How did we get here?
Read RENEWAL WORKS: PLANS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH AT TRINITY [Previous Page]
Let’s Get Started!
As part of Trinity’s commitment to growing in relationship with God, and to your own personal spiritual growth, your RenewalWorks Team invites you to participate in the growth of our congregation by investing in your own spiritual growth.
PERSONALIZE YOUR JOURNEY
Get your own personal guide to your spiritual journey with the just launched program “Renewal Works for Me” at http://renewalworks.org/resources/rw4me/
Take the Spiritual Life Inventory to map your personal spiritual landscape, and get tips for your journey. You’ll also be able to receive weekly emails with prayer and spiritual life suggestions tailored for where you are, and where you’re growing.
Get to know the Story
Make friends with the Bible, and spend a little time enjoying the story of God and God’s people.
If you have never read a book of the Bible from beginning to end, try reading the gospel according to Mark. It’s the second book in the New Testament – you’ll find it about 3/4 of the way in to your print copy of the Bible. Mark likes to keep the story of Jesus moving along, and was the first of the four gospels (the stories of the life of Jesus) to be written, almost 2000 years ago. Read Mark to get to know the basic story of Jesus – some of which you don’t often hear in church.
If you’ve read a book or two of the Bible and feel familiar with the stories of Jesus, try reading the book of Genesis, right at the beginning of your Bible, for the beginnings of the story of God and God’s people. You’ll notice that some stories get told in two or three different ways; some are quick and clear and others are full of strange details. That’s because these were originally oral traditions from almost 4,000 years ago. Read Genesis to find out how humans first began to tell the story of our relationship with God, the story that Jesus himself knew and taught. On Sunday mornings at 10:15 from October 13 through December 22, we’ll be studying the book of Genesis together at Trinity.
If you’re familiar with the stories of Jesus, you could also try reading some of the early Christian letters, like Philippians and Ephesians. Written even before the gospel of Mark (but found after the gospels in the print Bible), these letters show how people first figured out how to be a Christian community, and how our lives are supposed to work after we know Jesus. The book of The Acts of the Apostles, written by the same Luke who wrote a gospel, also has some great stories about how people figured out how to be Christians. The narrative slows down a bit toward the end, so don’t worry if you find yourself bogging down in the last third of the book.
If you’re an advanced Bible reader, ready to try something new to deepen your regular reading, try to memorize the gospel of Mark. Learning scripture ‘by heart” is a wonderful way to deepen our encounter with God, and get the story into your own body, spirit, and daily life.
Explore the Book of Common Prayer for your personal prayer
If you haven’t ever used the church’s prayer book to help you pray outside of church, it’s time to explore!
On pages 136-140, you’ll find very short, two or three minute outlines for prayer in the morning, at midday, in the evening (at the end of the day’s “work” or tasks), and at bedtime. Each has a very short excerpt from a psalm, a sentence or two from scripture, suggested prayers, and encouragement to pray for what ever is on your heart and mind.
If you want a little variation in your reading, pick up one of the Forward Day by Day or Daily Bread devotional booklets from the Tower entrance or the church office, and use the scripture and reflection for the day in that booklet for the “reading” in the prayer book.
Prayer for all occasions
Spend a little time exploring pages 810 – 841 of the prayer book. You’ll find prayers there for almost everything you can think of, and some things you never thought there’d be a prayer for. You’ll find prayers for children, and for the lonely, grace at meals, prayers for joy and peace, and for many other spiritual and daily needs.
Don’t have your own Book of Common Prayer?
You can find all the text of the Book of Common Prayer free online at bcponline.org
A personal or household prayer book is a great resource to have at home.
You can buy the same size as you find in Trinity’s pews here: bit.ly/2IcAiG1
A smaller paperback edition, or a Kindle BCP can be found here: amzn.to/2Zn8MLz
This “economy edition” is a nice looking personal prayer book: https://bit.ly/2WZejKX (it also comes in red)
You can also get the Book of Common Prayer on your phone or tablet as an app.
This is the official version from Church Publishing: bit.ly/1O6ts1J
There are also several free or less expensive options available in your app store. Look carefully to see that the app you are considering is the 1979 Book of Common Prayer authorized by the Episcopal Church if you want to get an app that matches the book used at Trinity. There are a variety of apps that use some of the material but don’t present the whole book, or reproduce an earlier authorized version of the English or American prayer books, or provide a different kind and selection of prayers under the heading of “common prayer”. You may enjoy exploring those as well!
Build true, good relationships with friends
Make plans with two or three of your own friends – from church or from anywhere else in your life – to get together for intentional conversation that nourishes your spirits.
You can be a “Friends with Jesus” group using guided discussions on a particular aspect of your spirit and life, or get some spiritual “gym buddies” to try out one of the scripture reading suggestions above with you. Mother Emily can provide discussion questions for scripture or the Discipleship for Episcopalians study resource for Friends with Jesus.
Contact Mother Emily to learn more or help you form a group.