August 18 Summary – Rest
Led by Tony Wesley
On Sunday, August 18th, as part of our “Way of Love” summer series, Tony Wesley helped us explore the seventh practice, “Rest: Receive the gift of God’s grace, peace, and restoration.” From the Way of Love Introduction, “From the beginning of creation, God has established the sacred pattern of going and returning, labor and rest. Especially today, God invites us to dedicate time for restoration and wholeness – within our bodies, minds, and souls, and within our communities and institutions. By resting we place our trust in God, the primary actor who brings all things to their fullness.” We ran out of time during the group meeting, so over the next week please fill out one of the “Small Group Participant” sheets for the practice of “Rest. Then transfer your plan for “Rest” to the “Writing a Rule of Life Worksheet.”
We began with an opening prayer (Night Prayer on p. 184 of A New Zealand Prayer Book) and Tony introduced the practice of “Rest” and how turning to God allows us to receive God’s love. We opened discussion by reflecting on last week’s work and what we got out of writing down our regular activities throughout the week. We then read Genesis 2:1-3 and Hebrews 4:1-11.
We then discussed some of the following discussion questions, followed by closing in prayer by the reading of “Abide With Me:”
- When was the last time you felt truly refreshed and rested? How did it change your perspective?
- What practices restore your body, mind, and soul?
- How is your productivity linked to your self-worth? Has there been a time in your life when your productivity was not linked to your self-worth? What was this like?
- What would the peace of Jesus look like in your life? (John 14:27 or 20:19)
- What do you think it means to keep the Sabbath holy? (Exodus 20:8)
- What keeps you from pursuing time for peace and restoration?
- What is one thing you could change in your life to allow yourself more time for rest?
Some recommendations for “Rest”: Choose a day or a time of the week in which you don’t work or take up a hobby, set limits on social media consumption/technology use (such as turning off your cell phone during meals and at bedtime), set regular time apart to be by yourself or with family and friends without an agenda or distractions, praying Compline (perhaps with a partner via FaceTime or Skype), a retreat at St. Gregory’s, adoration, walking Trinity’s labyrinth, attending Choral Evensong, or take a walk or bicycle in your neighborhood or park. The Episcopal Church has compiled more resources on “Rest” on their Way of Love website.
Our next and final session will be led by Dean Owens on August 25th at 9 am. He will led us in sharing our Rules of Life we have created and discussing how to support each other in our living them. Don’t forget to bring your completed “Writing a Rule of Life Worksheet” so that you are ready to share fully in the discussion. Thank you for another great turnout this session!