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Looking for continued spiritual growth?
If you have been on your faith journey for a while, we are here to support you as well you continue to grow in Christ-likeness and seek to deepen and strengthen your connection with God. We have a variety of resources available and would be happy to meet with you and discuss different practices to try, as well as different ways to serve, with a goal of experiencing a more intimate and stronger connection to God and your fellow man.
- Spiritual Direction. Spiritual Directors provide a relationship where they come alongside others in their faith journey and help them to discern God’s activity and presence in their lives, how to respond to this, and how to grow in intimacy with the Father . For a great article on spiritual direction: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2003/aprilweb-only/4-28-51.0.html. To find out more about the spiritual direction services offered at our church, contact Rick Rykowski at 734-645-1103
- Lectio divina. This is an ancient Contemplative form of prayer intended to connect with God in an intimate way through meditation and contemplation on scripture. Find out more about how to practice this here.
- Mentoring. This serves as a very rewarding way of serving and worshiping God by accompanying and encouraging others to grow in their God-given potential. It involves guiding, encouraging newer or younger believers, and also being a role model. As a mentor, God may lead you to call out the gifts in others and help them to better use their gifts. Or He may guide you in simply building authentic relationships with others that provide support, encouragement and help in specific areas. If as a mentor you have specific skills, you may be able to provide instruction or training, and share your knowledge and experience for the benefit of others. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org to offer your services as a mentor.
- Hospitality. Hospitality creates a safe, open space where a friend or stranger can enter and experience the welcoming spirit of Christ in another. It involves sharing your home, food, and resources so that another might experience the reality of God’s welcoming heart.
- Fixed hour prayer. Fixed hour prayer is a way of developing the habit of regularly praying during the day. It is also a way of joining with Christian brothers and sisters around the world who pause what they are doing, on the hour, to spend time in prayer. The Ann Arbor Vineyard hosts the online Divine Hours which includes morning, midday, vespers (evening) and compline (before retiring) offices:http://annarborvineyard.org/tdh/tdh.cfm For more on fixed hour prayer, click here.
- Fasting. A fast is the self-denial of normal necessities or habits in order to intentionally create a greater awareness of our need for God. This physical awareness of emptiness is the reminder to turn to Jesus who alone can satisfy all our needs. A fast can involve abstaining from food, drink, shopping, TV, radio, music, email, Facebook, iphones, video games, habit, comforts and so on to intentionally be with God. For a guide on how to fast, including a sermon on fasting and the practical tip click here:http://practicaltips.org/2015/03/08/giving-up-a-good-thing/
- The Examen Prayer. Having this prayer practice as part of our regular prayer routine helps us to stay aware of God’s presence in our daily lives. It involves prayerfully reflecting on the day’s events, the various interactions, and emotions we experienced. By doing this we will be better able to discern the different ways God speaks to us and reaches out and impacts us during each day. For more on the examen prayer, clickhere.
- Scripture Reading. Another essential spiritual discipline we strongly recommend is daily Scripture reading. A healthy relationship with Scripture is key to staying oriented towards God. Bible study involves engaging the text with an open mind and heart in order to grow in love and understanding of the truth. There are many different ways of engaging with Scripture daily. Find out more here.
- Practical Tips. Every sermon preached at the Ann Arbor Vineyard has a practical tip or prayer practice that goes with the sermon that is given at the conclusion of the sermon to practice in the week ahead. The practical tips are based on a spiritual discipline, for instance, practicing the presence of God or detachment, and each spiritual discipline is practiced throughout the duration of the sermon series but with variations and different angles given each week. The weekly practical tips and sermon are uploaded to a website practicaltips.org and are available to all. Feel free to visit the practicaltips.org website and try out a practical tip as a prayer exercise.