Ruth Haley Barton at the Dominican Center Part I No. 36 / by Joshua Banner

Do you have a longing for deeper things than your church and other regular sources of spiritual nourishment are able to help you with? The Holy Spirit can lead us to places of solitude away from what is familiar, structured, and safe. This is so we can learn a new kind of dependence on God in a place of solitude that the church even in its most robust and healthy forms can understand.

Spiritually hungry, desperate seekers throughout the history of the church have turned to the ancient vocabulary of contemplation and mysticism. The Invitation seeks to make bridges for these deeper, transformative resources to move into the church. This is a service of translation, finding ways to make the vocabulary of transformation accessible and approachable.

Author, teacher, spiritual director, and retreat leader Ruth Haley Barton is a leader in this work of translation. I had the joy and encouragement to sit with Ruth in an extended, public conversation at the Dominican Center last January. This is Part One of two episodes where I share this conversation with you.

This episode also marks the beginning of a new collaboration between the Invitation and the Dominican Center, a ministry of the Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids, MI. Our shared hope is to offer you a series of similar conversations with lead authors, teacher, and practitioners.

Please visit for more information, and make sure you subscribe to the Invitation Podcast at


Spring is here and that means I’ve been outside all week swinging a hammer on the new building that will be the home for the Invitation. You may have followed the info blitz last fall as I worked the Kickstarter campaign to raise capital funds? Things have been much quieter from me since December because its implementation time! The wonderful result of that Kickstarter adventure has lead to this current season of literal building as well as infrastructure building (getting the business of the nonprofit afloat).

We will get back to creating and sharing more regular podcast content once the building is done. I especially have more news to share about the prison prayer practices!!!

This building is proving to be much more difficult that I could have imagined. Maybe if I knew in advance, I wouldn’t have stepped out on this crazy faith journey. I continue to be encouraged that God is leading more people to the Invitation revealing himself to them in transformative ways. Please pray for the Invitation and consider a financial contribution to sustain our work.

Peace & Love of Christ to you!