A message from Melissa Wilkinson, Pastoral Associate at St. Mary's Church
This fall, we will begin our Small Groups again. Whether you were in a Small Group the first time around during Lent or not, our goal is to help you discover your purpose. Our message series during this will be The Purpose Driven Life, and all small groups will be reading and discussing the corresponding book, The Purpose Driven Life, by Rick Warren. Signups for joining groups will start in the beginning of September. If you’d like to HOST a group, please reach out to Judy Lebel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will kick this off with a fall event for the entire family on Sunday, September 19th (also Catechetical Sunday). Mark your calendars and get ready to Launch into Purpose! If you’d like to help with this event, please reach out to Katie Sullivan at email@example.com. You’ll also have the opportunity to sign up to participate in small groups and ministries at this event.
We’ll begin our message series and small groups on The Purpose Driven Life on Sunday, September 26.
So, why are we talking about making time for God now, in August? Well, if you aren’t already in the practice of spending time with God each day, we’re going to prepare you to spend time with Him every day.
In the book, The Purpose Driven Life, there are small chapters to read each day along with journal reflections. Whether you’re participating in a small group or not, we encourage everyone to read along. This means you’ll need to set aside about 15 minutes per day for this. And if you’re already in the daily practice of spending time with God, way to go! We’re going to work on being even more intentional with this time.
I know what you’re thinking; “But I don’t have an extra 15 minutes a day! Life is starting to get busy again in this almost post-COVID world. And with the school year beginning in September and all of the sports and activities that go with it, how am I going to find the time for that??
Part of being purpose-driven is being intentional with our time. As you plan out your fall months, I challenge you to look at your calendar and see just how much time you are including in there for God. We owe our entire existence to Him - so, we’re going to start by building time into our calendar for God.
Whether you use a planner or a digital calendar, you can schedule this time for God. Make an appointment with God each day. You wouldn’t skip a dentist or doctor appointment if it were in your calendar, right? So keep this appointment with God. And if you can, try to make it the same time each and every day.
What is the best time of day for this? Well, there are plenty of verses in the Bible showing how God wants us to spend time with Him in the morning. One of my favorites is Psalm 144:8, “In the morning let me hear of your mercy, for in you I trust. Show me the path I should walk, for I entrust my life to you.”
My daily appointment with God is from 4:45 a.m. to 5:45 a.m. each morning. I love starting my day by having a cup (or two) of coffee with God. This appointment is in my calendar and I hold myself to it each day. I can tell you that on mornings I’ve missed, my day just isn’t the same. That daily time with God gives me strength and lights my path for the day.
So if morning is your time, that might mean that you’re getting up just a little bit earlier. And I have another challenge for you to go along with this: do NOT let yourself consume social media or email before your daily time with God.
Why am I saying this? Because your time with God is more important than that! You deserve to start your day resting in God’s Presence. God deserves you giving Him glory, praise and gratitude. You deserve to have your prayers heard.
Peace be with you,
P.S.: If you’re concerned about The Purpose Driven Life being written by a Protestant, I encourage you to pick up a copy of A Catholic Perspective of The Purpose Driven Life, by Father James M. Champlin. All of our small group leaders will have a copy of this book as a companion to The Purpose Driven Life to help answer any questions and share where Rick Warren’s book aligns with our faith and points out differences.
P.P.S.: If you’d like a little more help on setting aside time for a solid morning routine in general, check out, The Miracle Morning, by Hal Elrod. This isn’t a book on faith, but it’s a book on building a life-changing morning routine and is full of helpful tips for starting your day.