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Discovering God's Kingdom – Growing the Church

Saturday 12 September

When and where and how are we growing?  

Although we might sometimes get the impression from the gospels that Jesus’ public ministry was absolutely non-stop, there would have been lots of ‘in-between’ times: we know Jesus himself regularly withdrew into the hills to pray – and of course the disciples spent many hours with him on boat trips across Galilee, long walks between towns and villages. 
Where are those ‘in-between times’ for us?  Has this pandemic/lockdown season perhaps itself been a kind of 'in-between' time?  Where have we found - and where are we finding - the things that sustain us - our spiritual lifelines - over these past extraordinary months?  Months that each of us will no doubt have experienced (and are still experiencing) very differently.  Where are the places (both in a spiritual and physical sense) where God has blessed and sustained and surprised us, where we've had a sense of being with Jesus?  And how can we help others find those places too?

Sharing a couple of times a week in online Sunday services and Morning Prayer with people I know and love definitely became a lifeline for me during lockdown – as did sharing daily prayer posts and occasional Zoom prayer sessions with colleagues at work.  My ‘bubble buddy’ and I got into a habit of regularly sharing Night Prayer via facetime too – usually from the Northumbrian Community or Holy Island.  It's been a deeply meaningful rhythm that we've continued since the easing of lockdown, even though it's now possible of course to go into many of our church buildings again for private prayer and also for socially-distanced acts of communal worship too ... at least for the present - it's perhaps something we shouldn't take for granted. (For those living alone, saying a simple service like Night Prayer can be a great thing to do with a friend or relative, either over the phone or via facetime.  Those living with others may have found themselves developing different kinds of household rhythms of prayer together over the past months.  It would be great to hear about your experiences and share them more widely.)

from Discipleship & Prayer from the Diocese of Truro