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That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith (Eph. 3.17, NIV)

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The Importance of the Great Tradition for a Vital Shared Spirituality: A Safe, Easy Way to Renew Urban Churches


The Purpose, Elements, and Advantages of Shared Spirituality

Sowing Good Seed: First Steps in Recapturing the Great Tradition in Shared Spirituality

In the same way that TUMI strongly believes that reconnecting with the Great Tradition can renew the urban church, we likewise believe it can enrich our spiritual formation individually and corporately in the Church. With many urban churches finding themselves exhausted by the various tricks, gimmicks, and idiosyncratic practices guiding sermons and practices today, TUMI believes that the disciplines of spiritual formation can be reinvigorated by the simple, uncluttered teaching and practices of the Great Tradition.

Vital healthy church planting movements among the poor assumes a richness in spiritual formation, a depth of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and an authentic love for all the saints. The key, therefore, to urban church renewal is finding ways for believers in community to discover and retrieve both the content and the expression of our one true faith, rooted in the apostles' doctrine and tradition.

The Importance of the Great Tradition for a Vital Shared Spirituality: A Safe, Easy Way to Renew Urban Churches
This graphic highlights the various dimensions of such a dynamic and enriching spirituality, one which balances personal piety with humble service, that emphasizes the Word and the Lord's Supper, that incorporates new Christians in a community focused on the life and mission of Jesus Christ. Renewal emerges from our commitment to live the Christ-life in community, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to the glory of God. For those interested in building a confession, spirituality, and mission based on a retrieval of the Great Tradition, these documents can show you where to start!

 

church year resources

 

Living an Integrated Spirituality: The Power of Thematic Focus

The key to character and discipline is focused attention, effort, and energy. Whatever subjects or directions upon which we concentrate our energies and efforts in a deliberate and disciplined manner, we grow and deepen. To use an analogy, honey is gathered by the bee, who draws out of a single blossom all the sweet nectars which it has to offer. The butterfly, however, which flits around from bush to bush and plant to plant, may cover ground but gathers nothing sweet. In all things spiritual, we ought to strive to be like the bee and not the butterfly!

Each year, the faculty and staff of the Institute embrace a common theme together around which we determine to organize our efforts and energies for the sake of our growth and maturity. During any given year, we integrate all of our devotions, preachings, worship liturgies, book readings, and spiritual exercises around our theme for the year. Through the theme, we seek to revolve all of our shared spiritual pursuits of the Lord, and all of the specific missional projects and events that we sponsor and host. This theme we call our "TUMI Sacred Roots Annual," a simple name we give to the overarching concept that will shape and give substance to our personal and corporate practice of the spiritual disciplines.

Of course, this annual emphasis is not based on the calendar year (i.e., from January to December), but the Christian Year (from the celebration of Advent around December to the Season after Pentecost at the end of the next year's November). We integrate our annual emphasis and focus with the celebrations and remembrances of the Church Year season. This provides us with both a common spirituality with Christians all over the world, as well as allows us to concentrate on those themes and issues unique to us here at TUMI. We deliberately find ways to connect our walk with the global journey that Christians are making through the celebrations of the Church Year; in doing this, we have found that our own unique journey and the shared journey of the Church Year can intersect and cross-pollinate one another, informing, enriching, and providing insight, the one to the other.

Practicing...

Below you will find some of the various ways in which we attempt to share our spirituality in common: reciting common prayers, reading the same texts, memorizing the same Scriptures, worshiping in light of the same Church Year celebrations. Pour slowly over these resources, and experiment in your small group or church the ways in which shared disciplines of seeking God can enrich your spiritual formation.

At-a-glance Summary of TUMI's Weekly Themes for the 2014-2015 Church Year
This is a PDF chart (2 pages) that shows the weeks of the year, their lectionary texts, themes and the Let God Arise! prayer focus for each season of the year. 

Weekly Expository Teaching (Dr. Davis)
As mentioned above, TUMI follows the readings of the Bible outlined by the Revised Common Lectionary in our weekly services together ,  and worship and teach in our times together informed  by those  Scriptures as well as our annual theme, all shaped by  the observances of the Church Year. Listen  along with us as Dr. Davis presents on topics related to our theme and t he Church Year. His expository sermons are Scripturally based, Christ-centered, urban-flavored, and spiritually refreshing! This link will take you to the latest TUMI teaching in our worship, or you may elect to go to our Media Bank and find previous teachings on a broad array of themes on books of the Bible and themes related to the Church Year. We make these available to encourage you in your walk with Christ, and to to inspire you to a greater love for and knowlege of our Savior!

Seasonal Devotional
As a part of our own discipline in prayer and intercession for the lost, we outline our Let God Arise! themes. Each month we concentrate on a particular issue or concept as it relates to our TUMI Annual, and pray together informed by biblical and spiritual insights gained from those themes. Each church year season start, Dr. Davis posts a short devotional on the Let God Arise! theme we are highlighting that season. Each theme is derived from and based upon our annual theme, and is written to give us richer insight and challenge into the theme. Meditate with us on these rich Scriptural themes, and experience with us the joy and confidence of the Lord!

Fleshing Out the Universal Priesthood: Recommended Order for Morning an Evening Sacrifices to God
Fleshing Out the Universal Priesthood gives both the rationale and practical steps you'll need to begin vital, regular, and brief moments of devotion to God. Explore how to begin morning and evening prayer and praise to God, in submission to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Quarterly Prayer, Fasting, or Solitude Days
As urban missionaries and members of World Impact's Religious Missionary Order, all TUMI staff are committed to living and serving in community, in sharing our spiritual journeys in common, and to assemble regularly to pray, fast, and worship. We set aside time regularly to give our hearts and minds to the things of the Lord with specific focus on some of the corporate disciplines which are not often practiced in evangelical circles. See some of the ways in which we quarterly practice these disciplines both alone and together as we seek to grow up in Christ to maturity.

  • Fasting: in obedience to the biblical During our quarterly day of fasting, staff fast for 1-3 meals, and spend time in prayer during the fast period.
  • Solitude and Silence: we regularly take time to spend in isolation and in silence, listening to the Lord and opening ourselves up to his Word and his Spirit.

Services and Special Liturgy Celebrations
Here at TUMI we center our life and ministry together around the Word and the Lord's Table. We share the Lord's presence in common, worshiping God together, reading the Scriptures, confessing our sins and making intercession for each other in prayer. We hear from the Word of God, and climax our times with a reverent celebration of the redemption and resurrection of Christ in the Eucharist. Below are a few of our templates for these celebrations. Throughout the year we recognize the various seasons and special holy days of the Church Year, and emphasize our yearly theme in our readings and prayer. 

Re-enacting the Christ Event: Seasons of the Church Year
As we celebrate The Church Year together, we begin with the birth of Christ (Advent to Epiphany). Next, in our worship and reflection we focus on the revelation of Christ’s mission to the world (Epiphany and Transfiguration).  We then journey with our Lord to his Passion, being reminded through the Church Year that Jesus set his face toward Jerusalem and the cross (Ash Wednesday and Lent).  We follow the historical events of Christ’s work as it climaxes in his final week–his entry into Jerusalem, his confrontation with his enemies, his Supper with his disciples, his sham trial, his crucifixion, his burial (Holy Week), and his resurrection (Easter).  We affirm in celebration his Ascension to the Father’s right hand in glory (Ascension Day), and remember the birth of his Church through the outpouring of his Spirit on the people (Pentecost). 

We continue our observances as we acknowledge his active presence in the Church, remembering his headship, his mandate to the harvest, and the hope of his Church throughout the ages (Season After Pentecost).  We anticipate the gathering of all believers together at his throne, while remembering his martyrs and generations gone by (All Saints Day). Finally, we anticipate and await his return, and acknowledge in worship and service that Christ will soon reign supreme as Lord and King over all (Reign of Christ the King).  Here you will find writeups for each of the Church Year Seasons. Celebrate the Church Year with us!

 

 

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 Understanding Spiritual Formation through the Great Tradition (Shared Spirituality in practice)

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