The theme this Lent at West Side UMC is based on Bishop Robert Schnase’s Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations: Radical Hospitality, Passionate Worship, Intentional Faith Development, Risk-Taking Mission and Service, Extravagant Generosity.
The purpose of this study is to move toward greater fruitfulness for the glory of God. Schnase points out these five practices “are rooted in the formation of the church in the second chapter of Acts and in the reforming of the church in the days of John and Charles Wesley.” May this be a time of “focused reflection and learning” … leading “to greater clarity and commitment to the ministry of Christ.”
We are using Schnase’s daily devotional, Cultivating Fruitfulness, for personal devotion and Thursday morning devotion. And we are doing a 3-week study of each of the five practices on Sunday evenings, February 21 through June 6. It was suggested that we provide an online forum for discussion of each of the five practices during Lent, so this will provide a place to do that.
Each of the next five weeks, I will give a summary of the practice, offer some discussion questions, and you may post responses to the questions. You may also post helpful, supportive comments in response to others, generating a healthy online discussion. I will monitor and join in the conversation as well. The first summary on Radical Hospitality will appear shortly.
By the way, if you missed the Sunday sermon, you may also read it here.