This week's message was presented by Calvary's Outreach and Mission's Chair and Certified Lay Servant, Renee Yingling. We are so grateful to Renee for her continued leadership in mission at Calvary. We are excited to lean into yet another year of outreach and partnership with numerous organizations and agencies. If you have yet to see the annual missions update for 2019 you can read here ... https://www.calvaryumcgamber.org/post/2019-calvary-missions-report
Also, please take some time to complete the S.H.A.P.E. Assessment mentioned in the last two week's messages.
Courageous and forward-leaning mission congregations practice spiritual disciplines. John Wesley, Methodism’s founder, taught that God’s grace is unearned and that we were not to be idle waiting to experience grace but we are to engage in the means of grace.
The means of grace are ways God works invisibly in disciples, hastening, strengthening; and confirming faith so that God’s grace pervades in and through disciples.
These means of grace can be divided into works of piety and the works of mercy for individuals and communities.
Works of piety include:
Individual Practices – reading, meditating and studying Scripture, prayer, fasting, regularly attending worship, healthy living and sharing our faith with others; and Communal Practices – regularly share in the sacraments, Christian conferencing (accountability to one another), and Bible study.
Works of mercy include:
Individual Practices – doing good works, visiting the sick, visiting those in prison, feeding the hungry, and giving generously to the needs of others; and Communal Practices – seeking justice, ending oppression and discrimination (for instance Wesley challenged Methodists to end slavery), and addressing the needs of the poor.
Making disciples, growing faith communities and transforming the world is part of a spiritual adventure that is empowered and guided by the Holy Spirit as churches engage in the means of grace. Spiritual goals are accomplished by connecting the means of grace with proven vibrant church practices such as planning, strategic direction, prioritization, clear focus, alignment and developed discipleship systems.