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Growing Faith

We are told that we need to adopt certain habits for a healthy lifestyle – eat sensibly, exercise regularly, sleep well, take care of our emotional and mental well-being, quit smoking, maintain a healthy weight & control our alcohol intake – healthy habits indeed!

There are certain habits we can adopt for healthy spiritual lives. They will help our relationship with God to grow.   These habits have been practiced since the very beginning of the church.

 

The boxes below explain more about these healthy habits we can all adopt.

Holy habits have been practiced since the very beginning of the church. 
This description of church life comes from Acts 2: 42-47

‘They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  ‘They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer………………... Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and generous hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.’ Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and generous hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.’

The early church was characterised by unity, gladness and generosity, mutual care and hospitality, service, and informed by attention to the bible, to prayer, to gathering and to ‘breaking bread together’. 

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Bible Reading

Many people want to shape our thinking. As Christians it is important that we allow God to do so. Reading the Bible allows God to speak to us.

We encourage all Christians to read the Bible, both on their own and together as a church.  There are plenty of resources to help you read the Bible individually – click here to find out more.

We meet as a church to explore the Bible in our Sunday services. We also have Bible study groups where topics can be explored in greater depth with an opportunity for discussion and questions. Contact the clergy for details.

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Prayer

A relationship will only flourish if we invest time and effort to ensure there is good communication. Prayer is vital to our growth as disciples of Jesus Christ.   

There is no right or wrong way to pray – whatever works for you is right. Some people like formal prayer using liturgy, others prefer extempore prayer while others like to mix both styles.  Others like to incorporate times of silence or reflection.

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Jesus Christ, our supreme example, needed to pray. Next time you read the Gospels look out for references to Jesus praying. If Jesus found prayer essential, how much more important for us.

For more on personal prayer resources, click here.

In addition to personal prayer, we also have opportunities for corporate prayer on Zoom at 9am, Tuesday to Friday – please contact saintgileschurch@gmail.com for details of how to join in.

If you would like to pray with someone about any matter, we have a team of people who would be pleased to pray with you. Please contact a member of the clergy in the first instance.

Generosity

God is a generous God and as we grow to be more like Him, we will become more generous.

Many of the functions of the church are performed by volunteers who are generous with their time. Click here to discover some of these roles:

We are called to be generous with our gifts. The church supports a number of charities. The church relies on the voluntary gifts of its members. If you are a UK taxpayer, please consider giving via the Gift Aid scheme. This increases the value of your gift by 20% at no cost to yourself.  

We are all called to generosity of spirit where we seek to encourage and build one another up.

‘All things come from You, O Lord, and of your own do we give you.’ Our time, gifts and possessions are entrusted to us as stewards by God. One day we shall give an account to Him of our stewardship. God isn’t looking for brilliance, just faithfulness.

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Fellowship

Another name for the Church is the Body of Christ. Just as a body has many members each performing different functions to make the body work well, we all need the encouragement and support of other Christians.

We encourage all Christians to attend one of the services each Sunday.

We also encourage all members to join one of the Bible study groups. These allow the opportunity for questions and discussion on a Bible passage.  As fellowship deepens, so do opportunities for mutual prayer and support.  

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Breaking of Bread

Different churches refer to the service of Holy Communion in different ways, e.g., Breaking of Bread, The Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist.

At the Last Supper, Jesus instructed His followers to remember Him with bread and wine. At the heart of the Christian faith are the events of the first Easter. The bread and wine speak of the death of Jesus on the cross. Christians believe that by His death, Jesus paid the price for all their wrongdoing. Now we can be forgiven and reconciled to God. As we come to the altar rail to receive the bread and wine, we remember the sacrifice made by Jesus for us, we give thanks for His undying love and for our salvation and we dedicate ourselves afresh to His service.

We also celebrate because after 3 days Jesus rose again from the dead – alive for evermore! And as the conqueror of death, He promises eternal life to all His followers.

The Communion service is not an optional extra. Jesus told us to do so. We impoverish ourselves if we ignore His instruction.

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Milestones

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1 Water Baptism

For 2,000 years, Christians have been baptised with water. Baptism is an important milestone in our Christian journey.  It is an outward sign of an inward faith. In baptism, we associate ourselves with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and announce that our life is headed in a new direction with Jesus as our King.  Some are baptised as infants, others as adults. Someone baptised as an infant will make their public declaration of faith when older in a service of confirmation

The command to baptise came from Jesus Himself. So, if you haven’t yet been baptised, we would encourage you to do so.

2 Confirmation

Confirmation is a special church service in which a person confirms the promises that were made when they were baptized. Some were baptized at a christening when they were a child, in which case parents and godparents made these promises on their behalf. As a young person or adult, they may be ready to affirm these promises for themselves and commit their life to following Jesus Christ. At a confirmation service, when you make these promises for yourself, your local Christian community will be there to promise to support and pray for you. 

A bishop will lay their hands on your head and ask God’s Holy Spirit to give you the strength and commitment to live God’s way for the rest of your life.

If you would like details of baptism or confirmation preparation classes, please speak to one of the Clergy.