In the spirit of Jubilee, which in scripture was a period of rest for refreshment and fruitfulness, we are planning to not hold a service on Sunday, September 1st.
Jubilee is Here!
In the book of Leviticus, God commands His people to declare a Jubilee year in the fiftieth year as a way of celebrating the faithfulness and goodness of God's provision. It was designed as a period of rest and renewal for the people and the land, with a call to worship and enjoy the fruits of their labour.
With the heart of Jubilee in mind, The Gathering Church is declaring a Jubilee Sunday this Long Weekend. This Sunday we will not hold worship at Chandler Mowat Community Centre, but instead encourage you to worship God and enjoy the rest that this long weekend offers.
Our worship and rest this Sunday morning can take many forms, and while we are not prescribing your choice, here are several suggestions:
A) Lectio Devina - 'Holy Reading'
As we practised this past weekend at our Hidden Acres retreat, Lectio Devina is an approach to reading scripture prayerfully with an ear to hear the living word to us. Take the Lord's Prayer from Matthew 6:9-13, which we have been drawing from all summer, and follow these steps at your own pace. (You may also do this with your family and friends, if possible, sharing what you have sensed after steps 3, 5, and 7)
1. Find a quiet place and read the passage slowly listening for words or phrases that catch your attention.
2. Sit in silence for at least one minute reflecting on what you read.
3. Write down the word or phrase that caught your attention.
4. Read the passage again, pausing for at least 1 minute of silence afterwards.
5. Pray to God about that same word or phrase asking what it may mean to you today. What in your life might connect to that word or phrase? What might God be saying to you through His word today?
6. Read the passage a third time, pausing for at least 1 minute of silence afterwards.
7. Thank God for His word that is alive and is, "...useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness..." 2 Timothy 3:16.
B) Worship as you Walk!
Go for an intentional and prayeful walk with Jesus.
You can do this with your family, friends, or alone.
The opportunity to worship outside provides a space for us to encounter nature, to realize that the holy is experienced outside of the sanctuary, and to connect worship with our love and care for creation.
You might choose to walk around your own neighbourhood with a prayer focus to see the Kingdom come more fully in your neighbours' lives, or you may choose to hike a trail stopping periodically to pray for God's Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven.
You are encouraged to begin and end your walk with a slow reading of the Lord's Prayer from Matthew 6:9-13, followed by a prayer asking God to open your eyes, ears, and heart to what He would say to you.
Don't forget to bring something to record what you see and hear!
C) Worship at another Church
Please feel free to attend another church worship service as an option this Sunday. It can be refreshing and helpful to worship in new spaces. My encouragement would be to resist making comparisons and instead become present to Christ in the new setting.