Next Rule of Life (date to be determined)
The Bottom line: A Three-Month Covenant
The end goal is that as good Methodists we will lean into our desire to pursue holiness – with a heart for God, and a shared methodology. We understand that a Christ follower is already holy because God calls us holy, AND we are also to pursue holiness. The 3-month covenant is an opportunity for FMCIC family to mutually encourage each other to establish a spiritual rhythm that helps us to pay attention to each other, to our community and most importantly, to God. A rule of life helps us to posture ourselves to be open to all that God would have to say to us, and be attentive to. The covenant that I am inviting you to is:
- Pray three times daily (morning, lunch, evening)
- Read, study, meditate, a common Scripture daily
- Half-day fast weekly
- Every other week 45- minute triad meeting
- Monthly Sunday PM national zoom meeting with Bishop (not a covenant obligation)
The Covenant extends 3 months
- Each person chooses 3 daily times to stop and pray (morning, lunch and evening). We obviously are to learn to pray all day long, however, these 3 times are focused prayer opportunities shared with church family across Canada. Perhaps your daily spiritual rhythm will be morning worship, lunch petitionary or intercessory prayer, and then evening examen prayer. These may be 15-minute timeframes. I find it helpful, when I stop to pray at my desk, to journal my prayer as this helps me to concentrate on Jesus, rather than the office noises. Shift workers, stay home moms, firefighters, and many of us will need to be creative with how to make these times work into our days.
- Each week we will all read, study, meditate, memorize, and pray through a shared Scripture passage(s). We are encouraged to journal though I recognize that not everyone likes writing. A journal is not a diary, and I will provide some help with understanding how to journal. We commit to doing this daily – each person chooses their own best time and commits to this time daily. This should be a time without distractions, when you are still able to concentrate.
- Each person commits to meeting in a triad every other week for the duration of the 3 months. This 45-minute virtual meeting is simply to discuss the Scripture passages (what God might be saying to you and us), and pray together. I will provide resources (questions, discussion topics) to help you. I appreciate that this particular element may cause shy people or busy people to resist the covenant, however I urge you to try. Never has Canada needed a united Church community more than we do now. Loneliness, isolation, independence, mental health, have marked 2020, and this opportunity is one more way to confront these anti-God themes. You may choose to register as a triad, or simply trust that God has a good triad in mind for you! As Methodists meeting in small groups (class and band meetings) asking spiritual questions is a part of our heritage.
- Once a week, each person will commit to a half-day fast. This can be a fast from food, technology, or whatever would be a meaningful fast experience for you. You may choose a series of different types of fasts throughout the 3 months. Resources helping you understand why we fast, how to fast, what to do in a fast will be provided;
- Once a month you will be invited to a 45-minute Sunday evening nation-wide virtual check-in meeting hosted by the Bishop (this is not a covenant requirement)
This is the revised package for the Rule of Life.
*The article ‘Why Fast’ is ‘When You Fast’ by Ken Roth and is included in the booklet sent out*