Fasting: Participating In The Drama of God

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Fasting: Participating In The Drama of God

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As part of our theme this year on practicing the spiritual disciplines, we took some time as a community to practice the discipline of fasting throughout the months of February and March. I agree with Phillis Tickle when she says that “fasting is far and away the most misunderstood, maligned, and misused” spiritual discipline. To bring some clarity, we have been blogging over the last couple of months on why we fast. You can catch up by following the links below:

The History of Israel and Fasting
Fasting Is An Act of Whole Body Worship
Fasting As A Practice Against Broken Desires
Fasting As A Response To A Grievous Moment
Fasting Creates A Greater Awareness of God

Fasting Stands In Solidarity With The Poor

Now that we’ve covered some of this ground and seen some really good reasons why we fast, I want to take a minute and share what could be the most important reason why every Jesus follower should consider fasting regularly.

To set the stage, the best place to look is at Jesus’ words in Mark 2.

In the opening chapter of Mark’s gospel, Jesus declared that “the kingdom of God has come near” and it seems that by the time we get to Mark 2 his ministry is gaining momentum. Because fasting was a thing in Judaism—with most pious Jews fasting a couple of times a week—a group of people come to Jesus and question why his disciples are not fasting like John’s disciples or the Pharisees. So Jesus, knowing he’s Israel’s messiah and wanting to show that history is moving towards the changing of epochs, responds by saying, “How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them. But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast” (Mat 2:19-20).

In reality, Jesus is simply saying that the time for his disciples to fast is when he is not with them in flesh and blood.

So Israel throughout the Old Testament scripture, in anticipating a messiah, fasted as they longed for the day when he would arrive. And when Jesus was incarnate and among humanity, it is clear that he believed this was not the time to fast. Actually, to Jesus, it was the opposite—this was a time to party and celebrate.

Yet, Jesus also knew in Mark 2, that even though he had inaugurated the kingdom of God, a day was coming when he would leave in flesh and blood and this would be a time when his disciples, in his absence, would fast again.

Here’s the point.

Jesus believed that his disciples would fast in his absence because it was a common rhythm where they would long for the kingdom of God to be fully consummated—fully realized. Fasting is a way that we are regularly drawn into the drama of God and ultimately a way that we long for the kingdom of heaven to come in its fullness.

How so?

Well, I know Jesus says that we shouldn’t show others that we are fasting like the hypocrites (Matthew 6), but I think for illustration sake, I could share a bit of my journey. Fasting is something that I have only started to practice recently and it has changed my life.

So, it’s pretty simple. Wednesday evenings our house is filled with people and we have a meal together. People rush from work and school, they bring their best dish, and honestly we pig out. It’s the best meal of the week and we have so much fun in community eating and reflecting together. These meals are a real time of orientation. Everything, for the most part, is good and right. By the end I’m full, filled with great relationships and celebrating life.

Then, as the sun goes down, I begin to fast. The next morning I’m usually busy trying to get the little humans that live with me out the door to school. I’m distracted, so missing a meal is not consciously felt.

But then lunchtime comes around and things change. I’m hungry. Actually, I’m hangry, if you know what I mean. I can feel the pain, the longing for something to eat, especially after a huge meal the night before when I was fully satisfied.

Now here’s the thing. I could look at these hunger pains as simply the cause and effect of not eating. But, because I’m entering into a practice that is shaped around a story, every hunger pain I feel during this time is actually a deeper sign of disorientation. Every hunger pain is a reminder that everything is not right in this present age—things are not as they should be. Just like Jesus believed fasting would be a longing for his kingdom, I’m drawn into this story of disorientation. I’m reminded that I live in a world where there is brokeness, violence and injustice. Yes, Jesus, through his teaching, life, death and resurrection began a good work in the world, and I still hold on to the hope that he is going to one day bring heaven to earth in totality.

Throughout the day I feel this pain and now, after practicing for a period of time, I’m actually trained to reflect on this disorientation. The pain, in the story, has a purpose.

But… it only lasts a little while.

Thursday evening I rush home from work, I arrive, and we prepare! The last number of weeks we have intentionally tried to make a meal together (though I’m pretty useless and lean on Heather’s incredible cooking skills). Often we make a meal that can be prepared in parts and throughout the whole process, though I’m tempted, I don’t cheat. No sneaking guacamole or chips and hummus. I help prepare, but I patiently wait.

Now this may seem lame, and I get it, but this patience has a purpose. The Jesus community has always been marked by a sense of delayed gratification and the wait to take this first bite is a reminder, in the story, that we wait patiently for the kingdom to come. Sure I could take a bite of something before we sit down. I’m not under law to abstain from food—nobody is forcing me to do this. But, this patience corresponds with the age in which we live. Everything that we see today is not all that there is and there is a sense of hope that better is coming.

And then we sit. Our nightly routine of asking, “Who wants to pray?” is met with the anticipation that it must be quick—I’ve got to eat! And when the prayer concludes I quickly grab what is in front of me and take that first bite—a sign in the story that someday, amongst all the pain, fear and tears, the kingdom will be fully realized.

Now you may or may not buy this, but truth is the story of God is a story of orientation, disorientation and reorientation. One of the things short fasts do is let us feel and experience this cycle. God created this world good and in rhythm, humans mess it up and bring pain, and God, through Jesus, will reconcile heaven and earth back together in the end. Fasting leads us into a time where we are satisfied, dissatisfied and re-satisfied—a sign of what God has done and is doing in the world.  

So amongst all the reasons to fast—and there are some really good ones—I think regular participation in the drama of God is something that shapes us over time. This story leaves us longing for a better day—like that first bite after abstaining from food—a day when everything is made right.

- Dru

 

 

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SEA Church

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SEA Church

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Our spiritual practice for April + May is the practice of generosity. This practice is simple! We are encouraging our community, every single week for the next eight weeks, to give money and resource away. Our hope is that we would practice our way into being generous people.

We know that there are a lot of people in our church community that are connected to people and organizations doing good in our world. We also have some people and organizations that we love that you can see over at www.cityview.cc/dojo.

Over the next bunch of weeks we are going to highlight some of these initiatives so you can see what they're up to and how you can participate if you so desire!

Our friends Aaron and Rachel Young recently planted SEA Church in the heart of Seattle, Washington. It is a brand new church serving its community in the neighborhood of Capitol Hill.

For more on SEA Church watch this video or visit their website to donate at www.seachurch.com.

 

 

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Generosity: A New Practice at City View!

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Generosity: A New Practice at City View!

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Hi,

So yesterday at our gathering we introduced a new practice for the months of April and May as part of our year of spiritual practice (The Year of The Dojo).

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus introduces three core spiritual practices:

1. Prayer in Matthew 6:5-15 (which we practiced from January 7-Febrauary 13).
2. Fasting in Matthew 6:16-18 (which we practiced from February 14-April 7)
3. Generosity/Charity in Matthew 6:2-4 (which we are going to practice in April and May)

*** So our practice over April and May is generosity. We are encouraging our community, every single week for the next wight weeks, to give money and resource away.

Dru did an in-depth teaching on generosity and how are going to practice this together. You can listen to it below:

We encourage you to be intentional about exercising generosity. You can do this a few ways:

1. Go to www.cityview.cc/dojo and partner with some of the project both locally and globally that we love as a church.
2. Give to whatever you want! We know many in our church are connected to organizations that are doing good.
3. Many give of their resource to the ongoing weekly work of our church. If you do not participate regularly, we encourage you to join in with us! We believe that we are apart of a community that does good within our city.

Our hope is that we could practice our way into loving to be generous. Here’s a couple things to keep in mind:

1. We encourage you to practice generosity even if you feel like you don’t have a lot. The beauty of our community is we have a wide rage of economic positions. We encourage everyone, even if it is something small, to participate throughout these eight weeks.
2. We encourage you, if you have kids, to get them involved. Make a contribution together. Give them some options of what you could give towards and bring them into the conversation.

Looking forward to practicing this together!

The City View Team

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Fasting Stands In Solidarity With The Poor

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Fasting Stands In Solidarity With The Poor

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The weeks fly by don’t they?

You are probably aware by now that our spiritual practice for Lent as a community is the discipline of fasting. We are fasting food from sundown on Wednesday to sundown on Thursday. Over these weeks we have been sharing a number of reasons why we fast as Christians. You can catch up on some of these ideas by following the links below:

The History of Israel and Fasting
Fasting Is An Act of Whole Body Worship
Fasting As A Practice Against Broken Desires
Fasting As A Response To A Grievous Moment
Fasting Creates A Greater Awareness of God

This week we are looking at something that a lot of Christians never equate with fasting: Fasting is a way that we can stand in solidarity with the poor.

Now you’re probably thinking: what does fasting have to do with the poor?

Isaiah 58 is a great snapshot in the Old Testament of the prophet Isaiah bringing correction to the community of Israel. God says through Isaiah:

3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,     ‘and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves,     and you have not noticed?’

“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers.
4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for people to humble themselves? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying in sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord?
6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

It is clear as day that God’s vision for his people is that when they fast they are standing in solidarity with the poor and marginalized. Isaiah here says that proper fasting involves four specific things:

1. undoing justice
2. releasing the oppressed
3. feeding the hungry
4. providing sanctuary for the homeless

Not only does Isaiah hope that through fasting the chains of injustice would be loosed, he also understands that fasting can be converted into justice and solidarity with others. There is a sense that the best kind of fasting is one that shares food with the hungry, provides the poor with shelter, and clothes the naked (vs 7).

So how does this conversion take place?

Well, there are some, when they fast, that take the money the would normally spend on food and give it to those in need. In our case, if you are fasting breakfast and dinner for six weeks, this could average anywhere from $50-$60.

Others have entered into fasts where they are living off of what a refugee would be rationed through the UN as a way to stand with the millions of refugees around the world. There are also others who enter into grain fasts with the thought that much of the world does not have the luxuries we have in the West and primarily lives off of grains.

The point in all of this is that our fasting has purpose to it and as Jesus’ people we are continually reminded to stand with the poor. We encourage you to stand the poor as you fast and consider seeing your fast converted into good for those in need.

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Fasting Creates A Greater Awareness of God

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Fasting Creates A Greater Awareness of God

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This is the fifth week that we are practicing the spiritual discipline of fasting together. From sundown on Wednesdays to sundown on Thursdays we are abstaining from food.

Each week we have also been sharing a reason why we fast as Christians. So far we’ve learned that Israel in the Old Testament had a history of fasting and that we fast because fasting is whole body worship, fasting is a practice against broken desires and fasting is a response to a grievous moment.

With all this mind, it’s also true that fasting creates a greater awareness of God in our lives. It is no mistake that throughout the Scripture the twin of fasting is prayer. Over and over the bible suggests that fasting and prayer are disciplines that go together. When we fast we are drawn to pray. Fasting is a sacred rhythm that is entered into to experience God in a richer way.

So, as you practice fasting be aware of God’s presence all around you. Let every hunger pain during this time be a reminder that God is good and is the one who gives life and sustains us.

 

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Fasting As A Response To A Sacred, Grevious Moment

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Fasting As A Response To A Sacred, Grevious Moment

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We are in our fourth week of fasting from sundown on Wednesday evening to sundown on Thursday evening. Each week we have been sharing some reasons on why we, as people in the West who have so much food at our disposal, would give it up for periods of time.

New Testament scholar Scot McKnight has a definition of fasting that he roots in the story of Israel. He believes that fasting “is a response to some sacred, grievous moment.”

Ultimately, fasting is a response to something. For Israel, fasting often occurred in the community when something grievous happened because part of what fasting does is it brings us into the grief of God.

And here’s the thing. We do this without recognizing it at times. Think about when a close family member of friend dies. Or when there’s a significant relationship that ends. What’s the last thing we want to do? The last thing we want to do is eat.

So when we obtain from food we often grieve with God.

We’ve seen this as a church over the year. When someone is sick, or there has been tragedy, we call people to fast—to join in on that grief.

This actually happened our first week of fasting together. During our first week practicing this discipline a few things happened in our community. There was a young boy who went into surgery, as well as a couple families in the community grieving over family issues. When we fasted we were able to join them, with a strong reminder that when we fast we don’t always get stuff, but we can join in the grief of God.

So Mcknight puts it best:

“When people tell us they are fasting, we should ask, ‘In response to what?’ instead of, ‘What do you hope you will get out of it?’”

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What Are We Doing For Easter?

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What Are We Doing For Easter?

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Hey friends! Hope your week is going great!

Easter is a really important rhythm in the life of a Christian community. More than dressing up in pastels (which is totally encouraged by the way) is the reality that as a community we are shaped by an incredible story—we are story formed people. Easter is a time where we gather around the reenactment of this great story. At moments we mourn like on Good Friday, or we sit in silence and wonder like on Holy Saturday, and then of course we celebrate resurrection like on Easter Sunday.

With this in mind, we hope you can join us during this time.

On Good Friday we are meeting at 10.30am for a one hour communion service with our brothers and sisters at Royal View Church. Royal View is located on the east side of town at 218 Clarke Rd. This morning will give us time to reflect on the cross and Jesus’ work through this.

Then on Resurrection Sunday, Sunday, April 1st, we are going to party! And yes it’s April 1st but resurrection is no joke! We are going to sing and celebrate, have people baptized on this morning and we are going to hear from a number of people in our community and their stories of how they have been brought from death to life!

Not only do I hope you can join us, I hope that you will prepare yourself for this season! Let’s journey to the cross and resurrection together.

Grace + Peace,

Dru

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Fasting Against Broken Desires

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Fasting Against Broken Desires

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Over the last fifteen years I have been running long distances. At least four or five times a week I gear up and run the streets and trails in my neighbourhood. At first I hated it, but over time it has become a love and something I can not go without.

While I don’t run races anymore, I have run a couple marathons in the past. My first marathon was pretty treacherous. I had only put eighteen kilometers together at one time prior to the race. Just to give you a mental image of how ridiculous this is, a marathon is just over forty-four kilometers, so you can imagine my horror as my young twenty-five year old self saw people my parents and grandparents age run by me to the finish line. My legs seized up and the pain I experienced was something I had never experienced before.

I remember crossing the finish line that day and chatting with a women my mom’s age. She finished before me and shared that she had run numerous races. “You know what running these long races is all about?” she asked me. I was obviously open to some wisdom from what seemed to be the Yoda of local marathons. “Pain management” she said. "You know the pain is coming, you just have to learn how to manage it.”

I took that conversation to heart and learned some things for my future races.

One of the things I did is I began to run when the elements were less than ideal.

You know that forty degree day in the middle of summer? That day when they tell you not to go outside, but stay in, put on the AC, and drink lots of water? On that day I would gear up (much to the chagrin of my wife) and go for a thirty minute run. I would also do the same on some really cold days in the winter. I would bundle up in the freezing cold and run on our snowplowed sidewalks.

Why would someone do something so ridiculous? 

My thought was that if I could run on some of the harshest days of the year that I would, when it was time to run a race in more moderate weather in May or October, kick butt! The rough weather was something that would condition me in my training for better days.

In many ways fasting can act in the same way. When we fast it can become a discipline against broken desires. It’s no mistake that Jesus was fasting for forty days when he was tempted. One thing fasting does is it starves our flesh so that our souls can be fed. 

This is why, when I walk with people who are continually succumbing to temptation I always ask, “Are you fasting?” Fasting builds spiritual discipline in preparation for these times of temptation. Let's be honest, there is an adversary and he wants to mess us up.

With all of this in mind, think of it like this. If you and I can abstain from food in a world of excess, we can overcome temptation. 

We can.

- Dru

 

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Fasting Is An Act of Whole Body Worship

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Fasting Is An Act of Whole Body Worship

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Our theme for 2018 at City View is practicing the spiritual disciplines together (The Year of The Dojo) and we are currently engaging the practice of fasting as a community. Fasting is simply refraining from food or water for a designated period of time. We have chosen to fast from sundown on Wednesday evening to sundown on Thursday evening as a church. We hope you can join us.  

What a lot of people forget is that fasting was a staple weekly practice for the early Christians and was something that was practiced for centuries by the church until recently, where it has become somewhat of a forgotten discipline.

One of things we are doing throughout these six weeks is taking time to share a number of reasons why we fast. We are asking the question: why would we, who have so much at our disposal, give up food for extended periods of time?

One of the reasons we fast is because fasting is an act of whole body worship. 

Now we don’t have a lot of time to look at the depth of Plato’s philosophy, but one thing that is unescapable is that Plato drew a sharp distinction between the body and the soul. The soul was good, while the body was perishable and temporary. The problem with this kind of dualism is that it has penetrated Western Christian thinking. Plato’s idea that the body is a prism for the soul is one that a lot of Christian’s hold. The problem with this is that the Scripture is clear that what happened to Jesus in resurrection is awaiting us in the future age (1 Corinthians 15). Quite simply, our bodies are important. We don’t have a body, we are a body.

A lot of Christians don’t see the connection between spirituality and our bodies. Like Plato, they are waiting for a day to float away and invade a disembodied state on clouds in the sky like the Philadelphia Cream Cheese lady. But God’s people in the Scripture (both Israel and the church) always did spirituality with their bodies. The Apostle Paul even had the audacity to say that our bodies are now the temple of the Holy Spirit. We worship with our bodies—they are living sacrifices.

With this idea in mind, it always makes me kind of chuckle when someone gets animated at a concert or sporting event but shows little to no expression in a worship gathering. It’s no secret that people will raise their hands to the newest Top 100 hit or jump out of their seats when their favourite team scores a goal. Why? Because we worship (and I’m not just talking about God) with our bodies. This is why the Scripture always calls us to raise our hands, kneel, shout, sing, you fill in the blank. It does this because worship has always been a full body experience. 

And this is what fasting joins in on. Fasting is one way we bring ourselves into complete expression under God (Scot McKnight's idea). When we refrain from food we are able to express to God that we not just worshipping him with our soul and our minds, but we are whole being, including our body, which is placed under his lordship and rule. We are not just brains on sticks, but humans that give our bodies to God. 

- Dru

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The History of Israel and Fasting

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The History of Israel and Fasting

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As we fast over the next six weeks from sundown on Wednesday to sundown on Thursday we are also going to take some time and share some ideas around why we fast as Christians. If we were honest, those of us living in the Western world are not lacking in food or water. The question then is: why would we, who have so much at our disposal, give up food for extended periods of time?

In our introductory teaching on fasting we shared six reasons why we fast. There are no doubt other reasons why we fast, but we’ve chosen to hone in on these six. (You can listen to the full teaching at http://www.cityview.cc/teaching/2018/2/14/fasting). The plan is to unpack these six reasons over the next six weeks. This will give you a little foundation, if you are practicing with us, why you are doing what you are doing. 

Before we get into the reasons of why we fast we should probably take a minute and look at the the story of Israel and their relationship with fasting. This will give us an idea of why they practiced this and also help dissolve some of the reasons why we’ve maybe attempted to do this in the past.

So why did Israel fast?

Scot McKnight, in his excellent book on fasting, shows that Israel (in our Old Testaments) fasted around three primary things:

  1. in preparation for Yom Kippur (preparing for confession, atonement and forgiveness)
  2. as a spontaneous response to a sacred or grievous event 
  3. in response when God’s glory was dishonoured, will was thwarted and when God people experienced sickness, tragedy or death

I think the main thing we can take from Israel’s story is that they fasted in response to something. Growing up, I always thought we fasted to get something, but there seems to be a deeper reason in Israel’s story. McKnight puts it like this:

“When people tell us they are fasting, we should ask, ‘In response to what?’ instead of, ‘What do you hope you will get out of it?’” 

With all of this in mind, maybe the question for our community is: what are we responding to?  

- Dru

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The Spiritual Practice of Fasting

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The Spiritual Practice of Fasting

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On Sunday we took some time as a community as had brunch together in preparation for the Lenten season. It was such a great morning together. The conversation and food were fantastic.  

If you don’t know, our theme for 2018 at City View is The Year of The Dojo. Our goal is to take time throughout the year and practice some spiritual disciplines together. The first six weeks of the year we practiced Fixed Hour Prayer. As a community we were learning to take specific time throughout the day to come to God in prayer. 

Today, and over the next six weeks leading into Easter, we are practicing the spiritual discipline of fasting. We agree with Phillis Tickle when she declares that “fasting is far and away the most misunderstood, maligned, and misused” spiritual discipline.

On Sunday we took time to look at the what, why and how of fasting. This introductory teaching would be really helpful if you were not apart of this gathering. You can listen here http://www.cityview.cc/teaching/2018/2/14/fasting and can find more resources on this discipline at www.cityview.cc/dojo

It’s pretty simple. Fasting is simply refraining from food or water for a designated period of time. Note that there is a difference in abstaining something for Lent and fasting. Fasting always has to do with food and water.

The way we are going to practice this is we are inviting you to enter into a weekly rhythm of fasting from sundown on Wednesday evening to sundown on Thursday evening for the next six weeks. This means you can have dinner on Wednesday evening and then fast through to dinner on Thursday. If these specific days don’t work for you, that’s absolutely fine! We encourage you to pick another day throughout the week.

We believe God is going to do a great work within us over these next bunch of weeks. Hope you can join in!

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The Year of The Dojo

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The Year of The Dojo

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THE YEAR OF THE DOJO

The Year of the Dojo? Cheesy? Maybe. But we're hoping you won't forget it.

Our theme for 2018 at City View Church is the spiritual disciplines/practices. We are going to take the year and practice a number of Spiritual Disciplines together. Our goal is to move the church from a lecture hall to a dojo, where we practice the ways of Jesus together. 

Take a few minutes and look at the recommended resources, listen to the introduction teaching if you were not at our gathering on January 7 (this will get you caught up), and read what the plan is for this year!

WHY THE DOJO?

There is often a misconception in the church that transformation will come to the Christian life quickly, like a zap from heaven or something. But, the more one grows as a disciple the more one understands transformation takes time.

The other problem we fact today is the idea that information on its own will lead to a transformed life. While we are not seeking less information, the teachings of Jesus make it clear that his way is to be practiced (Matthew 5:19).

Simply put. You are not a basketball player by reading a book on basketball, or even watching games regularly. You become a basketball player by practicing, getting in the gym, shooting free throws and three pointers and working on your basketball skills. 

So why do we think we will be transformed as disciples purely on the basis of having more information? For most of us our discipleship to Jesus does not have an information deficiency, there is simply a lack of practice. 

With this is mind, we have been led to practice the spiritual disciplines in 2018 together. As Mark Scandrette suggests, "Perhaps what we need is a path for discipleship that is more like a karate studio than a college lecture hall."

We hope you can join us in the dojo!

HERE'S THE PLAN

  • as a community we are going to practice a spiritual discipline every four to six weeks (ten-twelve over the year)
  • on this site you will find an introduction and other resources on how to practice the particular spiritual discipline we are engaging at that time 
  • we encourage you to practice the particular discipline throughout the month
  • when you gather in community groups we encourage you to discuss how the spiritual discipline is going and what you are learning (questions will be supplied on this site)
  • throughout the year at our Sunday gatherings we will hear stories of how people are practicing the disciplines 

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Top 5 Moments of 2017

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Top 5 Moments of 2017

We have had an incredible year as a community at City View Church. In our gathering last Sunday we took some time to reflect on the Top 5 Moments of 2017. 

Here they are!

#5 - Bounce Kids Retreat

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In June we took 20 kids to Bounce Kids Retreat in Paris, Ontario. It was an amazing time of games, activities and sessions that pointed our kids to Jesus and his love. We can’t wait to go again in 2018!

 

#4 - Momentum Jr. High Convention

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This past November we had a small group of Jr. High’s and leaders go to Momentum Jr. High Convention in Oakville. It was an action packed weekend with high energy music and teaching, as well as a ton of activities for our students. Thanks to Alicia Rundle and Kayla Ingram for leading this adventure!

 

#3 - Welcome To Summer Party + Church In The Park

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We had so much fun kicking off the summer with our Welcome To Summer Party. It was a fantastic evening of food and fun, including our annual Corn Hole Tournament. Yes, we eventually got rained out, but a ton of people showed up and it was so good to be together.

Then, we closed out the summer by having a potluck and swimming at Thames Park and Pool. It was a great way to close a fantastic summer together. 

 

#2 - Christmas Party

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Just a few weeks ago we had our annual Christmas Party and it was a blast. The food was fantastic, we ran out of tables as the community came together, and we had so much fun with our ugly sweater contest, gift exchange and the Ginger Bread Haus relay that our Jr. High Community ran for us. It was the first time running our party at Goodwill and it was a success!

 

#1 - Baptisms

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In November, for the first time at Goodwill, we had baptisms. It was an amazing morning baptizing people and hearing stories of God’s redemption. It was so much fun to come around friends in the community and support them on their journey in Christ. We can’t wait to do it again!

We look forward to everything that is ahead in 2018!

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Advent 2017

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Advent 2017

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On Sunday we took time to light the first advent candle. Lighting the advent wreath is an annual tradition for us at City View. Advent is a season in the church calendar that anticipates Christmas. It is four weeks of preparation. The funny thing is that Advent, in many ways, is the beginning of a new year for the church. Yes we celebrate New Years when December turns to January, but there is also a sense that this is the beginning of a new year as we anticipate the birth of Jesus.

With this in mind, we do take this season of anticipation seriously! We hope you can join us as we anticipate Christmas. Our gatherings will follow the Advent themes of Hope (yesterday), Peace (December 10), Joy (December 17) and Love (December 24). There is something revolutionary, subversive and counter-formative in learning to wait in a world that is distracted, consumed with stuff and stressed out. If any time our world needs Advent it is now. 

We also have a daily devotional posted for Advent. It includes time to reflect each day leading up to Christmas both in the morning and evening. It is a great tool for you and your family.

Download this years ADVENT DEVOTIONAL by CLICKING HERE.

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Baptisms

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Baptisms

Last Sunday we had the joy of baptizing three amazing people in our community! Well done Devin, Alex and Karen.

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24 Hours of Prayer

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24 Hours of Prayer

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Tonight marks the beginning of 24 Hours of Prayer. We believe over the next day that significant breakthrough is going to happen in our church and city. We are seriously believing for the Spirit to do a deep work in the hearts and lives of our community and we are thankful that you would take some time to pray.

As you know we have been praying for specific things all week long for SEEK WEEK. You may be wondering: what can I pray for in my hour (or two). Below are some things that have been on our hearts this week and can be some things that we can continue to pray for this weekend!

// OUR CITY
- our mayor, city council, city and community leaders
- teachers and educators in the city
- all the kids and youth in London that have returned to school this week
- the college and university students that now make London home
- those on the margins of society in our city
- the different ministries that are bringing care to individuals in need in our city
- the salvation and renewal of our city, praying that people will turn to Jesus!


// OUR CHURCH
- the growth of our community in prayer, the spiritual disciples and our engagement of scripture
- that our kids ministry would continue to reach, teach and train children
- that our Jr. High ministry would make disciples of students
- that our community groups would flourish and fill the city with people living on mission
- for those hurting in our church both relationally and financially
- for the financial health of our community, that people would join in on the financial vision of our church
- that our community would be postured towards people outside the community, reaching them with the gospel
- for the strength and health of our leaders
- that God would raise more leaders to lead within our community
- that those who hear the gospel in our Sunday gatherings would turn their hearts towards Jesus and his kingdom


Ultimately our pray is that God’s kingdom would come to London as it is in heaven.

Thanks for praying with us! We are also getting together at the bandshell at Victoria Park tomorrow morning from 10-11am if you want to join us!

Grace + Peace,

Dru

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Seek Week

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Seek Week

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This week we are engaging in an attentional time of prayer and fasting as a community. From September 4-8 we will be sharing specific things you and your family can be praying for. From Friday, September 8 to Saturday, September 9 we will once again be participating in 24 hours of prayer. Then on Saturday, September 9 from 10-11am we will be gathering together at Victoria Park for a time of corporate prayer together.

SCHEDULE 

Monday, September 4

Pray for our mayor, city council, city and community leaders, teachers and educators.

Tuesday, September 5th

Pray for kids and youth in London and at City View Church as they return to school.

Wednesday, September 6th

Pray for the college and university students attending school in London this year.

Thursday, September 7th

Pray for our city and its redemption, those on the margins of society, and for the different ministries that are brining care to individuals in our city.

Friday, September 8th at 8pm - Saturday, September 9th at 8pm // 24 Hour Prayer

As park of SEEK WEEK we are concluding with 24 hours of prayer from Friday, September 8 at 8pm to Saturday, September 9 at 8pm. We encourage you to sign up for a time slot throughout these 24 hours. You will receive an e-mail, hours before, reminding you of your time sot and things you can be praying for.

Take an hour for 24 HOUR PRAYER by signing up here - http://www.slottr.com/cityviewprayer 

Saturday, September 9th

We are prayer together as a church at the band shell in Victoria park from 10-11am.

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City View Kids + Youth Update

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City View Kids + Youth Update

Parents!

We have had a great Spring season at City View Kids and City View Youth! On Sundays our Elementary Kids have been learning what it means to follow Jesus as disciples. Our Jr. Highs have been learning about things like prayer and relationships through our interactive curriculum! We are also thankful to have Maria Quinones once a month in Jr. High to walk our students through age related leadership curriculum. It has been fantastic! 

City View Kids and City View Youth were also apart of some exciting events this Spring. On June 3rd City View Kids went to BOUNCE at Braeside Camp. It was a fantastic day of games, activities, songs, and learning about God’s love for us.

Later on in June City View Youth held their year end part at Palasad. This was a night to celebrate our first year of Jr. High at City View and also welcome any grade 4s now graduating in Jr. Hight. It was a great time with bowling, pizza and a dozen students leaders spending time together!

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This is just a reminder that anyone going into grade 5 in September is invited to now participate in our Jr. High curriculum on Sunday mornings. 

Now, we look to the future, with a couple of exciting events coming up!

// City View Kids Party - Friday, July 21st

On Friday, July 21st City View Kids is throwing a party! This party includes a BBQ, lots of games and activities and will conclude with an outdoor movie. It is going to be a fantastic evening together.

Location: Dru + Heather Fess’ House (10 Fairlane Rd)

Time: 5-9pm

Cost: Free

Let us know you child is coming at www.cityview.cc/kidsparty

 

// Play In The Park

Throughout the summer City View Kids is hosting some play times in the park together. This is for parents and children of all ages. Each morning will include playtime at the park and splash pad and City View kids will be providing a snack and short interactive Bible story. These play times in the park will be happening at Springbank Park from 10.30am-Noon on Wednesday July 19, August 2 and August 9. 

 

// Momentum Jr. High Convention

On November 3 and 4 City View Youth is heading to MOMENTUM Jr. High Convention. It’s a great time, joining a thousand other Jr. Highers from around Ontario, with amazing services with teaching and music, games and a night away together!

Date: November 2 and 3

Location: Oakville, Ontario

Cost: TBA

 

Looking forward to the future!

 

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What Does It Mean To Be A Mature Follow of Jesus?

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What Does It Mean To Be A Mature Follow of Jesus?

We had a fantastic time away at GETAWAY 2017. It was a weekend full of great food, friends, and time for reflection on what it means to walk in the Holy Spirit and what it means to be a mature follower of Jesus. 

The notes from Garry Fess' second session called "The Holy Spirit and Christian Maturity" is below:

THE HOLY SPIRIT AND SPIRITUAL MATURITY

Galatians 5:16-26

How do we measure spiritual maturity?

  • Character of Jesus as revealed in the Fruit Of The Spirit

   “fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control”  Galatians 5:22

  • Fruit of the Spirit NOT Fruits of the Spirit
  • One Fruit with 9 qualities or attributes
  • These are the positive attributes of a Godly nature which describe the very character of Jesus
  • The character of Jesus is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control
  • This is to be our character too!
  • Interesting that the list begins with LOVE…because “agape” love (unconditional/selfless love) is the foundation upon which all these other qualities are built 
  • They are the “fruit of the Spirit” which means they come from the Holy Spirit and not from ourselves…not from human effort…but through the Holy Spirit that already resides within us
  • Scripture teaches that we are partakers of the “divine nature” of God

 

Key Thought: Spiritual maturity (fruitfulness) comes through walking in and yielding to the Holy Spirit

1.  You Pick Your Own FruitGalatians 5:16-18

  • Vs 16 – every person has to decide what kind of fruit they will have in their life
  • Vs 17 – there is an inner struggle between the flesh and the Spirit

2.  Fruit Of The FleshGalatians 5:19-21

  • Vs 19 – Sexual temptation
  • Vs 20a – Worship temptation
  • Vs 20b-21a – Relationship temptation
  • Vs 21b – Discipleship temptation

3. Fruit Of The Spirit   Galatians 5:22-23

  • The character of Jesus is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control

4. What Produces Spiritual Fruit?

24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.   25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Romans 6:4-14

  • Through Christ we are set free from sin - vs 7-10
  • Consider ourselves dead to sin - vs 11
  • Make a choice, NOT to let sin reign in your life - vs 12
  • Present ourselves as instruments of righteousness - vs 13
  • Vs 25 – What we must do – Yield to the Holy Spirit
    • Total Dependence Upon The Holy Spirit
      • Spirit filled life begins when we are absolutely convinced that we can do nothing apart from the indwelling strength of H.S.
      • Overwhelming realization that we are absolutely helpless and hopeless without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit
  • When we realize we are absolutely helpless, we are then ready to surrender everything to the Holy Spirit

BE FILLED AND KEEP ON BEING FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT

                  Ephesians 5:18 - greek construction - “keep on being filled” - present tense

    • We should be so completely yielded to the Holy Spirit that He can possess us fully  
    • To be filled with the Spirit implies freedom for Him to occupy every part of our lives, guiding and controlling us. Then His power can be exerted through us so that what we do is fruitful to God. 
    • The filling of the Spirit does not apply to outward acts alone; it also applies to the innermost thoughts and motives of our actions.                 

 

 

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