Working Out Our Faith (At Home)
Apr. 19 - June 13, 2020
Simplicity: Practicing Contentment
June 14, 2020 • Jeff Lockyer
How many times have you asked someone how they're doing, only to have them reply, "Busy." For how many of us is that our regular answer too? So much of our lives have felt propelled by the forward momentum generated by the multitude of commitments that dominate our schedule, and the multitude of things that we think we "need." In a world that has, for many of us, come to a screeching halt, what if this was that moment! What if we just decided to press "pause" on life, and restart again but at a significantly slower pace and on a significantly lower scale? How would it affect who we become if we could learn to live more simply?
Sabbath: Relishing the Power of Unproductivity
June 7, 2020 • Michael Krause
Many of us have had to acclimatize to this weird dynamic of "working from home," or being home and trying to get work done (as well as homeschooling and/or parenting and/or disinfecting, and/or...). Others aren't working and are collecting cheques from the government. So many of us are trying to figure out who we are to be if we're can't be productive. But what if not working is just as spiritually important as working? What if getting nothing done is as good for the soul as getting something done? What could we learn from being unproductive, that we could never learn from being productive?
Fasting: Embracing the Wisdom of Going Without
May 31, 2020 • Justin Brix
There are probably more than a few of us who have found that, with our schedules freed up, the one activity that is not canceled is consuming. We snack because we are bored or stressed. We shop online for things we don't need because we can (and even if we can't). We scroll social media for endless hours because we are lonely or anxious about the news. Far from being canceled, consuming is how many of us are coping with this season. But what if this survival mechanism is actually killing us spiritually? How can we push back against the compulsion for consumption and experience the freedom of going without?
Celebration: Confronting Complaining with Gratitude
May 24, 2020 • Mandy Kasper
It is easy to go negative when life isn't going the way that we had hoped. Emotions like fear, envy, greed, entitlement, resentment, anger, and regret seem to live just below the surface of our hearts, and emerge quickly in times of difficulty. In fact, at times it can feel hard to resist the pull of the disappointment embedded in these kinds of reactions. But what if there was a way to resist, a way to push back against these emotions that can so easily overwhelm us? How would it change our outlook, our disposition, our character, and even the shape of our lives if we could learn to embrace something beyond the negativity?
Solitude: Discovering God's Presence in the Absence
May 17, 2020 • Jeff Lockyer
We live in a world where there seem to be a million ways to maintain relationships. Whether it's Netflix Party, Houseparty, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, FaceTime, texting, or even (worst case scenario) making a phone call, there are no shortage of options for staying in touch. Yet many of us feel desperately alone and/or we invest enormous amounts of energy to avoid being alone. But as much as relationships matter, what if learning to be alone is just as essential to becoming the people God has created us to be? How could we learn to lean into our time of forced isolation to be a space where we get to be together with God?
Silence: Letting Go and Letting God
May 10, 2020 • Carrie Jones
We live in a world filled with noise. Between music and media, traffic, lawn care, construction, people (and more!) we experience barely a moment of silence in our regular routines. It entertains, it distracts, it fills our days, and it prevents us from hearing what we would hear if we could experience some moments of silence: the sounds of creation, the thoughts in our heads, and the voice of God in our souls. What if, instead of drowning in noise, we learned to celebrate the silence? What if, instead of constantly listening to music, we set aside time to listen for God? How would it change us to become people who embrace being quiet?
Prayer: Finding Peace in the Face of Panic
May 3, 2020 • Michael Krause
Martin Luther once wrote that we ought to "Work as though everything depends on us, because it does. But pray as though everything depends on God, because it does." Because of our wealth and privilege, for most of our lives we have had no trouble living by the first half of Luther's encouragement: working as though everything depends on us. But that's where it has stopped. We have been functional atheists: professing a belief in God, but living in a way that proclaims that we don't really need God. But what happens when everything is stripped away and God is all we have? Instead of being tempted towards panic, how can we learn to lean into prayer instead?
Bible Reading: Living An Anchored Life
April 26, 2020 • Michael Krause
How many of us find ourselves constantly bombarded with news and social media posts that feel disproportionately tilted towards bad news? Pay too much attention and you can be overwhelmed by sad reports, scary predictions, and depressing statistics which shapes how we understand the world and our lives. We need a different pair of lenses to look through to process reality. What if, instead, we could learn to see our world through God-shaped lenses? What if our understanding of reality could be shaped more by the Spirit than social media? How could we learn to let God show us reality for what it truly is?
Working Out At Home
April 19, 2020 • Michael Krause
Conventional wisdom says that "You can't teach old dogs new tricks," that once we've developed the ruts of our lives, those ruts pretty well dictate who we are and what we become. But what if we could break out of those ruts? At a moment where we are rethinking even our most basic routines—when to buy groceries and how to engage in recreation—what if we chose to rethink our spiritual routines as well? In a moment of rebooting our lives to survive the coming months, what would it look like for us to reboot our spiritual lives to thrive in our relationship with God, ourselves, each other, and the world like never before? What habits or behaviours can we learn to get into amazing spiritual shape?