Grace - fresh vital worship since 1993

February 2006: Discipline

4disciplines

taking the theme of discipline we explored four areas -

discipline of time (organising the rhythm of life)
discipline of idleness (ensuring we create time for being lazy, rest, play)
discipline of practice (lots of areas of life require practice - e.g. sport - in what ways can we develop practice to mature our faith)
discipline of community (what do we do together as grace to support faith)

once we had expored these four areas and collected a different coloured clothes peg at each we collected a piece of washing line and put them on and joined them together in a circle with a piece of liturgy written by steve...

See also Steve's Discipline service planning notes which explore some of the thinking behind the service.

here's how the whole service works:

General setup:

video - usual two screens
jonny's laptop for words with one projector
steve has adam's projectors and cables

music - jonny

4 tables, on floor with folded legs - tablecloths probably required
fatboys around each table

cafe [email round for volunteers]

steve's list:
bell or sounder
psalm
bcp prayer/confession
coloured pegs and lines - mark as time/practice/idleness/community
concluding prayer

how the service works:

people come in and sit round the tables

each table has a theme as below, with a facilitator. there will be objects, questionnaires etc for discussion.

at intervals a bell will ring [or some other sound] and everyone has to move on, taking a coloured clothes peg from the table [different colour for each table]

intro [steve]

psalm 1

blessed is the man that hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly,
nor stood in the way of sinners:
and hath not sat in the seat of the scornful.

but his delight is in the law of the Lord:
and in his law will he exercise himself day and night.

and he shall be like a tree planted by the water-side:
that will bring forth his fruit in due season.

his leaf also shall not wither:
and look, whatsoever he doeth, it shall prosper.

as for the ungodly, it is not so with them:
but they are like the chaff, which the wind scattereth away from the face of the earth.

therefore the ungodly shall not be able to stand in the judgement:
neither the sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

but the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous:
and the way of the ungodly shall perish.

glory be to the father, and to the son, and to the holy spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be:
world without end,

amen

dearly beloved brethren,
the scripture moveth us in sundry places to acknowledge and confess our manifold sins and wickedness; and that we should not dissemble nor cloak them before the face of almighty god our heavenly father; but confess then with a humble, lowly, penitent and obedient heart; to the end that we may obtain forgiveness of the same, by his infinite goodness and mercy.

and although we ought at all times humbly to acknowledge our sins before god; yet ought we we most chiefly so to do, when we assemble and meet together to render thanks for the great benefits that we have received at his hands, to set forth his his most worthy praise, to hear his most holy word, and to ask those things which are requisite and necessary, as well for the body as the soul.

wherefore i pray and beseech you, as many as are here present, to accompany me with a pure heart and humble voice unto the throne of the heavenly grace, saying after me:

almighty and most merciful father,
we have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep,
we have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts,
we have offended against thy holy laws,
we have left undone those things which we ought to have done,
and we have done those things which we ought not to have done,
and there is no health in us:

but thou, o Lord, have mercy upon us miserable offenders;
spare thou them, o god, which confess their faults,
restore thou them that are penitent,
according to thy promises declared unto mankind in christ jesu our Lord:

and grant, o most merciful father, for his sake,
that we may hereafter live a godly, righteous and sober life,
to the glory of thy holy name.

amen

the tables:

1. discipline of time: [sue]

questions:
what do you make time for?
what does this tell us about values/what we put first?

fill in timetable daily/weekly/yearly

objects eg alarm clock, organiser

2. discipline of practice [richard]

practice makes perfect - doing things to achieve skill, fluency, or in readiness for use eg martial arts, music, ballet, sports

hebrews 12 1-11 as bible reading

body/mind/spirit connections - the physical as spiritual activity, and vice versa

are we obsessed by results? how do we measure?

another view of spiritual disciplines is as following in the way of christ's passion - rehearsing the ancient ways so that they become part of us rather than doing spiritual routines to 'make us better'

objects: things that need practice eg games

3. discipline of idleness [mark]

knowing how to rest
the idea of sabbath
renewal, play
stillness, attentiveness leading to awareness - of god?

objects: lazy area? things invoking play, contemplation [zen garden!] or relaxation

4. discipline of community: [jonny]

what helps us to live together?
what is grace's rule?

questions:
what does grace do that helps you in your journey with christ?
what's missing from what grace does?
grace has identified an ethos - what is the framework that supports us in living it?

objects: ??

then ask facilitators to report back

concluding ritual for all together: [steve]

prayer about taking responsibility for our lives
this is a process not finished

hand out lengths of washing line for people to put their pegs on, hang any bits of paper they have kept

[we say together]

We hang our lives upon your mercy

[end of service]

discipline of community group discussion:

what does grace do that helps you in your journey with christ?
what's missing from what grace does?
grace has identified an ethos - what is the framework that supports us in living it?
what would a grace rule/rhythm of life look like?

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