Growing in Knowledge

The first in our ten week series on the Way of Life that we hold in common as part of the Community of the Annunciation.

How do we seek to grow in knowledge?

Our primary source of knowledge about God is the Bible. Reading the bible regularly is a great way to increase our knowledge and understanding of God. You could start at the beginning and finish at the end, but I would lay money on you giving up somewhere around Leviticus. Perhaps a better place to start is in the New Testament, with a Gospel. You could devote a few minutes every day at a suitable time or find a longer period on a quieter day. There are many different daily reading bible notes that could help you, or perhaps reading the bible in a year, which is available as an app.

Another place to start is with the Pew News each week – look up the readings you haven’t heard in church on Sunday and read them, alongside the readings you have heard. Ask yourself what jumps out at you? What intrigues you?

Going deeper you could seek out a bible study group or join us on Saturday at 9:00 in St Mary’s Beaminster where we discuss the readings for the next day.

What other reading do you do about spiritual matters? You could look up Sarum College bookshop who have a monthly newsletter with new titles reviewed and suggested https://www.sarumcollegebookshop.co.uk/ or browse locally in Good Books in Bridport.

We have a spiritual book-club running in the team. We meet three times a year to share a book we are reading. Currently we are reading Fruitfulness on the Front Line by Mark Greene. We will meet on 12th November at 11:00 or 15th November at 20:00 in St Mary’s Church Beaminster to discuss the book. Or borrow something from the Rector’s bookshelves in St Mary’s Beaminster.

Increasing in knowledge isn’t limited to reading though. There are many podcasts, documentaries and radio programmes about faith. Every week Bishop Mike and Bishop Martin from the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich do a vlog about the upcoming lectionary readings. Their videos are available through the diocesan website, link here http://www.cofesuffolk.org/

There are also a number of small groups in the team that can offer a forum for talking about the Bible and sharing knowledge about God. And we hope that our weekly sermons deepen understanding and throw up questions – we are always happy to chat to you after we have preached.

Happy adventuring as you seek to grow in knowledge.

 

A Way of Life

As part of our prayer community, The Community of the Annunciation, we share a common way of life. This way of life is a framework for our spiritual development, not a set of rules to live by. As Simon Reed suggests in his book Creating Community: Ancient ways for modern churches “A Way of Life is simply an external structure which surrounds and supports our life in God.”

We are invited to use the ten different headings to reflect on our own spiritual journey and what our aims or challenges might be. The ten headings are focused as questions. They are:

How are we seeking to grow in knowledge?

How do we experience companionship on our spiritual journey?

What are our personal rhythms of prayer, work and rest?

What are our guiding principles of money and possessions?

What steps do we take to care for the environment?

How do we help others find healing?

What do we do to enable the Holy Spirit to guide us?

How doe we support others through prayer?

How do we show welcome and hospitality to other people?

How do we help others find faith in Jesus?

These headings give us food for thought in our own lives and in the life of our church communities too. Over the next few months I will write a reflection on each heading once a week and invite you to post your suggestions and comments via our Facebook page.

If you want to know more do get hold of a copy of Simon’s book via the Sarum Bookshop.

Click here to download the Our Way of Life proforma.