• Monday , 24 July 2017

History as a Map to the Future

Shawn Bakker

 Pictured here: Shawn Bakker, Executive Publisher of The Upper Room, during the Wednesday, January 14, 2015 Upper Room “Bright Spots” staff meeting.


Sarah Wilke headshot

Publisher and World Editor Sarah Wilke (pictured on left) spoke in The Upper Room Chapel Wednesday morning, calling those who gathered to look to the history of The Upper Room as a map to the future.

Referring to the Acts 2 Pentecost story, from which The Upper Room gets its name, Wilke reminded her audience that the Spirit is working among us today just as surely as it was when it birthed The Upper Room in 1935.

 “We have spent 80 years building resources to inspire and develop discipleship, precious tools for discernment, for comfort, for growth, for practice. This is our past and this is our future.

We will continue to build resources for a changing world. But make no mistake: The message that we bring is the Pentecost message that has never changed – that the Holy Spirit is alive and present and ready to ignite the hearts of the world. Thanks be to God!”

Following the chapel service, Upper Room staff gathered for their quarterly “Bright Spots” meeting to celebrate the work of 2014 and to chart a common course for 2015.

During the meeting, Shawn Bakker, The Upper Room’s Executive Publisher, organized staff into small groups to discuss a key phrase derived from Wilke’s sermon:

“The Upper Room provides all people access to quality multimedia resources in spiritual formation that are intimate, incarnational, and invitational.”

“This is the future of The Upper Room,” Bakker said. “And it grows out of our rich heritage.” Referring to the many publications and programs of The Upper Room, she noted that The Upper Room has always defined itself as a ministry of presence that accompanies real people as they navigate the real world. And she challenged staff to develop creative solutions to expand the invitation to discipleship. “Our mission,” she said, “is to provide spiritual formation tools, resources, and experiences for any age, around the world, whenever they need it or want it.”

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