In an effort to deal with today’s economy and reality, the Episcopal Church is offering a free resource, “Finding Hope in Hard Times: Seven Spiritual Practices,” designed to provide faith communities with practical and spiritual disciplines in order to nurture a culture of generosity and hope, in the midst of fear, anxiety and despair.
“Christian hope is based on trust,” explained the Rev. Laurel Johnston, the Episcopal Church’s Program Officer for Stewardship. “Trust that God will continue to fulfill God’s promise in a new way to each generation that leads to freedom, free to be the people God intended us to be. The ‘Finding Hope in Hard Times’ resource guide invites communities of faith to take on seven disciplines that nurture hope and a path towards spiritual and financial freedom.”
“Finding Hope in Hard Times: Seven Spiritual Practices” is available free or download to allow for accessibility throughout the wider church and society. Prepared by the Episcopal Church Office of Stewardship, “Finding Hope in Hard Times” was adapted from Stewards in a Slump, created by the National Stewardship Office of the Church of England.
“While it is our Christian call to attend to the pastoral and practical needs of people that have lost their jobs and their homes, it is equally our call to discern God’s invitation in the midst of this crisis,” Johnston added.
Since its launch in January, more than 10,500 copies have been ordered and it has been translated into Korean and will be available in Spanish.
The sections are topical and relevant: Count Your Blessings; Count Your Cash; Learn to be Content; Choose a Simpler Lifestyle; Keep on Giving; Rebuild Spiritual Communities; and A Financial Downturn can be a Spiritual Upturn. Each section includes a suggested action, and a “Pause for Reflection” for readers to contemplate.
“For some of us, the invitation may be to create and learn to live within a budget, a budget that includes giving, saving and spending less,” Johnston continued. “For others the invitation may be to be intentional about nurturing a discipline of gratitude so that we can more readily give voice to the abundance of God’s grace and blessing in our lives. For all of us, this crisis has lifted the veil on the many ways that we are enslaved by consumerism, debt, and by a mindset of scarcity.”
To download a copy of “Finding Hope in Hard Times”: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/documents/Hope_In_Hard_Times_booklet1.pdf