Worship, Discipleship, Mission
Picking up from yesterday's post on the changing ethos of Holy Comforter in Vienna, Virginia, here is a look at what their pastor the Rev. Rick Lord has to say about the three hallmarks of their rhythm of life—Worship, Discipleship and Mission:
On worship, that foundational element of the Christian life, he quotes N.T. Wright from Simply Christian in saying "You become like what you worship. When you gaze in awe, admiration, and wonder at something or someone, you begin to take on the character of the object of your worship" and then he writes of worship
In the Anglican tradition, worship includes two corporate practices: the Daily Office and the Eucharist, gathering in community to celebrate God through Scripture and the Breaking of the Bread. Worship also includes personal practices of silence, solitude, sacred reading, practices that enable us to live in conscious awareness of God's presence and to strive in concrete ways to bring healing and justice to the world God is redeeming.Of the life of discipleship he writes:
Another word for "discipleship" is "practice." When we use the term “practice” we mean all the things we do together and individually as a way of paying attention to God and maturing in our identity as followers of Christ. They include being part of a Christian community, and taking part in its life and mission. They include worship, Christian formation, deeds of hospitality and compassion, and being nourished by faithful friendships in small groups and larger gatherings. They include personal forms of prayer and Bible study. And they include loving what God loves through the practice of compassion and justice in the world.Then of mission he writes,
Christ, who is charged with restoring all things to wholeness, looks to his followers to corporately and individually, be his agents in their places of work, their homes, and their local, national and international communities. I believe that the primary form of mission does not simply involve the expenditure of a congregation's time or money. It most likely will include that, but the heart of mission is exercised by individuals and groups using their gifts and motivated abilities in their own unique vocations to make a difference in the world.All of this could seem like too much to do, but it is not intended to. Rick writes,
It's sounds overwhelming but we're not talking about adding another life on to the one we already have. One is enough. But it underscores the need for a rhythm of life—one that is realistic yet pulls us in a new direction. A rhythm of life provides us with the encouragement we need to get on the path of intentional practice and the loving accountability we need to keep us there. We create the facilitating conditions necessary for learning the mind of Christ. Rowan Williams has it right, "Discipleship is not an intermittent state; it’s a relationship that continues."You can read all he has to say on these three areas at his blog, Would of Your Making.
I think what he is aiming for is not a congregation with busier lives, but with richer, more fulfilling lives through meeting God each day in the balance that comes from finding a sustainable rhythm of life.
I'm not prepared to jump into changing the ethos of King of Peace as I like the groove we have even as admire the more intentional work that Rick is doing with his congregation.
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor