In addition to worship, there are a variety of spiritual disciplines which help us to develop a closer relationship with God, and an understanding of how Christ is working through us. Prayer and study, retreats and gatherings, times of silence and times of activity, are all needed at one time or another in our spiritual development and growth. Prayer is an important discipline in your faith journey. We gather together and pray together as a faith community, believing in the power of community prayer. As you pray with us daily, know there is a community of faith that prays with you.
From the UCC website we can use various ways for prayer practices:
Individual Prayer and Meditation
West Dover Congregational Church, provides a variety of devotional materials for use in private prayer and meditation. These are available at the entrances to the sanctuary and in our library. For an on-line version of today’s Upper Room daily devotional reading, click here: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
A variety of retreats are available in our area or within our conference. The annual meeting of the Vermont Conference is mostly workshop-style meetings on various topics of spiritual interest and outreach. http://www.vtcucc.org/annual_meeting.html .
In nearby Chesterfield NH there is the Hallelujah Farm – a quiet place to find peace in contemplation, strengthen friendships, feed your soul with the beauty of natural surroundings and enjoy the slower pace of country life! They welcome individuals seeking a personal retreat, silent or otherwise and they host spiritual and contemplative retreats for men, women, and mixed groups; topic focused retreats; leadership, staff and visioning retreats; and retreats for youth and confirmands. http://www.hallelujahfarm.com/ Rev. Sandra Daly has been the guest preacher at WDCC several times over the last few years.
Our rural location and availability of hiking trails lead to wonderful opportunities for a spiritual walk in the literal sense of taking a walk in the woods. A number of our members have spoken about their prayer walk practice.
The garden area on the side of our church, with the bench makes a nice place to take a pause before coming into or leaving the building. The inn next door has a lovely garden in our view.
Justice and Social Action
He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8
Jesus and the prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures are insistent that we observe not only personal righteousness, but that we promote justice and compassion for others in the society at large. Work in this area is truly a spiritual discipline. It can be so counter-cultural and so difficult that we must stay in close relationship with God, to maintain perspective. The forebears of the congregational churches in New England and Vermont clearly has shown the commitment to justice.
Currently our support of the local Habitat for Humanity organization, the local food pantry, the books for kids at Kurn Hattin Homes school and our donations to OCWM is where we’ve put our efforts. We’ll see where the future takes us.
United Church of Christ -Who do we say we are?[youtube.com/watch?v=bQHOpFAkLUQ]