Prayers and Queries of Examen

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For those wanting this past Sunday’s prayers and queries of examen for reminders during the week:

Prayer of Thomas a Kempis
(from the Imitation of Christ)

Grant me, O Lord, to know what I ought to know,
to love what I ought to love,
to praise what delights You most,
to value what is precious in Your sight,
to hate what is offensive to You.
Do not suffer me to judge according to the sight of my eyes,
nor to pass sentence according to the hearing of ignorant people;
but to discern with a true judgment
between things visible and spiritual,
and above all, always to inquire what is
the good pleasure of Your will.
Amen.

Questions from the “Examen of Consciousness”
(modified from the Ignatian/Jesuit traditions)

1. Do you know that you are in the Presence of God?
2. What are you grateful for today?
3. Where is the Holy Spirit speaking to you, right now, about your attitudes, actions, motives, honesty or patience?
4. How are you “working out your salvation with fear and trembling” (i.e. deep respect and humility under God)?

St. Ignatius’ Prayer

Lord, teach us to be generous.
Teach us to serve you as you deserve,
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to ask for reward,
save that of knowing that we do Your will.
Amen.

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Call to Worship

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Here is the “Call to Worship” from this past Sunday which Laurel Summers heard from the Lord and asked to share. Many of you have asked for it.

This striving “for” and “against” must cease.
Be quiet in My presence.
Do not multiply words of demand.
Do not sing to Me of love and faithfulness and harbor resentment and anger in your heart.
I dispense justice and mercy as I will.
I am not here to do your bidding
You are to do Mine when I give you an assignment.
Be still and know that I am God.

Worship is a place for the humble.
Do not justify yourself in your heart.
Focus on Me – in Me you find perspective for everything else.
Feelings are not facts, however strong.
Do not be driven by those feelings.
Pray for My love to wash through you sweeping away the debris, filling you with light.
Self-referencing must stop – you are not the center of all that is.
I am.
Humble yourself, and in due time, I will lift you up.
Rest in the knowledge that here, today, as you are, you are deeply, completely loved.

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Resolving Everyday Conflict Begins Sunday

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Dear Silverton Friends Family,

I am really excited about the coming 4 weeks! It has been on my heart for years to share what I have learned from Peacemaker Ministries.  I first experienced this ministry back when cassette tapes were all the new and best way to study. The information was presented by Ken Sande, the founder of Peacemaker Ministries. He is a great guy but his voice is one that is very soothing and had a tendency to bring about “rest” as you listened.

The NEW Resolving Everyday Conflict series is on DVDs with a gentleman named Tim Pollard who has a great English accent and is quite entertaining as well as informative.  I have watched it 3 or 4 times now and learn something new each time. People who attended the series already have shared many positive experiences. The information has been useful in helping family relationships, church relationships, and work relationships.

Conflict can be a slippery slope.  I have noticed with myself that when I am in conflict I have a tendency to want to escape until it gets pretty overwhelming and then I want to come in and be attacking. The Resolving Everyday Conflict series has taught me what God calls us to in conflict; to stop and think about how can I glorify God, making sure I have taken care of my “cravings” and the importance taking responsibility for my part in a conflict and apologizing when needed.

I wanted to let everyone know that I will be here for the next 4 weeks and I am more than willing to listen, and be available in whatever way is needed. I will be available for children and adults.  We are on this life journey together and I am so thankful and blessed to be traveling with you all.

“We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”  I Thessalonians 1:2-3

Love in Christ, Deborah Climer

 

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Why sabbatical rest for the church?

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The Church’s beliefs and practices concerning the rest, delight, blessing, healing, holiness, and mercy of the Sabbath are rooted deeply in scripture:

  • Creation (Gen 2; Ex 20)
  • Israel (Ex 16, 20; Lev 25; Num 15; Dt 5; Is 58; Jer 17; Neh 10)
  • Jesus (Mt 11, 12; Mk 2; Lk 4; Jn 5)
  • Church (Jn 20; Acts 20; 1 Cor 16; Rev 1)
  • New Creation (Heb 4; Rev 21-22)

Academic institutions have led the way in providing periods of sabbatical for professors, and business institutions are beginning to see the benefits of sabbaticals for executives as well. But what is a sabbatical in the church context?

A church’s sabbatical rest is a time for rest, reflection, and refocus. It is time given to a church to have a break from the responsibilities of committee work and busy-ness of the church year. A church sabbatical rest is more than a long vacation or a “shutting –down.” Rather it is a time of rest and re-connection in new, a time for the “body” to recharge its batteries and get away from the stress and demands of church life, while re-connecting in ordinary and less demanding ways.

Just as our weekly Sabbath is important to our personal weekly schedules, a church’s time of sabbatical rest is necessary for the health of the church. It is not only necessary for the spiritual, mental, emotional, physical and relational health of the body, but it gives the “community of faith” the opportunity to be refreshed and renewed, while protecting them from burnout and thereby investing in the future health of our church.

The NWYM Local Church Care Committee shared with those gathered at our last business meeting that SFC is entering this time of “sabbatical rest” over the summer months from June 1st through Labor Day. This does not mean we stop gathering on Sunday mornings to worship together, but rather come together with less focus on work and an intentional effort to “breathe together” again.

My prayer is that we will take the summer months to seek the Lord’s will for SFC. To rest, reconnect in new ways (backyard BBQs, at the park or garden, or in our neighborhoods and communities), recharge those batteries and find refreshment and renewal in all that God has given us as a community. And when we do gather this summer on Sunday mornings that it would be a time to remember how important each of us are to the greater work and ministry of Silverton Friends Church.

Grace and peace,
Pastor Bob+

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SFC To Focus on Resolving Everyday Conflict

This Summer Pastor Bob and his family will be heading out for a four week sabbatical.  On the Sundays in which he will not be with us, we have planned for a different experience for those who attend our Sunday meeting for worship.  Beginning by sitting around tables, we will have some brief time of worship through singing, silence, announcements, and then a video/teaching, and discussion around the curriculum, Resolving Everyday Conflict led by Pastor Deborah Climer.

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COMING SUNDAYS JUNE 22, 29, JULY 6, 13

Resolving Everyday Conflict is a 4-week DVD study that unpacks the things the Bible has to say about conflict and relationships.  Throughout  this study, you’ll find some powerful and practical answers you may be looking for as you dig into topics such as:

  • When to overlook an offense
  • The root cause of conflict
  • What makes a good apology
  • What forgiveness REALLY means
  • How to deal with difficult people

If you (or your whole family) plan to join us for these four Sundays, please indicate the number of adults and children on the back of your Communication Cards this coming Sunday, so that we can order materials for everyone.  The workbooks suggested cost are $9 each – but we will be taking a free-will offering to cover expenses.  Children’s materials are free.

We look forward to you joining us as we consider how to follow Christ in the inevitable everyday conflicts that come our way.  With God’s help, “Resolving Everyday Conflict” will give us new ways of seeing conflict and focusing on our part in resolving it.

 

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“Slow Church” Releases!

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Hello, my Silverton Friends family!

I hope this note finds you all well.

I’m writing because today is a big day for me and for the whole Pattison family.

Today – at long last – is the official release date for my book, Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus. This is a book that’s been almost three years in the making. My co-author, Chris Smith, and I are incredibly proud of it. Slow Church would not be a reality if not for the love, support, and inspiration of our friends and family. So I need to say something from the bottom of my heart:

Thank you.

It’s been humbling to see Slow Church receive early attention in The Washington Post, Huffington PostSt. Louis Post-Dispatch, and in other news outlets around North America and Europe. Often, these stories speculate about a “Slow Church Movement.” But Chris and I have never talked about Slow Church in these terms. Our goal hasn’t been to spark a movement, it’s been to fan the flames of a conversation – a broad and long and, yes, slow conversation about how churches can be faithfully rooted in both the place and pace of their neighborhoods.

Today, that conversation goes public.

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You’re receiving this email because, as our church family, you’ve already been a part of that conversation. It takes a village to write a book. But I have one more huge favor to ask: Will you help us let people know that the book is now available to purchase? Even though we’ve tried to make it as simple as possible for you to share this news, we recognize what a big deal this is. Recommending a book means putting some of your own social capital on the line. We wouldn’t ask if we didn’t think it was important.

Here are five simple ways you can help us spread the word.

1. Recommend the book to a friend or family member.

Social media is pervasive, but word-of-mouth is still the most persuasive. Recommending a book while sitting with a friend over coffee or a meal is also the method that fits best with Slow Church, which is all about developing deep presence with God and neighbor.

2. Send an email, or post on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.

We’ve created a special page on the Slow Church blog with a lot of resources for our book launch. These include shareable quotes, key endorsements, early reviews, a digital sampler that includes two chapters and the Table of Contents, direct links to places where the book is for sale, and other ways to connect with the Slow Church conversation online.

3. Use Slow Church in your Sunday school class or book club.

This is the recommendation of John Wilson, editor of Christianity Today’s Books & Culture magazine. Slow Church is a book best read in community. Every chapter ends with Conversation Starters, questions for discussion and meditation. And next week Chris and I will be publishing a free, downloadable Group Discussion Guide to help readers go even deeper.

We have a special discount bundle specifically for Sunday school classes and book clubs. It includes:

This is a $130 value—all for just $80.

In addition, Chris and/or I will do a half-hour Google Hangout or Skype call with any group of five or more people going through the book. This is less relevant since we’re all in the same town, but I thought I would mention it. For Chris and I, it’s all about the conversation!

4. Rate the book

If you’ve already read the book, it would be enormously helpful if you could rate or review the book on sites like Amazon, Powells.com, BN.com, and Goodreads.

5. Come to the Silverton “Slow Church” Book Launch Party.

We are having a party to celebrate the book’s release. Join us on Friday, June 6, from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at Gear-Up Espresso. My co-author will be in town, and the event will be informal and lots of fun. It would make me so happy to see you all there.

Finally, I’d just like to ask for your prayers and well-wishes – for me, Chris, our families, and our little project.  Pray for traveling mercies, for good health, for energy and patience. Pray too that we would be good stewards of our message and of the stories we’re hearing along the way.

Thank you for everything.images
Sincerely,

John

 

P.S. I realized after writing this letter that some friends and family have been waiting for launch week to buy their own copies of the book. If you’re one of those folks, here are a few of the places Slow Church will be available to purchase starting tomorrow. Some brick and mortar stores – Powell’s, Barnes & Noble, etc. – have copies of the book coming into the store but they may not be on the shelves yet.

*My favorite independent Christian bookstore.

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Celebrate Our Community!

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Silverton Friends Church enjoys being part of our community and serving every third Wednesday night at the community dinner.  Wednesday, June 11, we will have something wonderful to celebrate, by then we will have served 100,000 meals.  This is a huge milestone for our community and for all those who faithfully serve, cook, and clean-up each Wednesday.  So join us on June 11 at First Christian Church, Silverton (starting at 5pm) for the celebration!

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