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Holy Habits

Holy Habits

As I start to write this on Wednesday April 29th we should have been finishing Sharing Resources. I’m thinking that we have all been doing this quite a lot recently, from phoning each other, shopping for others, sharing recipes and sharing worship resources together, at least at the same time if not in the same space. To name just a few ideas.

My suggestion for Holy habits going forward is that when we are able, we pick up where we left off. So we do the things we planned which was watching “I Daniel Blake” and eating together. Let’s also go to the Crown pub for lunch together.

Then complete the two outstanding habits, Worship and Service. I then suggest we start again and look at each habit ….for as long as we want to. It would be great to have ideas from other people about what we might do or share in each habit.

In the meantime I invite you to think about each of the habits we have completed and what is now a new habit in your life.

Here’s a reminder of what we have done:

Prayer

Gladness & Generosity

Breaking Bread

Fellowship

Biblical Teaching

Making More Disciples

Eating Together

Sharing Resources

It would be lovely to hear what new habits you now have in your life.

Janet and I decided to be prayer partners and pray regularly together. We started in the Botanical Gardens which was delightful. I know we both really appreciate that time together in the current situation.

I am now reading the bible more, following Rachel’s introduction of reading the bible in a year. I know a number of people are doing this, in various ways. I’m also enjoying reading Seeking Aliveness by Brian McLaren, which has so many parallels to our current situation. A couple of habits from me , it would be lovely to hear about other people’s experiences.

I would suggest that as soon as we are able we enjoy a lunch together. We are particularly good at eating together at banner Cross and I know lots of people enjoyed our monthly lunches on the 3rd Sunday of the month.

So let’s at least plan to do that. Alison, what do you think Arthur would say?

Paula

 

The Faithful Practice of Holy Habits

One of the Lectionary readings for Sunday 3rd May 2020 is Acts chap. 2, verses 42-47.  This passage is about life among the Lord’s followers and it inspired the creators of the Holy Habits Programme. The following passage talks about the early church and the way it went about living its ministry. 

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.  Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles.  All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need.  Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people.  And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

Acts 2: 42-47

The following prayer is found in each of the resource booklets for the Holy Habits Programme and starts with a passage from Romans 5: 4-5:

Endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us …

 

Gracious and ever-loving God, we offer our lives to you.

Help us always to be open to your Spirit in our thoughts

and feelings and actions.

Support us as we seek to learn more about those habits of the Christian life

which, as we practise them, will form in us the character of Jesus

by establishing us in the way of faith, hope and love.

Amen

Paula has written about a couple of Holy Habits: Prayer and Biblical Teaching from her current experiences.  My choice is: Gladness and Generosity. At the present, scary time, I am glad about and very grateful for the “little things”: the colours of the rainbow and the spring flowers; the fact that, even though my husband cannot kiss me, my cat can; the pleasant surprise when I see a friend across the street and we can chat; the stories, ‘funnies’ and quizzes that keep me occupied and amused during this crisis.  I am humbled by the generosity of friends who go shopping and buy something for me as well. I am uplifted by the random acts of kindness carried out every day by friends, neighbours and strangers. As Paula suggests, please share your thoughts on anything related to the Holy Habits, including perhaps one we have not considered as a church yet: Worship.  Rev Tim and others will be interested to know your thoughts and experiences of the new ways of worshipping whilst we cannot meet with one another inside Banner Cross Methodist Church. 

Alison

Holy Habits

I know that Paula has mentioned this, but joining as Prayer Partners together was the first different thing that happened for me as a result of the very first 'Gathering on Prayer'. We have met fortnightly throughout, and now meet 'virtually' weekly. I have found it really helpful to pray together for our church family, our own families and of course the wider world.

During this lock down I am so grateful for my lovely young neighbours who continually offer to shop for me when they are going, and like many others of you I'm sure, I in turn can help them and others by returning the compliment when I am fortunate enough to get a supermarket slot! Several of us are doing this and it is lovely to be able to help each other and collect or deliver (from a safe distance) the goods that we have for each other. I found that I had in my shopping from my neighbours a big bar of chocolate that I didn't ask for, but I'm not complaining. What a lovely thing to do!

Clapping for the workers at 8pm on a Thursday has been enjoyable. One of two people have joined in this whom I didn't have contact with, but now we wave at the end of the din we have just made. Small things but a sense of 'we're in this together'.

I love the fact that we can stream into Sunday Morning Services – Methodist Central Hall Westminster is my favourite, and regular place at present and how special that is. I really feel like I'm 'there'. Also to be able to share in the resources that Rev Tim sends us weekly is so good. It makes me feel so 'together' with the rest of the church family. Sometimes these things make me quite emotional and the tears well up. This is not a nice experience but out of it lovely things are happening. 

And whilst these things are I know relating to the lock down, they all fit into sharing, caring, generosity, prayer etc. Great! Let's keep at it.

 

Janet


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