This month’s blog is a little bit different from previous entries. Rather than a play by play of my going on’s for the past few weeks, instead I will be sharing a joint blog that my two roommates and I wrote about The Rule of Life.
A project of the Liverpool Diocesan Bishop Paul, The Rule of Life encourages us to live a more intentional life of worship. It focuses on six different words: that we are called to pray, read, and learn, and we are sent to tell, serve, and give. The Tsedaqah community was asked to reflect on how we individually and together incorporate these rules into our lives. The result is the following blog. If you are interested in learning more about The Rule of Life you can read this short article about it (here), or go to their website (here).
TSEDAQAH RULE OF LIFE
Since September, we have been serving God in the Diocese of Liverpool as part of the Tsedaqah community. Living together as a small missional community has given us a chance to reflect on how we have been living out the Rule of Life as part of our year-long internship so far.
PRAY — Prayer has inspired and guided all our work so far. Starting most days with the office of Morning Prayer in the cathedral’s Chapter House has made corporate prayer part of our daily routine whilst our own individual prayer lives have become more regular and structured. Before starting the internship, Madeline’s only time especially set aside for prayer was with the family, before dinner or at church but now, more opportunities to actively engage in prayer has enriched her own relationship with God. Regularly attending Evensong at the end of the working day has also given us all a different perspective of reflective worship and how at the end of a busy day, we can just pray and worship in the quietness of our hearts. The important thing for us as a community to remember is that prayer is like a lifestyle: we should try to put God in everything we plan to do before we do it and build our lives upon this.
READ — This year, we are all wanting to deepen our relationship with God and immerse ourselves in his church here in Liverpool. To do this, reading our bibles has become a key part of having the guidance and learning we need to become more committed to God. The ‘Bible in One Year’ app from Alpha has been a big help in helping us get a wholesome intake of scripture every day, as well as the lessons read at Morning Prayer and Evensong. The good thing about regularly reading our bibles is that we can get a new insight into everything, as you can never look at the same passage of scripture the same twice; something new will always pop out.
LEARN — Our worship lives have been very varied over the past few months, getting to grips with the many different expressions of worship that exist in the diocese. For Felicity, there has been a big difference in the worship style compared to Ghana, where services at her church are more charismatic and much longer! In fact, the church service in Ghana on a Sunday lasts for 4 hours, from 9am to 1pm! Madeline has commented that the main Eucharist service at the cathedral on Sundays is broadly similar to the Episcopal tradition in the United States. However, Zone 2 has provided more of a community feel to worship as has the young adults ‘Something New’ service, experiencing much more small scale, intimate worship. As Sam has been exploring a call to ministry and has been leading services and preaching in his home churches in St Helens, this has introduced the different traditions of the church and how to best adapt to different styles of worship not previously experienced.
TELL — We are all part of a missional community grounded in faith and working every day in different areas of the cathedral’s mission. This is ultimately inspired by Jesus’ example of love and compassion for others and bringing more justice to our community and the world. We have been thinking about how we can deepen our own mission because there are limited opportunities for evangelism when we mainly work with other Christians! Yet one thing that has been clear to us so far this year is that our strongest witness to the gospel has been amongst ourselves and in our own faith community, exploring Christianity together and helping nurture each other’s faith. Our individual blogs have also helped to spread the message of Tsedaqah to a wide audience over social media, telling people of the good work we are doing and how our faith has guided this.
SERVE — We have all given up a year of our lives to serve God here in the Diocese of Liverpool. This is all part of our individual journeys of discipleship to further discern God’s purpose in our lives, before making the next step whether that be further education or work. Madeline and Felicity have both moved thousands of miles to bring more justice in Liverpool, leaving behind family, friends and their other ministries back home. Given all the work we are each doing in this year of service, it would be impossible to list just ten things! We are involved in so many different projects and tasks, in social justice, education, youth work and more, all grounded in serving God whilst also becoming better disciples.
GIVE — Similar to how we are committed to a year of service to see more justice in the world, we have given this year to God in the hope He will strengthen and enable us to live a generous and compassionate lifestyle. We have been giving ourselves to service in ways we wouldn’t have previously done. Our work with different groups, particularly with the Micah Foodbank, has also changed our perspective on the world and the community we serve, encouraging us to be more generous and give anything we can to make a real, tangible difference to people’s lives.
Written by Samuel Rigby.