Home > Uncategorized > Cultivating Habits as a Community of Faith

Cultivating Habits as a Community of Faith

            As a Community of Faith, we worship…we proclaim…we teach…we serve…we care…we witness!

            I adapted this phrase from the Diocese of Wellington when I began serving as Dean of the cathedral in 2003.  Bishop Tom Brown had adopted a similar phrase for the diocese so with his permission, I added to it.  When I arrived at St. Luke’s in 2004, it became a banner phrase I used to focus our life as a Faith Community…as Christians within the Episcopal Church!

            As People of Faith, we worship…we proclaim…we teach…we serve…we care…we witness!  If you want to know what Christians are called to do…if you want to share with another the vocation we embrace as Disciples of the Risen Christ…I encourage you to share this phrase.  The tasks are both inwardly focused and outwardly focused…they present a kind of balance to our lives as disciples!

            Last summer, I came across an article in Trinity News, the magazine for Trinity Wall Street, a historic Episcopal Faith Community, written by their rector, the Rev. Dr. James H. Cooper, entitled Four Habits of Highly Successful Churches  His premise in writing is that regardless of size, geography, culture, if Faith Communities focus on nurturing these four habits…they will thrive…they will nurture, form and send Disciples committed to participating in God’s Mission.  The four habits are 1) Intimacy and Simplicity, 2) Splendor and Awe, 3) Mission and Ministry, and 4) Prophecy and Prayer.  If we are committed to cultivating and balancing these four habits…our Faith Community will thrive.  I would like to offer some of my own reflection about these habits.

            Intimacy and Simplicity…this is about nurturing relationships with others who are part of our Faith Community…this is about affirming our common human experience and the desire to tell our story…our Faith story and to listen to the stories of others…this is about affirming the moments of life and death, love and loss within a community of people who care…this is about honesty and humility…As a Community of Faith…we care!

            Splendor and Awe…this is about recognizing and hallowing the holy…recognizing and hallowing God…revealed to us in a Trinity of persons…Father, Son and Holy Spirit…this is about affirming our lives as claimed and graced by the Sacramental encounters of Baptism and Communion…this is about attention to beauty in word…in music and song…in movement…in silence…in living things…plants…animals…all are a manifestation of God’s glory.  As a Community of Faith…we worship!

            Mission and Ministry…this is about participating in God’s Mission of Restoration and Reconciliation…this is about teaching and nurturing new believers…this is about Faith Formation…this is about attending to our relationships with People of Hope and Berea Moravian Church…this is about Outreach…about looking beyond ourselves and our own needs and wants…this is about responding to human need by loving service…this is about Sunset Terrace Elementary School…this is about the White Earth Reservation…this is about living more fully into the implications of our commitment to Shared Ministry with the people of St. Peter’s in Kasson…this is about Highway 52 Clean Up…and the Mega Sports Vacation Bible School.  As a Community of Faith…we teach…we serve!

            Prophecy and Prayer…this is about growing in our relationship with God…being formed as Disciples of the Risen Christ…this is about the discipline of prayer…public and personal…this is about seeking to transform unjust structures of society…being a voice for the voiceless…safeguarding the integrity of God’s creation and sustaining and renewing the life of the earth…this is about risking our lives for the sake of justice and peace while respecting the dignity of every human being…this is about proclaiming the Good News of God in Christ.  As a Community of Faith…we proclaim…we witness!

            As a Community of Faith…Christians in the Episcopal Church…in Minnesota, let’s celebrate what we do well…and attend to those areas of grow within and around us.  Will you join me?

 Every blessing,

Doug

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Dick and Charlotte Clugston
    April 10, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Thanks again Doug! Very interesring and helpful. Your blogs are great!

  2. Robin
    April 9, 2011 at 2:47 am

    As usual, you inspire me and offer words to live by.
    Thank you Doug. Robin

  3. April 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Debbie…thanks for your words of hope and encouragement…thanks for encouraging us to continue doing what we are doing and for joining us at White Earth last summer and hopefully this summer! Your the best twin sister a brother could ever have!

  4. Debbie Davisson
    April 7, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    Dear Doug,
    Thanks for encouraging me to take a look at St. Luke’s web site.
    Like any other organized Christian Faith Community, I appreciate seeing all the wonderful Outreach Programs that your Faith Communty is involved in. But as you have written, it takes more than a commitment to the needs of others outside the immediate congregation. It takes intimacy, simplicity, prayer, prophecy ,etc with each other within your Faith Community; to develop relationships that encourage prayer and sharing of Faith journey’s; to acknowledge the gifts of each person and offer opportunities for those people to enhance the community with those gifts; to appreciate the simple, everyday, hum-drum duties that need to be done and find people in the Faith community to volunteer without complaint to do those chores is a real example of a congregation that is truly a witness to what Christ expects from us practicing Christians. I have had opportunities to celebrate liturgy at St. Luke’s and you should be assured that as an “outsider”
    I have witnessed the building of such a Community. I may be a bit bias, but it’s true. St. Luke’s keep doing what you are doing. I look forward to reading other entries. Love to you and your congregation, your sister, Debbie

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