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Encounter and Dwelling in the Word – Week of September 5, 2016

So after a (hopefully) relaxing and spirit-renewing summer, our congregations are gearing up for another full year of mission in their communities, and “Leading Mission Tips” will resume! As you may recall, before the summer hiatus we were looking at the 8 foundational principles of mission. To review, mission begins with “Encounter” – encountering God’s spirit, aided by practices such as “Dwelling in the Word.” Mission is also most fully lived out in Jesus’ proclamation in Luke 4:18-19, which would be a good scripture to use for a time of “Dwelling in the Word.”

So as a review, this week’s “Leading Mission Tip” will be to set aside a congregational time to practice connecting with the Spirit through “Dwelling in the Word” using Luke 4:18-19. Here’s how it works: A leader passes out copies and reads the scripture 2-3 times with a 1 minute pause between. The object of “Dwelling in the Word” is to sense God’s Spirit and what God is leading one to focus upon. (It is not to analyze the scripture passage.) After the first reading, lead individuals to reflect on a word or phrase that stood out to them. After subsequent readings, they may ponder why this particular word or phrase seemed significant, to spiritually sense what God may be leading them to discover. If desired, after the time of reflection, individuals may share any insights they felt, with of course no judgment between members as to which is “right.” All reflections are purely personal and valid, as the goal is to lead individuals to connect with the Spirit’s gentle whisperings.

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