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What Is A Christian Practice

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What Is A Christian Practice

  1. 2. <ul><li>How can, and how do, our lives and our life together participate in a way of life that reflects the Life of God, both when we are gathered as church and when we are dispersed into countless disparate circumstances? What is the shape of a contemporary way of life that truly is life-giving in and for the sake of the world? </li></ul>
  2. 3. <ul><li>Christian practices are things Christian people do together over time </li></ul><ul><li>to address fundamental needs and conditions of humanity and all creation </li></ul><ul><li>in the light of and in response to God's active presence </li></ul><ul><li>for the life of the world </li></ul><ul><li>in Jesus Christ. </li></ul>
  3. 4. the practice of hospitality to strangers <ul><li>An episode that stands out in your memory, whether positive or negative: </li></ul><ul><li>Tell of a time when you offered or received hospitality. </li></ul>
  4. 6. WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN PRACTICE?
  5. 7. <ul><li>Christian practices are things Christian people do together over time </li></ul><ul><li>to address fundamental needs and conditions of humanity and all creation </li></ul><ul><li>in the light of and in response to God's active presence </li></ul><ul><li>for the life of the world </li></ul><ul><li>in Jesus Christ. </li></ul>
  6. 8. A Christian practice . . . <ul><li>addresses fundamental needs and conditions of human beings [and all creation] through practical human acts </li></ul>
  7. 9. A Christian practice . . . <ul><li>involves us in God's activities in the world and reflects, in the way we participate in the practice, God's grace and love </li></ul>
  8. 10. A Christian practice . . . <ul><li>is social . . . shared with others and learned with and from others (though sometimes done alone) </li></ul>
  9. 11. A Christian practice . . . <ul><li>is historical . . . arising from living tradition, having taken numerous forms in the past and in various cultures around the world . . . and able to adapt to carry living tradition into new times and places </li></ul>
  10. 12. A Christian practice . . . <ul><li>embodies what we believe . . . and strengthens our beliefs by grounding them in daily life experience </li></ul>
  11. 13. A Christian practice . . . <ul><li>is thought-full . . . each practice relies on and fosters certain kinds of wisdom, knowledge, and skill </li></ul>
  12. 14. A Christian practice . . . <ul><li>is formative of the people who participate in it, who by participating gain specific kinds of virtue, wisdom, knowledge, and skill as individuals and in community </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Note: a practice can be embraced by people of many different ages and levels of expertise </li></ul></ul>
  13. 15. A Christian practice . . . <ul><li>is important in Scripture and in the ministry of Jesus </li></ul>
  14. 16. A Christian practice . . . <ul><li>can become distorted and corrupt, and so is open to criticism and reform </li></ul>
  15. 17. A Christian practice . . . <ul><li>is done within the church, in the public realm, in daily work, and at home </li></ul>
  16. 18. A Christian practice . . . <ul><li>comes to a focus in worship </li></ul>
  17. 19. A Christian practice . . . <ul><li>is a gift, not a task </li></ul>
  18. 20. A Christian practice . . . <ul><li>together with other practices, is part of a way of life that participates in the active Life of God for creation, for our neighbors, and for ourselves </li></ul>
  19. 21. <ul><li>Christian practices are things Christian people do together over time </li></ul><ul><li>to address fundamental needs and conditions of humanity and all creation </li></ul><ul><li>in the light of and in response to God's active presence </li></ul><ul><li>for the life of the world </li></ul><ul><li>in Jesus Christ. </li></ul>
  20. 22. <ul><li>&quot;Christian practices are not activities we do to make something spiritual happen in our lives. Nor are they duties we undertake to be obedient to God. Rather, they are patterns of communal action that create openings in our lives where the grace, mercy, and presence of God may be made known to us and, through us, to others.”   </li></ul><ul><li>Craig Dykstra </li></ul>
  21. 23. SO WHAT? How does this idea of “practices” help us think about—and live—the Christian life?
  22. 24. How does this idea of “practices” help us think about—and live—the Christian life? <ul><li>It points beyond the individualism of the dominant culture while also valuing unique, embodied persons. </li></ul>
  23. 25. How does this idea of “practices” help us think about—and live—the Christian life? <ul><li>It helps us to understand our continuity with the (rich, diverse, global, living) Christian tradition. </li></ul>
  24. 26. How does this idea of “practices” help us think about—and live—the Christian life? <ul><li>It makes us think about who we truly are as the created and newly created children of God. </li></ul>
  25. 27. How does this idea of “practices” help us think about—and live—the Christian life? <ul><li>It helps us to see and strengthen the connections among worship, home, work, social justice, and personal spirituality. </li></ul>
  26. 28. How does this idea of “practices” help us think about—and live—the Christian life? <ul><li>It reminds those in ministry that Christian practices belong to all Christians and orients the practice of ministry toward building up a way of life in and for the world. </li></ul>
  27. 29. How does this idea of “practices” help us think about—and live—the Christian life? <ul><li>It calls us into the life of the body, situating spirituality and theology within the material world. It sustains a sacramental vision. </li></ul>
  28. 30. How does this idea of “practices” help us think about—and live—the Christian life? <ul><li>It urges us to take time and care to notice and craft the specific forms each practice already takes and might more fully take within our own specific circumstances. </li></ul>
  29. 31. How does this idea of “practices” help us think about—and live—the Christian life? <ul><li>It reminds us of the importance of formation over time. </li></ul>
  30. 32. How does this idea of “practices” help us think about—and live—the Christian life? <ul><li>It notices and seeks to strengthen the integrity between what we believe and how we live. </li></ul>
  31. 33. <ul><li>&quot;Christian practices are not activities we do to make something spiritual happen in our lives. Nor are they duties we undertake to be obedient to God. Rather, they are patterns of communal action that create openings in our lives where the grace, mercy, and presence of God may be made known to us and, through us, to others.”   </li></ul><ul><li>Craig Dykstra </li></ul>
  32. 34. <ul><li>Christian practices are things Christian </li></ul><ul><li>people do together over time </li></ul><ul><li>to address fundamental needs and conditions of humanity and all creation </li></ul><ul><li>in the light of and in response to God's </li></ul><ul><li>active presence </li></ul><ul><li>for the life of the world </li></ul><ul><li>in Jesus Christ. </li></ul>

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