July 22, 2018

Church Year Spirituality: Faith of Our Family

By Chaplain Mike When I was a pastor in local non-denominational congregations, I found it difficult to maintain a sense of cohesion and togetherness within the church’s program. Each church, of course, had its own traditions, and they created a certain level of family identity and oneness. But I’m talking about something deeper than when […]

Church Year Spirituality: Some Resources

By Chaplain Mike Over this past week, many have asked about resources for understanding and keeping the Church Year. I have compiled a starter list here in three categories: Books that give an overview of the Church Year to help individuals, families, and churches grasp its basic concepts and begin participating in Church Year spirituality. […]

Christ the King Sunday

By Chaplain Mike Today is “The Feast of Christ the King” the final Sunday in the church year. This feast of worship is not some relic from medieval times, when kings ruled the earth. No, “Christ the King” Sunday is one of most recent additions to the church calendar. It was introduced in 1925 by […]

iMonk Classic: Do You Know What Your Church Is Doing Next Sunday?

Classic iMonk Post by Michael Spencer From Feb 23, 2009 Note from CM: Here is one of Michael Spencer’s posts on the Church Year and how it might be used fruitfully by evangelicals. “Part of the problem is that evangelicals really don’t have traditions,” said Carter. “Instead, we have these fads that are built on […]

Church Year Spirituality: The Eastern Orthodox Calendar

Note from CM: In our “Church Year Spirituality” series, I have focused on the calendar of the Western church, and have done so in an intentionally general way. This is the church to which I belong, and so I speak from that perspective. I have not focused on specific differences between traditions within the Western […]

Church Year Spirituality: Practical Wisdom

By Chaplain Mike The freest time in our adult life was after we were married and before we had children. Having graduated from college, we were no longer bound by a school schedule. We lived in a small, iconic Vermont village where the pace of life was slow, the program of our church modest, and […]

Church Year Spirituality: The Main Thing

By Chaplain Mike For to me, to live is Christ (Phil 1:21) And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. (Heb 12:1-2, NLT) Joan Chittister calls following the Church Year, “the attempt to […]

Church Year Spirituality: Living in God’s Story

By Chaplain Mike In our introduction to this series, “Church Year Spirituality,” I gave five primary reasons why I think it advantageous for Christians to form their spiritual lives — their walk with God through Christ — around the liturgical year. It enables us to live in God’s story. It keeps the main thing the […]

Church Year Spirituality

By Chaplain Mike Next Sunday is the final Lord’s Day in the Church Year. Christians who follow the liturgical calendar will begin a new year of living in the Gospel with the commencement of Advent on Nov. 28. The diagram on the right gives an overview of the annual Church calendar. Advent is the season […]

Preparing to Honor the Saints

By Chaplain Mike In some traditions, All Saints’ Day was celebrated on Nov. 1, while others will honor the saints this coming Sunday, the first in November. All Saints’ may be compared to American national holidays like Veterans Day or Memorial Day. On it we remember and honor the lives, faithfulness, deeds, teachings, and martyrdoms […]