On our way out to Colorado a few weeks ago for vacation we looked for a Community of Christ and found one up ahead in the town of Seibert, Colorado with a population of 181. We debated on whether to go or not since we were on vacation but decided to stop anyways. We felt taking the time to go to church teaches our boys two things.
1. Our faith extends to all parts of our lives no matter when or where we are.
2. Our faith family is much bigger than just the Community of Christ we attend in Topeka.
We turned into the parking, and were immediately greeted by people getting out of their car inviting us to come in. Our boys were shown to the craft area to get what they needed for the service and multiple people welcomed us.
While taking our seats in the sanctuary my boys started making a raucous noise pointing at the wall. It was covered with Disney posters and animals scenes immediately making this place "awesome" in their minds. The decor was up from their recent Vacation Bible School where they hosted 26 kids.
The welcomeness, cozy environment, and openness of the people made us feel right at home. This congregation was doing what it could to welcome whoever came and to bring about Christ's peace in their community. We were glad we stopped in and met such wonderful people.
Faith and spirituality extend to all parts of our lives. It doesn’t have to be to a church building or a specific time of the week. Most times than not our faith is grown during those times we are in community with others. Sitting at a table eating, visiting, sharing in a mutual task. Let’s look further at how to move our spirituality into all aspects of our lives.
What is Church?
Most people know that people are the church however we tend to forget this. We become so occupied with programs and activities that we miss the message that church is really about being present with one another and improving our community. It’s not a building but communal times in which we can share with one another experiencing Christ’s love. Our experience in Seibert, was special because the people genuinely welcomed and shared with us.
There are some of us that have had horrific experiences at church before or witnessed churches so preoccupied with themselves they miss the point of Christ's mission.
However there is hope. There are many places willing to listen, care, and put the needs of others first. When we come to know and experience others in an open sharing environment we acknowledge their humanness and also their unique abilities. For us to get there we need to get out of our own way by changing how and what we see as church.
The video below talks about this shift in our thinking so we can become more intentional about our faith.
Ways To Incorporate Spirituality
What ways can I incorporate spirituality in my life? Spirituality can be numerous things depending on the person. I have created a short list of 6 potential ones to consider.
1. Find A Daily Spiritual Practice - Spiritual practices form us as individuals and deepens our connection with God. This may be exercising, meditating, or gardening, really whatever helps you. You can check out our previous spiritual practice posts here.
2. Seek Out Spiritual Mentors - Seek out someone you look up to, respect, or who can help you deepen your spirituality. Spiritual mentors are important because they listen and guide us into a deeper relationship with the divine. It moves us into a vulnerable relationship where we seek deeper meanings in our lives.
3. Find A Church Home - Church is a group of people focused on connecting people with God while also bringing about peace and justice in their community. Its intentionally focused on expanding our spiritual lives. Most other groups we find ourselves in may be very positive but which ones actually talk about our spiritual lives and what we believe?
4. Affirm Others - Affirming others helps us focus on the positive qualities of those we find ourselves around. Seeing people in their best light is a spiritual practice and one that uses our voice to bring about joy to others.
5. Volunteer - Find someplace that speaks to your passion and help out. Volunteering gets us out in the community assisting in some way. We are actively doing and living out our discipleship.
6. Love & Forgive Yourself - Our spirituality is connected to the internal thought processes we have about ourselves. How are we to connect to a God that loves us unconditionally if we cannot see our beauty or forgive ourselves fo what we have done? We must being to love ourselves and who we are despite the past decisions we have made, anger we shown, or what other people have thought. God sees you and God loves you for everything you are.
We are all on a journey! Some may be quickening their strides while others are taking a hiatus. That's ok, its not a race! It's about finding ourselves and what we believe in the midst of our chaotic lives. Just remember walking our faith journey is best done with others. Working in community, loving others, and figuring out who we are and what we believe with a safe group of people.
Thank you for everyone following along!
This week go to Seibert's Community of Christ Facebook page an like it!
Craig Hidy like the majority of ministers in Community of Christ is a bi-vocational, self sustaining ordained minister. He is a member of the Midlands Mission Center Emporia Team and an ordained Seventy. He and his family, live in Topeka, Kansas.
What is a Seventy?
The Seventy carry out missionary work for the church in close association with other missionary leaders. They represent Christ primarily as ministers of evangelism through witnessing, inviting, and church planting. They especially proclaim and promote Jesus Christ’s invitation to faithful discipleship through vibrant witness, and train individuals and congregations in witness and invitation. They particularly minister with seekers, individually and in groups, to share the gospel in relevant ways and to invite response. They support sacramental ministries by preparing people for baptism and/or confirmation, presiding at sacramental services, and performing most sacraments. They promote community by inviting individuals, households, and families to respond to Christ’s call to discipleship. They promote justice and peacemaking by inviting people to experience all aspects of Christ’s peace through active discipleship. They create ministry partnerships with mission center officers, apostles, elders, and evangelists.
The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Community of Christ. We believe individuals should be allowed to have their own opinions and be at different places in their faith journey.