Our church seeks to transform lives, both inside the church and out in the world. One way we do this inside the church is by providing ongoing opportunities for people to engage, learn, and take on spiritual practices in their lives. These spiritual practices – which are the foundation of a mature faith – are meaningful, thoughtful, nourishing, and even fun. Everything we do connects to our larger spiritual formation process.
Praying. We’ve all surely have learned to talk with other trusted people in our lives. We can share our needs and concerns, give and receive information, ask for things, express gratitude and forgiveness, and speak words of love. As we grow, we learn how to listen to others as they speak. Prayer is simply doing what we already know how to do with others, but with God as our dialogue partner.
Worshipping. Our weekly worship service is both the culmination of our spiritual growth and the spring from which that growth flows. Sunday morning worship is a time to rest, to re-evaluate life, re-center yourself, and find refreshment. When we gather in community we come for varied reasons – to give thanks and celebrate, to ask for healing and strength, and to find the support needed to get through the tough times. We don’t come to worship with any pretense that we, or our lives, are perfect. Rather, we come with this challenges in the hope of transformation that in and through our worship God works to refine and make us new.
Reading. If you peered into your auto mechanics’s tool box, you likely wouldn’t know what to do with many of the tools inside. Using the tools of any trade requires developing skills through mentoring, practice, and experience. The Bible, like it not, is a key tool for living a life of faith. Being Biblically literate is extremely important as the ancient scriptures are a foundation for a life of faith.
Serving. If you want a one-line definition for what it is to live a spiritual life, the prophet Micah says, “What does the Lord require of you? To do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God.” The Christian faith happens away from the church out in the world. We take seriously the call to be out in the world.
Relating. Because spiritual growth is supported and encouraged at our church, friendships and relationships and participation become a huge part of faith formation. It is through interpersonal and caring relationships between people of faith where real transformation takes place.
Giving. The weekly offering is symbolic of giving one’s self to the God who loves us with an everlasting love. The offering is not done begrudgingly like paying dues, but with joy and thanksgiving in being part of the mission and ministry of the congregation. People who grow in this area of their life discover that giving becomes just natural as receiving. This offering counters the self-centered tendencies our culture teaches that leads people to ‘cling’ to things and possessions. You won’t find some guilt-driven wallet shakedown, but rather people who recognize that life is a gift from God and that it is God who sustains life, beauty, and the good things we enjoy.