Eat, Act, Pray - January

2016 was a year that many people won’t have been sorry to see go. How can we approach the next year with hope, strength and a renewed will to make the society we live in fairer and happier?


To begin this Eat Act Pray Session, first read and reflect on 1 Peter 5: 1-11. Then, have someone read aloud this reflection on 'Happy Endings' from the Collective website.

When you sit together, eating and drinking in company, think about the million actions and reactions that have bought you together for this meal. Some of them will be positive, some negative. But all of them led you to where you are now: a jumping off point for the next stage of your life. 

Talk It Over

  • Think about your heroes from real life or popular culture. What are the different ways they have responded to success and defeat?
  • Think about a few times when you have failed to achieve everything you’ve set out to do. What is the best way you’ve responded to failure or setback?
  • What do your eyes see today? Are you unable to see anything but problems, troubles, chaos, messiness? Are you finding it difficult to pray for comfort, perspective, hope and order?

 

Act

Use this time together to pick three concerns: one local/personal, one national, one global, and then write them down together.

Begin by thinking about what actions you could take to solve the problems you are discussing. What would be the first practical step you could take towards solving things? Do you have a problem in common with anyone else, someone in the group who could work with you?

Write down your sphere of influence as a group. Who do you know who might help you begin the process of making the changes you want to see happening this year?

Grasp the nettle and write down three things that you can commit to doing before the next time your group meets that will kick-start change. If you need a primer/guide for meeting your political representative, check out this video:

Eat

Food can comfort us in times of stress and sadness: invoking memories of good times, of being taken care of. This 'one pot wonder' vegetable stew is designed to offer warming comfort on these cold winter nights.

Pray

Lord, sometimes the world seems to spin from hope and light into darkness and despair. There are days where we long to throw in the towel. Where can we turn? Who can we talk to?

You suffered pain and loss along your journey of teaching and sacrifice. When we grieve or despair, you listen, and you have the answers. But we can't always find them. When that happens, help give us a new perspective. Blow away the cobwebs that cloud our vision. When the world is imperfect, infuse us with your hope and strength. When the temptation is to become discouraged or depressed because of bad events or situations, help us remember all the times we have come through difficulties.

Help us encourage each other not to waste time being negative or withdrawn from others. Grant us the wisdom and perspective to push past the impossible, finding the strength and courage to believe that no matter what happens, steadfast hope, honest faith, and love in action will lift us to a place of joy and purpose. 

Amen