urbanquiet

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“urbanquiet is an urban initiative to try and reach out and resource individuals and Churches, schools, parish clergy and lay ministers, chaplaincies and other Christians in the workplace. urbanquiet is Urban Spirituality outreach, drawn largely from the Christian contemplative spiritual tradition. Established in London in 2011, it aims to provide resources online, and through a small series of publications, to teach and encourage ways of growth and flourishing as people of faith and prayer in the city.” http://urbanquiet.org/
urbanquiet
“Many of us are already living in desert-like isolation even though we live in big cities or towns with many people. Our houses and our flats have become our cells into which we retreat, living enclosed lives. This can be a welcome way to inhabit the city, but for some it can feel like they are entirely cut off from their neighbours who are living in exactly the same way. urbanquiet wants to offer opportunities to transform something of that isolation into contemplation and prayer, perhaps making a connection with God and a way to grow in fellowship with others who also seek spiritual nourishment.” http://urbanquiet.org/contact/
Urbanquiet’s resources include:

Is a Rule, or Rhythm of Life, for me?

“Set your own rule…according to the time available; there will be no arbitrariness in this. But I advise you not to take on much, so as not to be a slave to the rule, and in order to avoid haste.”
Fr John of the East

What is it that you desire? If the answer for you is that you want to live a life dedicated to God in following the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, to allow this life to affect every area of your own life, it may be a good idea to think about a Rule, or Rhythm of Life: a pattern of habits that can hold us and support us in our desire to be faithful. Being a Christian is not about the successful following of rules of course, but it is about a life that is being lived, that is being formed and styled in a particular way, following the beat of a particular rhythm.

Balance
Christ called his first disciples to a life of full human flourishing, just as he calls us today as his disciples. A life that can flourish needs to be a balanced life. We all know what it can feel like if life gets out of balance – to be doing too much in one area will mean not doing enough in another.
So what might be in a Rhythm, or Rule of Life? Let’s go back to what we desire: to live a life dedicated to God in following the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, What are the main ingredients that such a life might suggest?
Remember, for each of us how we form our habits will be different. No two people’s lives are the same, but we will no doubt share a desire to grow and this will require at some stage thought and decision.

Listening and being nourished
If we want Christ to be Lord in our lives then we need to spend time with him and listen to him. How might we listen?
Private Prayer: To spend time listening to God in prayer. It will be good to try and do this daily. I wonder how it might work best? Is it helpful to set a time to practice prayer each day?
Scripture reading: The scriptures are the place where we encounter the voice of God. How can we make ourselves available to him in this way? How regularly do we want to try and read the scriptures? How can we best structure this reading?
Sacramental Life: as Christians many of us believe that in the sacraments we are nourished by the living presence of Christ. We gather as a community to be nourished in this way at the Eucharist, and communally and personally we are reconciled to God when we open our lives to his healing in an honest way.
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Serving with Jesus
Christians are called to a life of serving, of loving as Christ loves us. This will, by its very nature, have a sacrificial element. In love, in giving to others, we are giving part of our life away. It is in this very giving that we grow and are transformed. What we have, our loved ones, our energy, our time, our talents and our treasure have all been given to us by God. As we reflect upon this we hope to grow in gratitude, and it is how we use this time, talent and treasure that will be a mark of our love and priority for God.

Giving: what do we give, and how do we give?
Giving our time to those we love must surely be a part of a balanced life. Are we selfish with our time? Are we foolish with it? Should we be more generous with it?
We all have talents, gifts we receive from God, given to us to glorify him. Do we share our talents? In so doing would we gain more life?
Our treasure in the form of our money can be an embarrassing subject to discuss. How does our use of money reflect our priorities in life? Do we lead a balanced life in this area? As Christians should we give some of our money to God’s ministry through his Church?

Accountability
One of the gifts that a Rule of Life brings is accountability. It helps us to be obedient to God. A well crafted Rule, made with appropriate advice and consideration, should provide the context in which we can seek to give our best in the life of discipleship. It is not about over-stretching ourselves, trying to be ‘goody two shoes’, or selling ourselves short and seeking an easy life. It will ideally be simple, realistic, challenging and rewarding, a way of life that, with attention, will bring a sense of balance and discipline to our Christian lives.
23Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, 25not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Hebrews 10:23-5
http://urbanquiet.org/resources/
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At its most basic level the labyrinth is a metaphor for the journey to the centre of your deepest self and back out into the world with a broadened understanding of who you are. It speaks of the journey of towards and with God, and can be beneficial for individuals and for groups, for ongoing spiritual endeavour and specifically for discernment and decision making. The Urban Quiet Labyrinth was painted in 2011 by Liz Hinton-Simoneau and Richard Wigley. The labyrinth is made from canvas as can be taken to lots of different places such as halls, churches and schools. http://urbanquiet.org/labyrinth/

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