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Coming to know God, and growing deeper in that relationship, is not something we were meant to do in isolation.

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. —Hebrews 10:24-25  

By Rev. Lisa Wang

When I speak to church leaders, both clergy and laity, they often say that their organizational responsibilities make them feel busy and tired. They also say that certain other things bring them life and re-energize them.

One of those things is learning. This doesn’t surprise me because the kind of learning they’re talking about isn’t simply about information. It’s about deepening a relationship.

In relationships, we experience the joy of knowing and being known, but this only happens if we make time for them. We don’t “know” people after meeting them just once. We come to know people over time — even a lifetime.

Coming to know God, and growing deeper in that relationship, brings us joy and life, and inspires us to follow the way of Jesus. This is not something we were meant to do in isolation. Learning is always most fruitful when we learn as a community; when we come together in conversation, prayer, and reflection; when we listen to one another, learn from one another, and love one another.

It’s in the community of faith that we learn how to be followers of Jesus. 

We may feel that we don’t have time for all this, or that no one else is interested. And yet, isn’t this the reason why we’re here? Isn’t this the reason why we’re the church?

Maybe your church doesn’t have a group who meet regularly to learn together. Yet perhaps you feel that you’d like to try something new!

Are there two or three (or more!) people in your congregation who you think might respond to an invitation to spend time with God and with one another? Such a shared time need only involve three things: time to “hang out”, often with a meal or other activity; time to reflect and learn together; and time to pray together. Could you invite these people to come together, maybe once week, or maybe once a month; perhaps with a meal, or perhaps online?

How would it impact these individuals, and yourself, to set aside this time to work together on your relationship with God and each other? To share your thoughts and experiences of God in your lives? To accompany and support one another in your common commitment to following Christ?

What changes could happen as a result? What new things might arise? Could your understanding of our baptismal vocation, the church’s mission, deepen and grow? Could it lead to action? Might others join in too? Might a new, intentional way of living your faith take hold in your congregation? How would that affect its role in the wider community? How would that affect its future?

Thinking of giving it a try? Wondering how to begin? Please be in touch!

Rev. Lisa Wang is the Developer for Catechumenal Ministries for the Diocese of Huron.