First of all, a very big thank you to everyone for the wonderful Christmas gifts for Stewart and I. You have made our first Christmas in Bradford a wonderful one. It was a joy as well celebrating this holy season with you, blending together your traditions and with some of my own. I hope this Christmas was a joyous time for you and your family as well.
As a new year begins it is typical to make new year’s resolutions. Some of the most common are healthy habits – diet, exercise, or quitting a bad habit. Just as we need to attend to our physical health, we need to attend to our spiritual health. This is a great time to do a spiritual check-up, to reflect on our relationship with God and our spiritual practices or disciplines, like prayer, reading scripture and worship. There are a number of questions we can ask ourselves are part of a spiritual check-up.
Has my relationship with God changed in the last year? Has it deepened or do I feel more distanced from God? What factors influenced the change? When did I feel most connected to God? What made me feel connected? Which spiritual practices or disciplines were most helpful to me and my faith journey this year? How do I want to use the spiritual practices and disciplines to deepen my faith and understanding in the coming year? What do I need or need to do to make that happen?
This spiritual check-up is not meant to make us feel guilty for what we have not done, but to help us to know what we want from our spiritual life and to begin to make a plan so that we can continue to grow and deepen in our relationship with God. It can be as simple as creating a time and space to deepen our prayer life, or finding a reading plan for the bible that fits our lives. If you want to talk about it or are looking for ideas or resources, please ask. I may have the answer or exact resource you are looking for, but together I know we can find what you are looking for.
In this same vein the Study groups will be resuming Tuesday January 9 at 7:30 pm, and Thursday January 11 at 2 pm respectively. Tuesday evening we will be looking at Spiritual Discipline, and Thursday afternoons we will continue the lectionary bible study looking at the readings for the coming Sunday. The groups are organized so that you can come when you are able, so feel free to just show up for either group. For Lent, one of the groups (yet to be decided) will be using the study recommended by Archbishop Johnson “Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John”. More information will be come soon, but in the meantime you can let me know if you are interested so I can plan when the best time to run this study would be.
May we all continue to grow deeper in our faith and relationship with God through Jesus in 2018.