We Are About Relationships
This past Saturday we held our annual Leadership Retreat, an event that brings together right at the beginning of the year everyone who’s going to be serving on the Administrative Council, the Trustees, Staff-Parish, etc. We come together to build relationships, to get oriented to our new roles, to learn about how we go about our work and to launch a new year of ministry together. (For a list of those who are serving this year, you can look at the insert to this newsletter. I would invite you to hold onto this list and keep these friends in your prayers throughout the year.)
At Saturday’s retreat we talked about how important it is for all of our work in the church to be grounded in love and rooted in faith. It’s vital that each one of us commits to growing in our faith as we go about our work in the church, and we outlined seven basic “spiritual practices” to which we will commit:
PRAYER: We commit to set aside at least 15 minutes a day for prayer. In addition to praying while we drive or peel potatoes or participate in worship, we commit to spend a few solitary moments with God each day.
SCRIPTURE: We commit to reading the Bible regularly. Specifically, we will read the Gospel of Luke all the way through.
WORSHIP: We will attend worship every Sunday, unless we’re sick or traveling.
TITHING: We will give financially to the church and the work of God in the world. If we are not currently tithing (giving 10% of our income), we will work toward that goal.
COVENANT: We will seek out a person or a small group with whom we can share our faith, offer spiritual support and hold each other accountable.
SERVING: We will find ways to serve both within the church (teaching Sunday School, driving the bus, etc.) as well as outside the walls of the church (Habitat, Community Care Fellowship, etc.).
INVITING: We will always be mindful of new people and will make sure that we are welcoming and hospitable. We will look for opportunities for inviting others to church or into ministry or into conversation.
The truth is, these spiritual practices are not just for the folks in leadership roles in the church. They are for all of us. As you read through them, you may notice that they sound a lot like our membership vows or like what John Wesley asked of the early Methodists. So, here’s where my invitation to you comes in:
Will you consider being part of a Lenten Small Group who will commit to meet for six weeks during the season of Lent and share in these seven practices together? The groups will meet for one hour a week, at different times and locations, including homes. We’ll want to offer childcare for those groups who need it so that anyone who wants to participate is able to do so. Pray about it. Think about it. And then look for opportunities to sign up between now and February 10.