Spiritual Life Theme 2018-19
Over the last four years the churches and areas of Synod Cymru have been following the Developing Our Calling programme focusing on each of the four main themes in turn. Following the review of this programme, the Synod Cymru meeting in April came to the conclusion that it was good to follow such a programme and it was decided to hold a new programme beginning in September 2018, focusing on the six main themes which arose in the review on the life and work of Synod Cymru and Cylchdaith Cymru (Cymru Circuit) starting with Spiritual Life.
At the Synod meeting a report was received by the group which had been looking into this theme with recommendations on how to develop the life of the Synod/Circuit under the theme of Spiritual life. A list of suggestions and ideas about useful resources to help churches and groups develop their spiritual life under six priorities follows:
- What is spiritual life?
Churches and areas are encouraged to consider and discuss what is meant by spiritual life and that people contemplate and pray about their experience of God. Consider the importance of thanksgiving and every day wonder and that God is there 24/7. Reflect on the idea of waiting for God and the Holy Spirit in our day to day experience. Personal meditation/prayer at the start and end of each day is encouraged.
For daily personal meditation A Word in Time– www.methodist.org.uk/our-faith/the-bible/a-word-in-time
The Methodist Prayer Handbook http://www.methodist.org.uk/our-faith/prayer/methodist-prayer-handbook
Gair y Dydd, ed. Pryderi Llwyd Jones, Welsh daily devotional resource, Gwasg y Bwthyn
Blwyddyn gyda Iesu, Selwyn Hughes, adapt. Meirion Morris
Agor Y Gair Gyda Mari, 26 readings and reflections based on Mary Jones’ journey and some suggestions to help you make the connection between words from the Bible and your life today, Christine Daniel, Bible Society
General resources www.methodist.org.uk/our-faith – lots of information and resources under the headings Life and faith, prayer, the Bible, worship, reflecting on faith
- The importance of reading the Bible and praying together
Regular Bible study group
Regular prayer meeting
Hold a study instead of a service each month
Holding prayer events such as 24-7 prayer, prayer stations, labyrinth and prayer walks
Cwrs Y Ffordd, Undeb yr Annibynwyr www.annibynwyr.org/y-ffordd-3
Lent Course Exploring spiritual practices with downloadable resources from the Methodist Church website www.methodist.org.uk/our-faith/worship/lent-and-easter/exploring-spiritual-practices
50 days to let your life speak – downloadable sessions leading up to Easter http://www.methodist.org.uk/our-faith/worship/lent-and-easter/lent-and-easter-resources/50-days-to-let-your-life-speak
Great 50 day following Jesus daily devotional booklet / small group resources for Easter, ascension and Pentecost
- Way of life/ Discipleship
Deled dy deyrnas / Thy Kingdom come www.methodist.org.uk/our-faith/prayer/thy-kingdom-come prayer movement with an emphasis on prayer between Ascension and Pentecost. Prayer resources for families available in Welsh and a translation of the booklet Nine Days of Prayer Waiting in Wonder.
Holy Habits course, Andrew Roberts, based on the ten habits of the Early Church (Acts 2.42-47)
Nurturing new Leaders within the church
Holding a pilgrimage/retreat
Holy Habits booklets, published by BRF
Clonc a sgwrs (Table Talk in Welsh) – conversation game which provides opportunities for exploring some of life’s big questions
Emaus: Ffordd y Ffydd – Tyfu fel Cristion – interdenominational training programme to welcome people to the Christian faith
- Sense of belonging
Restore/initiate the concept of the ‘class’ and develop ‘class’ leaders, pastoral convener. The advantages would include discipleship, a sense of belonging, pastoral care, continuing Methodist tradition.
Fellowship or Literary Society
Creating opportunities to have fellowship, e.g. weekly coffee, knitting club (or other interests) community lunch, book club, special celebrations, tea party, trip, walking, picnic, barbeque, meal, concert, ceilidh, stalls and sales.
Wrth fy enw/Called by name, Methodist Publishing
Y Gwyliedydd (bimonthly paper for Synod Cymru)
The Methodist Prayer Handbook
‘Encircled with care’ – the Methodist Church’s programme for Pastoral Visitors
- Generate enthusiasm/services not to be missed
Waiting for the Holy Spirit. Rejoicing. Sense of God’s presence.
Using the Lectionary to ensure attention and emphasis is given to the Christian festivals.
Saturate services with prayer:
Encourage members of the congregation to pray before coming to the service
Recommend prayer by a steward/elder before the service
Encourage preachers, worship leaders to pray at the beginning of the service expressing the anticipation of God’s presence – call to worship, opening prayer or using silence
ROOTS Learning and worship resources for the whole church with a focus each week on one of the lectionary readings with ideas for sermon preparation, all age worship, Sunday school and Bible study. Includes a variety of Welsh prayers for different parts of the worship and activity sheets in Welsh for children.
Ei Orsedd Rasol Ef, Welsh translation of The Act of Prayer, a collection of prayers by Local Preacher John Birch, adapt. Dewi Myrddin Hughes, Cyhoeddiadau’r Gair
Ideas for churches on www.beibl.net
- The community / local needs
Seeing ourselves as part of a wider community and the importance of the way we behave. Being aware of the things around us, being alert to the needs of people around us.
Taking the opportunity to build relationships with people we come across every day.
‘We are the Bible that people outside the church read’.
Supporting the local Food Bank
Open the Book
Visiting care homes – offering the opportunity for worship to those outside the church
An event in a café or public house
Supporting local charities
Books for pastoral visiting and for special occasions are available from Cyhoeddiadau’r Gair:
Gair o Gysur mewn Gofid a Galar
Gair o Gysur mewn Gofid a Gwaeledd
Wele, cawsom y Meseia – Christmas
Mi wn fod fy Mhrynwr yn fyw – Easter
O llawenhawn! Daeth Crist i’n plith – a series of Christmas outreach resources