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by Chris Lawson of Spiritual Research Network 

The 2008 National Pastors Convention, which is being Brought to you by: Zondervan and Inter-Varsity Press, also has Presenting Sponsors: Vida, World Vision and The purpose of the 2008 National Pastors Convention is stated in their banner sentence for the convention: nourish your soul. engage your mind. connect in meaningful conversation

Along with the Christian Yoga classes which will be offered by Shelly Pagitt (Wife of Doug Pagitt from Solomon’s Porch) at this “Pastor’s Convention,” people will have the opportunity to attend the National Pastor’s Retreat.

The link to the National Pastors Retreats page informs Church leaders that they can “Experience a Deeper Connection with God” by attending this overnight retreat. According to the advertisements, the main speakers for this retreat will be Joe Sherman and Ruth Haley Barton:

This National Pastors Retreat provides leaders with a safe place to be honest about the challenges of sprititual leadership, to experience spiritual rhythms of solitude, prayer, and community, and to deepen their understanding of leadership that flows from one’s authentic self. Led by The Transforming Center leaders Ruth Haley Barton and Joe Sherman … Ruth Haley Barton is a Spiritual Director, teacher and retreat leader trained through the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation and the Pathways Center for Spiritual Leadership in Nashville, Tennessee.

Sherman and Barton are both co-founders of The Transforming Center. Barton, president of The Transforming Center, is a teacher, spiritual director, and retreat leader. She has served on the pastoral staff of several churches including Willow Creek Community Church.

It is well known that Ruth Haley Barton is a promoter of Contemplative Prayer. She is the author of numerous books and in the 1999 Discipleship Journal (Vol. 113) she is quoted as saying:

Ask for a simple prayer to express your willingness to meet God in the silence … a simple statement … such as “Here I am.” … Help yourself return to your original intent by repeating the prayer that you have chosen.

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