LightWater • Food • ShelterCommunity

The season of Lent will soon be upon us. Sign up now for our 2020 offering – Signs of Life: Why Church Matters.
This series comes right from the heart of our lives as monksat SSJE, as it takes up the signs and symbols of our shared Christian worship. We are excited to share with you anoffering like none we’ve ever made before, with longer explorations of each weekly topic, featuring Brothers in conversation and illustrated by rich footage of life at the Monastery.

Our ongoing collaboration with Lifelong Learning at VTS has produced deep facilitation materials to support those who plan to use Signs of Life in small groups or with their Sunday forum - resources below.

We hope you’ll invite others to share this Lenten journey with you.

Practices to go deeper

Community: Friday

Ongoing conversion happens only in community life. We can’t do it for ourselves. I had a college chaplain who was very fond of saying “There are no solo Christians,” and he was absolutely right. Everyone finds their community – or their overlapping communities – that leads to their conversion.

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Community: Thursday

Community can offer a container that’s safe enough and supportive enough for the conversion process to take place. You have a group of people saying, “You can be who you are, we’ll support that, even if it’s painful, even if it’s uncomfortable.” That allowance helps us confront our own wounds. It helps other people – and ourselves – heal.

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Community: Facebook Live

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Shelter: Facebook Live

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Community: Wednesday

There’s a portion of our Rule of Life that’s been very helpful to me in living in community. It talks about silence as a gift that allows us to recognize and revere the mystery of every person. Each person is a mystery to us, and there are aspects of that person’s life that we will never know, no matter how well we know them. Only God alone can know this person as they truly are. This is a way to open our hearts to greater compassion.

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Community: Tuesday

We don’t do church alone because God isn’t alone. God is community and invites us into community. God chose a family to bless and save the whole world through Abraham. No one person could do it alone. The Christian story, and all of the stories of scripture, are about a people. Our story is one of families and of communities.

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Community: Monday

The very nature of the Triune God is community. The Father, Son and Spirit are One in reciprocal self-giving and love. Because human beings are made in the image of a relational God, humans are not meant to be separate and isolated from one another. Rather, we are called to live together in shared community.

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Community: Sunday

We’re not only a gathered people, we’re also a sent people. Jesus says, “I send you into the world. Just as the Father sent me into the world, I’m sending you.” We need to be sent out from the church building itself – and from the church community itself – to have a wider rippling effect in the world.

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Shelter: Saturday

The way to be effective in the world is to start with what’s primary, which is God dwelling within us. Find that place within: the Christ within, the I-in-Christ, that place where God dwells, our true self – that place that is without fear, because nothing in the world can harm it. Out of that place of fearlessness, we’re then free to act out God’s will in the world in whatever ways we’re needed.

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Shelter: Friday

We are to hold things here with a kind of detachment: this is not the end for us. Having a beautiful home is not the purpose that we strive toward, because our permanent home is not here. This is a temporary home for us. We are on a journey to our real resting place.

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Facilitator Support

Sign up for emails below each Sunday in Lent we will send out a 15-minute video on that week’s topic, featuring Brothers in conversation as they explore the symbols of Light, Water, Food, Shelter and Community, as they appear in Scripture, worship, and their own experience.
Explore more about leading a Signs of Life group by clicking on the icons above or, click here for the 5-week Forum Curriculum and here for the 5-week Small Group Guide.

Sign up now to join us during Lent 2020

Explore Signs of Life with this reader on the signs and symbols of our common worship.

Available now.

Signs of Life Lenten calendar.

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