November 14, 2015
Who Are We?

Bill Volkman

 

Jan (Ord) Harris

 

Claudia Volkman

 

Mary Ryan

 

Originally launched in 1976, Union Life magazine was started by lay people for lay people to share with fellow Christians the liberating discovery of the apparently forgotten "good news" of our union with Christ. Union Life magazine also focused on the first line of Romans Eight: "There is therefore no condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus." The good news of a loving, forgiving God indwelling His people, uniting them to Himself, was the basis for the name: union life.

After faithfully proclaiming this liberating truth for a number of years, it became apparent that union was not simply an intellectual concept, but meant to be a vital experience available to all. In 1990, this understanding came full circle as union for communion with a God of unconditional love became experiential through the ancient practice -- largely unknown to us as evangelicals in the protestant tradition -- of the prayer of silence.

Since that time, our recommended booklist, as well as the articles published in the magazine, have reflected this expanded awareness. A dedication to this simple prayer of quiet has resulted in a growing awareness of how precious each human life is to its loving Creator, and of His passionate desire for intimacy with each one of His people.

Union Life's editor and staff come from the evangelical tradition, but have joyfully embraced this ancient prayer practice, and would encourage all who seek a deeper relationship with God to consider adding contemplative prayer to their daily devotional life. Union Life has always published a fair proportion of original, personal-experience articles from readers, as well as excerpts from out-of-the-ordinary Christian books. Articles in the early years of Union Life -- mostly Protestant writers, some contemporary, and some historical -- focused on the basic truths of the indwelling presence of Christ, and the believer's union with Him, with very little emphasis on prayer; while more recently the articles -- mostly Catholic writers, some contemporary, some historical -- have been more about the experience of union, and different aspects of prayer, especially silent, or centering prayer.

Conferences, seminars and retreats have also always been offered by Union Life Ministries, Inc. In recent years, the emphasis has moved from much teaching, to a little teaching, and much time devoted to group experience of silent prayer.

With the print era of the ministry coming to an end (with the publication of the November/December, 1998, issue of Union Life), it became apparent that the ministry of encouraging Christians to recognize who they are in Christ, and God's desire for intimacy with them, still has a place. For this reason, unionlife.com, the official web site of Union Life magazine came into existence.

Timeless original articles and book excerpts that have been published in Union Life over the years will be available to browsers from time to time. New articles will occasionally be posted. A recommended booklist will be posted at all times. And, as time allows, "quiet retreats" in various places will be planned, and a schedule will published.

Our goal -- our "dedication to an expanding awareness of God's mystery, which is Christ in you" -- remains the same. As the revelation of our God's great love and longing for an intimate relationship with His precious children becomes more of a reality to us, it's our heartfelt desire that each person come to know their Creator as Lord and Lover.

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