Using beads to structure meditative or petitionary (asking) prayer is one way to develop a regular pattern of prayer. This bead prayer from Iona is one example:
As people of faith, we seek to dwell more and more deeply in our Source and to be transformed by the Spirit. At different times of our lives we may be more drawn to learning; to wrestling with and discerning what it is we believe; or to spiritual practices such as prayer.
The liturgy of the worship service includes a combination of learning and practice; find ways to include both in your own life, in ways that meet your particular needs at this unique time of your life. What you need changes over time; you may want to try something new for Lent or Advent (the seasons preceding Easter and Christmas).
Learning and Discerning
Learning and Discerning help you find the roots, the saints, and the visions in our rich faith tradition that deepen your belonging and your understanding as a member of the family of Christ. Our faith and our God invite us to wrestle with scripture, to sift through the tradition and the teachings we have received, and to discern which theologies are life-giving and bring us deeper into the abundant life of our Creator Source.
Some things that help our members learn and discern include Bible Study, book studies, sermons, discussion, exploring theologies, interfaith and ecumenical sources.
The church of Christ in every age, beset by change but Spirit-led, must claim and test its heritage, and keep on rising from the dead. — from Common Praise #584; text by Fred Pratt Green.
Spiritual Practice creates habits of mind and heart that allow the holy to permeate our lives and allow us to dwell in connectedness with all creation, in Christ.
Some practices that St. Matthew’s people have found helpful include Holy Communion, Centering Prayer (like meditation), Lectio Devina (scroll to bottom of Centering Prayer page), Gospel-Based Discipleship, listening groups, praying together, prayer beads (here are three different ways of using beads; find what works for you), candle-lighting, Taize singing, and hymn-singing.