We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake … by an infinite expectation of the dawn. – Henry David Thoreau
Every once in a while we have to stop and take a deep breath. Life gets filled with a lot of busyness. Other people’s goals and agendas crowd in on us and begin to set our direction. We become distracted and lose sight of where God is calling us.
Outside of our pride and preferences there is the perfect will of God. This Creator God breathed life into us and has uniquely gifted us with talent and passion. These good gifts are given for service to a hurting world. Awake is a sacred season of renewal and discernment, a time for fresh vision, for each of us and for our church together. Each week day we will individually reflect through prayer exercises and journaling. On Saturday I invite you to just rest in God’s presence. On Sundays we will share what we are hearing, share in group activities, brainstorm plans for the future, and worship. Join me in awakening to a new dream, God’s dream for us and our community.
The Purpose of Awake is to create space in our lives to imagine new and innovative ministry without the confines of traditions and bi-laws. This process will help our church listen to God’s Spirit in our midst so that we will know where God is leading us in the near future so that we may make faithful decisions about important questions based on our values, context, and strengths as a congregation.
This process consists of individual and group prayer organized around six Sunday mornings. Individuals and families will have material to pray over, reflect on, and journal about ahead of each Sunday. On Sunday the congregation will meet together for the hour ahead of worship to review what we have learned and share what we have been hearing from God. During worship we will listen to different voices in our church and community telling us about how God has been at work around us and thank God for leading us.
The Sundays will focus on these themes:
August 23 – Discovering Discernment: Exploring How We Listen to God
Question: How do we decide where God is leading us to serve?
Reading: Acts 16:4-10 and Acts 9:1-20
August 30 – Discovering Identity: Exploring Our Mission and Vision
Question: Why does our church exist?
Reading Matthew 9:35-38
September 6 –Discovering Context: Exploring the Community Around Us
Question: What is our community context?
Reading Luke 5:12-15
September 13 –Discovering Strength: Exploring Our Gifts
Question: What are our strengths and passions?
Reading Mark 2:13-17
September 20 – Discovering a Plan: Exploring New Ministry
Question: What will we do follow God’s calling to service?
Reading a Luke 6:12-13
September 27 –Discovering Courage: Exploring our Commitment
Question: Will we commit ourselves fully to this new calling?
Reading Acts 8:26-39