You may have seen an article in the ‘Connexion’ magazine or heard Phil talk about a proposed Methodist Way of Life. Some of you know that I live by the Methodist Diaconal Order’s rule of life. I thought this time of isolation might also prove to be a time of reflection and set out below details of the way of life in the hope that it might provide some structure and balance to your day.
“The calling of the Methodist Church is to respond to the gospel of God’s love in Christ
With God’s help, we commit to this way of life:
• We will pray daily.
• We will worship with others regularly.
• We will look and listen for God in the scriptures and the world.
Learning and Caring
• We will care for ourselves and those around us.
• We will practice hospitality and generosity.
• We will learn more about our faith.
• We will help and serve people in our communities and beyond.
• We will honour creation and tend the environment.
• We will challenge injustice.
• We will speak of the love of God in Jesus.
• We will live in such a way that others might be drawn to Jesus.
• We will share our faith with others, sensitively.
May each life be a blessing within and beyond God’s Church, for the transformation of the world.
A Methodist Way of Life requires us to be disciples together, encouraging and being accountable to each other. Regularly discussing these questions will help.
• What is the pattern of your prayer life?
• How easy or hard do you find it?
• What has recently spoken to you in worship or in the Bible?
• When, recently, have you felt close to God or distant from God?
Learning and Caring
• How have you practised generosity and hospitality since we last met?
• How are you caring for yourself?
• How and what are you learning at the moment?
• What support have you received from and given to others in living out your shared faith?
• How are you seeking to serve others in your communities and beyond at the moment?
• What, recently, has helped or hindered you in your service of others?
• What issues of injustice are you currently concerned about? What are you doing in response?
• How can we support each other in these commitments?
• What opportunities to share your faith have there been since we last met? • How have you responded to those opportunities to share your faith?
• Are there any particular people you should pray for or invite to consider Christian faith?
In all these things: how can we support each other in our commitments?
As a member of the Methodist Church I am called to:
• worship within the local church, including regular sharing in Holy Communion, and through personal prayer
• learning and caring, through Bible study and meeting for fellowship, so that I may grow in faith and support others in their discipleship
• service, by being a good neighbour in the community, challenging injustice and using my resources to support the Church in its mission in the world
• evangelism, through working out my faith in daily life and sharing Christ with others”
Whilst face to face discussion and some of the activities might not be possible just now, you could ask these questions of yourself or have an online discussion using the comment feature below. In terms of resources for your spiritual life, you could sign up for ‘A Word in Time’ or daily prayer via the Methodist Church website http://www.methodist.org.uk. A weekly reflection comes out every Monday – http://www.theologyeverywhere.org. If you are struggling spiritually at this difficult time, please do get in touch with me.