The popular observer of church and culture, Diana Butler Bass, has written book called, The Practicing Congregation. In it, she describes churches that seem to have a deep sense of faith and community, a vitality. And she notes that these congregations are engaging in certain practices that cultivate a connection with the ancient and an engagement with one another. “The Ancient Future Church” some call it.
Such practices often include those things that liturgical churches have never left – such as regular communion or Eucharist, or corporate confession. Other practices include a shared meal, a commitment to daily prayer or Sabbath rest, or an awareness and action concerning the environment and justice issues.
Tradition and change are in dialogue in these practicing churches. And there is a visible intentionality in worship and in congregational life. The Advocate is clearly such a practicing congregation.
We are also mindful of being practicing Christians, mindful of practices that are a regular part of our daily, weekly, or seasonal lives: attendance at church, prayer, re-cycling for the sake of God’s creation, keeping an intentional Advent or Lent.
In the Season After Pentecost (Ordinary Time) 2012, we begin to consider whether there might be some practices that we share in common that we could identify as “Practices of the People of the Advocate.” We are starting with an Advocate practice card. And we are dwelling with it for a season or two to see how it fits. (Hard copies of this card are available at the Advocate on Sundays). Sometime in Advent or Epiphany we will visit it again to see how it might be adjusted to better reflect who we are and what we are doing in our daily and weekly lives.
We invite you to join us!