The Christian Disciplines

[All posts in series]

Just a quick note to invite BCC-ers to join me for a year following Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline. Mormons are disciplined people already but Foster’s excellent book offers a way, perhaps, to expand and enrich our practice of Christian discipline.

My aim is to start in November and then, via posts and discussion here at BCC, to offer a supportive environment for practising the disciplines.

Here is the book.

The disciplines are:

  1. Meditation.
  2. Prayer.
  3. Fasting.
  4. Study.
  5. Simplicity.
  6. Solitude.
  7. Submission.
  8. Service.
  9. Confession.
  10. Worship.
  11. Guidance.
  12. Celebration.

We will look at one every month.

A bonus discipline will be pilgrimage. We are planning a BCC-led pilgrimage trip to Norway to walk Olav’s Way next summer, to which you are all invited. Join the Mormon Confraternity of St. James on Facebook to keep-up-to-date. (The Utah members of the MCSJ are also keen to do ad hoc pilgrimages throughout the year, if Norway sounds impossible. For any Brits reading, I am interested in a pilgrimage to St. David’s.)

The beginning of the Christian year (Advent) is fast approaching! Get the book and check back here next month.


  1. RJH, I think I need this at the moment and am excited about a pilgrimmage to St. David’s. Count me in!

  2. To clarify, I think that pretty much all MCSJ members, wherever they may be, are keen to do ad hoc pilgrimages. For Sukkot some of the Utah cohort planned a mini-pilgrimage from This Is The Place Monument to the Salt Lake Temple (the pilgrimage at Sukkot has to be to the Temple). In the end it didn’t end up happening because of scheduling difficulties but that is the type of thing that we get up to. Instead a couple of us visited the Provo temple to fulfill that liturgical obligation.

    But I happen to know that MCSJ members elsewhere in the US, in Germany, France, and Austria are game for ad hoc or mini-pilgrimages in their local areas.

  3. KerBearRN says:

    Btw the book is also on Kindle, I just checked.

    Very excited by this, Ronan. And St David’s is very tempting…

  4. Can’t afford any pilgrimages unless they are in the Northeast US but I will certainly check out the book.

  5. Kevin Barney says:

    That list of disciplines reminds me a bit of the spiritual practices Jana Riess took on monthly over the course of a year, which resulted in her book Flunking Sainthood.

  6. Purchased….

  7. Thomas Parkin says:

    I’ll sign up for the celebration. I’m not so keen on those other bits.

  8. Thomas Parkin says:

    I take it back, I can do solitude, too. And prayer is ok, as long as it isn’t just sitting there.

  9. Just ordered my copy. If any pilgrimage is to be on foot, my arthritis won’t let me do that, but I’m willing to try the month-to-month stuff.

  10. Maryland Musician says:

    This is just what we need here in the beleaguered DC area right now!!

  11. I am joining you. I’ve just ordered the book. I read Foster’s book on Prayer (“Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home”) when I was in graduate school. The book came at a time when I need just that book, and found my prayer life enriched in ways that saw me through some dark times. I look forward to reading this book and am hoping for a similar effect.

  12. melodynew says:

    Just started reading the book. IT. FEELS. SO. GOOD. Thanks for bringing this to us, RJH. Looking forward to the journey.

    P.S. I don’t know what your (in person contact) plans are outside of pilgrimages, but if there a few people in Utah County who would like to meet in person on occasion while moving through the book and the disciplines, I’d be happy to host. Just a thought.

  13. I also have started reading the book. I have read through the chapter on meditation and I’m ready to re-read and start doing it come the first of November.

  14. Read this a few years ago. Thought provoking. I am enjoying reading your responses and doing my own revisiting of the text.

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