, James Howell, Melissa Tidwell, Larry Peacock, Lawrence Rankin, Kathleen Stephens, Lib Campbell, and Ray Buckley. Order your copy today at or by calling 1-800-972-0433 (Also available at other major retailers).

Let us CONNECT. Discover resources for your soul care as a spiritual leader. Subscribe to From the Center, a free, monthly email newsletter from The Upper Room for spiritual leaders.

Let us JOURNEY. Dates and location are set for Two-Year Academy #42! It will begin August 2020 at Oblate Renewal Center in San Antonio, TX. Learn more here.




Throughout the remainder of 2018, we invite you to celebrate The Academy’s 35th Anniversary in the following ways:

  • Listen and share the Academy Podcast with others. Amy Oden will be featured in September’s episode.
  • Look for a special edition of the Academy Podcast in October featuring a conversation between Johnny Sears and Parker Palmer on spiritual friendship and shared vocation! This will be released in both audio and video formats.
  • Give a gift of $35, $350, $3,500, or any amount. When you give to The Academy through December 31, 2018, it will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, by generous donors of The Upper Room.

THANK YOU for your ongoing support of The Academy. YOUR GIFTS of time, presence, and dollars help us create safe space for people to connect with God, self, others, and creation for the sake of the world.


Give today



Academy for Spiritual Formation
The Upper Room
P.O. Box 340004
Nashville, TN 37203-0004

The Academy Bulletin is a monthly newsletter for The Academy community.
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The Academy for Spiritual Formation is a part of The Upper Room.