Is it time for you to REVIVE your spiritual experience? Journey in a REVIVE program with other local lay leaders of your church. The Parish of Bay Roberts/Coley’s Point recently completed the ten month journey with seven congregants and our minister following the weekly program. In the program we became closer to each other, with our minister, and with God.
The program consisted of an opening and closing retreat and three six-week modules. The modules were divided in three overall topics: Communicating with God; Engaging in Scripture; and Called for Ministry. At each session we worked through our manual, watched a guiding video and delved deeper into our spiritual life through discussion. Through reflection and self-exploration we were aiming to transform our personal ministries into spiritual leadership that could benefit us personally and especially play a larger role in this changing church.
Upon completion of the program, we all felt more confident as spiritual leaders, and we are moving toward a more active church life as followers of Jesus Christ.
Here are the thoughts and knowledge acquired from the participants of this program:
The REVIVE program opened our eyes and minds to the many techniques for praying. This allowed each person to practice the various prayer methods and decide which prayer practice works best for the individual. We also considered our spiritual journey as Christians and what time, talents, and treasurers we can offer to be of service to God and our community in helping to build up the Body of Christ.
I began the REVIVE program thinking that I already knew a great deal about prayer, but I learned so much more! I found myself looking forward to our next REVIVE session more and more as our weekly get together moved on. It was so inspiring to hear and share each other’s thoughts and views in all of our discussions on such a variety of topics dealing with prayer. We learned so much about a vibrant prayer life and the various ways to pray—“different strokes for different folks” ways! Our Christian fellowship and times of camaraderie with each other grew, as did our prayer life, individually and collectively. We certainly felt God’s presence!
My prayer life has grown since completing the REVIVE program. Previously I would pray only when I was in need of prayer but now I pray daily and I have learned how to choose my own words for prayer. Many times during the “Engaging in Scripture” module I had difficulty interpreting the passage, but drew from my REVIVE family’s interpretations. This program definitely enhances ones spiritually!
REVIVE is the first course of this kind I have participated in. I felt at the beginning out of place as the experience of other group participants told a fuller experience of religious education- courses, experiences. It was an opportunity to get to know/connect with members of our congregation that I would not have known in the normal course of church attendance/participation. This program made me aware of how much knowledge, experience and commitment there is within our congregation, which is what has helped our congregation succeed during the past 3 years dealing with COVID. There were life experiences, opinions and beliefs that enriched my experience of REVIVE as I listened to other group participants. It seemed a fitting time to participate, given the Set Sail movement within our diocese. It is very important for the volunteers with each of our churches to have spiritual fulfillment as they complete the different tasks in the church. This was an engaging, enriching program which was a valuable experience for spiritual growth. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to connect with fellow congregants as we participated in the REVIVE program and have the experience of participating in this program.
When I saw the title of the program, ”REVIVE, Equipping Lay Readers to be Spiritual Leaders,” my first thought was that this was not the program for me since I have never considered myself to be a leader. However, during this course I have learned that there are many ways to be a leader and to grow spiritually. It opened my eyes to the many different ways of praying and having a relationship with our God. Participating in this course also made me feel more connected to the other members of the group; one more benefit of completing this course. I would encourage anyone to take advantage of this program if the opportunity arises.