Spiritual Homework July 15

July 15th, 2020 

Hello, church! I hope you are well, your gardens are thriving, your vacations are responsible, and your spirituality is thriving. In an attempt to help you with the latter, here’s a few things for you, including some blogs for you to read on the topic of worship that I think will be helpful as we are getting closer than ever to resuming in person worship.  



What is Worship? 

Thanks to the incredibly hard and time demanding work of two different committees, the elders, and a lot of volunteers, we are closer than ever to resuming in-person worship. As we get closer to meeting together, several conversations about worship have naturally arisen. What is worship? Is it worship if it isn’t like it used to be? What are the requirements to have a worship service? Is what we are doing on Zoom worship? These are all very important questions, and many of them will be addressed from the pulpit as we resume worship. Today, though, I wanted to link you to a few blogs that are asking similar questions. Some provide answers, but mostly they are raising good questions for your consideration. I hope that you will take the time to read through these and spend time this week dwelling on these kinds of questions with scripture as a talking partner. Texts like Romans 12, the sermon on the mount, the story of Hannah, and many others would be great voices to have while you think through these questions. 

What Was Wrong with Cain’s Sacrifice? 

What Is Worship? 

Sacred Places: In Search of Ebenezers 


Day 4 

We start a new series tonight on how ancient texts are echoed in the gospels.  Start time is actually 7:30, not 7 as stated in the Arlington Alert.  Now is a great time to reengage in midweek Bible Study.


Family Activities 

This weeks activities focus on kindness 

Kindness Challenge  

God is with you coloring page 

Kindness Coloring page  


As you prepare for this Sunday’s worship 

Included here are the scriptures, reflection questions, and prayers that are thematically matched to our Sunday worship outline. 


Scriptures: Gen 28:10-19a; Ps 139:1-12, 23-24; Matt 13:24-30; Rom 8:12-25 

Questions for Reflection: 

How has your understanding of the relationship between suffering and faith (or vulnerability and trust) changed over time? What experiences of God’s grace do you need to acknowledge and anoint? 

Morning Prayer: 

In whatever shelter I wake this morningI know this place is holy because you meet me here. As I wash my body and prepare for the day, I remember baptismal waters and the claim upon my life. Wherever darkness looms, Sovereign God, traffic in mercy this day. Traffic in mercy this day. Amen. 

Evening Prayer:  

As darkness spreads over the land, I trust that you move in it. As I yield the night to sleep and dreams, I pray you would remake me into a servant bold, for the sake of Jesus. Amen. 

Previous Links 

Below are the links to resources I have mentioned in previous emails for your continued reference. 


Weekly Lectionary 

Daily Lectionary 

Bible Gateway Reading Plans 

Phyllis Tickle’s, Divine Hours 

The Way of the Heart, by Henri Nouwen 

Breath Prayers 

Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth , by Walter Brueggemann 

The Spiritual Disciplines Handbook by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun 

The Discernment of Spirits and workbook by Timothy Gallagher  

Blog on Prayer Labyrinths  

St. John’s Bible  

Christian Classics Ethereal Library 

Prayers for a Privileged People 

Shattering the Illusion: How African American Churches of Christ Moved from Segregation to Independence by Wes Crawford 

Jesus and the Disinherited, by Howard Thurman 

The Road Back to You by Ian Cron 


Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God, by Brian Zahnd 

Dead Sea Scrolls