Archive for the 'Adult Formation' Category

Rule of Life — Sample Worksheet

Outline for a Rule of Life Chapter

Title of Chapter: Friendship

 

What do you see in Scripture, church tradition or reason regarding this topic that provides some light or guidance?

 

Friendship resides in the heart of God. The Trinity is a friendship. The Father’s gift of the Son is his act of befriending us. Jesus’s sacrifice is the supreme  friendship. The Church is a communion of friendship. Sin is the rejecting or breaking of friendship.

 

What do you see in yourself and your life at present regarding this topic (an honest inventory of where you are now)?

 

I am shy and tend of have relationships which are not really friendships – work or client relationships. I have been hurt sometimes by friendships without proper boundaries.

 

What are your goals for how your life will express this topic?

 

I would like an array of real friendships, with people of various ages, men and women, where I could accept and be accepted without needing to “perform” or please.

 

What measures will you take to encourage the goals you have set for yourself in this area (people, resources, checks and balances, boundaries, etc.)?

 

I will deliberately reach out to potential friends – invitations to dinner, closer connections with old friends. I will need to set aside time each week to cultivate friends – without work agendas. I will be careful with relationships that seek something beyond friendship from me  or with people who complain too much or are unduly negative.

 

What do you seek from God in assistance regarding this topic?

 

I ask God to free me of self-consciousness that holds me back from friendship. To help me first of all to be a true friend to myself – a subject for reflection in daily prayer.

Rule of Life — chapter worksheet form

Outline for a Rule of Life Chapter

Title of Chapter: _______________________

What do you see in Scripture, church tradition or reason regarding this topic that provides some light or guidance?

What do you see in yourself and your life at present regarding this topic (an honest inventory of where you are now)?

What are your goals for how your life will express this topic?

What measures will you take to encourage the goals you have set for yourself in this area (people, resources, checks and balances, boundaries, etc.)?

What do you seek from God in assistance regarding this topic?

Lenten Series: A Personal “Rule of Life” — Week 2

Living with a Rule of Life

In monastic communities, the community typically gathers each morning in what is called the Chapter Room of the monastery or convent, and the abbot or superior reads a chapter from the community’s rule — working through the whole rule, day by day. The monks or nuns then reflect together on how they are living their rule, what needs to be changed in their lives to do so better, their thoughts and feelings about the rule. With a personal rule of life, you too can take a chapter a day (or one for the whole week), checking in as it were on how you are doing living with it.

Beginning to Draft a Rule

Last week we ended our session by asking everyone to think of all the areas of their lives that would be candidates of gaining clearer focus and better direction. Each such area becomes the title of a chapter in your rule of life: e.g. Money, Work, Prayer (Inner Life), Family, Recreation, Computer Time, Exercise, Health, Service, Worship. These areas will vary from person to person. It’s probably better to start work on a few chapters, adding to them as you go along. Work on one may suggest others you want to add.

The next step, after you have your list of a few areas, to prepare an outline page for each one (see handout). The parts of this outline are:

  1. Sources of guidance: what do you see in Scripture, church tradition or reason regarding this topic?
  2. What do you see in yourself regarding this topic (and “honest inventory”)?
  3. What are your goals for how your life will express this topic?
  4. What measures will you take to encourage the goals you have set for yourself (people, resources, checks and balances, boundaries, etc.)?
  5. What do you seek from God in assistance regarding this topic?

As you work with your chapters, others may suggest themselves. Keep each chapter simple. For instance, if you are writing a chapter on friendship and see that you need to make time for friendship, that may lead you to write a chapter on time (or stewardship of time). Or it may lead you to see that you need a chapter on your marriage or your family.

Here is a link to a worksheet for drafting a chapter. Here is a link to a sample of how such a worksheet is filled out.

About  “Sources of Guidance”

For Anglicans, authority is a matter of working with Scripture (the Bible), tradition (Church teachings and practice through the ages), and reason (our intelligence, experience and modern developments in knowledge). All of these may be sources of guidance for you in writing your chapter. You will want to set forth very simply how you see these as authorities or guides for your life.

About “an Honest Inventory”

This is about where you start in your growth. Your rule will be no better than your honesty with yourself on where you are now in an area and why you are there – what traps you there, what are your problems getting “free”? This may lead you to seek the sacrament of Reconciliation or to counseling: it helps to confess honestly to another person (one trained and authorized).

 About Hope

Your goals can best be expressed in terms of hopes. Hope is one of the three theological virtues (faith, hope and love). It has to do with the direction of our lives. (Biblical images: Abram in today’s OT reading.) We’ll come back to hope in the next session of this series.

 About “Encouragements”

In using each chapter of your rule, you will want some fairly practical guidelines and supports to help you bring your life into conformity with your hopes for it. For instance, if you hope to avoid unnecessary spending, your “encouragements” section of the money chapter might commit you to a weekly inventory of just where your money has gone. If you are dealing with addiction, you might commit to attending a certain number of 12-step meetings each week. In other words, this section will have some practical, fairly measurable means to help and encourage you in keeping your rule and working towards your hopes.

Assistance from God

A very important part of living out a rule is asking God for assistance. This will become a central focus of your prayer life. In this section of the rule, you will be asking for the help and support you need — not just in a general way, but rather specifically: “I will pray daily to the Lord to keep me from the temptation of . . . .” “I will take an honest inventory and confess to God each night before I go to bed the ways in which I have failed to live in obedience to this chapter.”

Lenten Series: A Personal “Rule of Life” – Week I

Introduction: Lives Out of Control

We started our discussion with the question: how many of us have the feeling, some or all of the time, that our lives are “out of control”? That life is slipping by and leaving us unsatisfied? That our time, energies, money are going to meet other’s demands, demands upon us, leaving us with never enough? Continue reading ‘Lenten Series: A Personal “Rule of Life” – Week I’

Adult Formation at Holy Cross

Sunday Mornings

Each Sunday, after the 9:00 am breakfast and before the service begins at 10:00 am, a special time is set aside for the adults to ponder, learn, pray and plan. We speak of formation, rather than education, at Holy Cross because Christians are made, not born. Our journey into the fullness of Christ, into understanding ourselves and God’s love and purpose for us, is lifelong. So this Adult Forum time is an important part of our Sunday mornings. The topics we touch on are varied. They’re usually stand-alone, which means you aren’t going to “fall behind” if you aren’t able to make a Sunday.

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This year we’ve been spending a lot of time on getting to feel comfortable with the Bible, using as a resource Marcus Borg’s Reading the Bible Again for the First Time. During Lent, we took a breather from this study to talk about the ways in which the fear and anxiety gripping the world today, much of it hyped by our exposure to media, erodes our sense of being grounded as people of God. How could we develop Lenten practices that help us renew an appreciation of our wholeness? What is the role of silence, of simplicity, of sabbath in our lives? In May, we turn to a comprehensive review of our liturgy and worship, with the adult discussion times devoted to this area of our life.

We don’t seek one-size-fits-all answers at Holy Cross. We open questions, share experience, and search for ways to apply the wisdom of Scripture and Christian tradition to our very modern lives.


After breakfast adults enjoy learning and discussion over coffee.

After breakfast adults enjoy learning and discussion over coffee.

 Other Programs

From time to time we also offer special adult formation programs at other times. These may include Saturday workshops and weekday evening series. See Happenings Now for information about what may be going on currently.