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Faith & Fitness as One Lenten Reflections - by Tim Cheux

Question to consider in relationship to Faith & Fitness as One - Faith & Fitness as One Lenten Reflections - by Tim Cheux

Jesus Saying from the Seven Sayings on the Cross for the Week:

“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” — Luke 23:34

Collect for this Week:

Almighty and everlasting God,

you hate nothing that you have made

and forgive the sins of all those who are penitent:

create and make in us new and contrite hearts

that we, worthily lamenting our sins

and acknowledging our wretchedness,

may receive from you, the God of all mercy,

perfect remission and forgiveness;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

In Jesus name. Amen

(Sunday Lent Collect)

Prayer for the Week:

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.

Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.

Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I may love only what is holy.

Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, that I may defend all that is holy.

Guard me, O Holy Spirit, that I myself may always be holy.

In Jesus name. Amen

(Augustine of Hippo)

Action for the Week:

Spend 10-15 minutes in the Wilderness in silence meditating on scripture, reading or just journaling through each day in a way only you feel comfortable. This can be active movement, stillness or just prayer time. Keep it simple and keep it up everyday this week.

Discussion Question for the Week:

Why do you think Churches and Ministries separate the concepts of Faith & Fitness?

Sunday mornings have become extremely competitive for Churches to get congregants to stay in Church, let alone return to Church before and after the 2020 pandemic. Sports or Fitness programs continue to compete with congregants schedules and availability to attend services. Since before the pandemic children, youth and young adults would compete for Sports teams on a Sunday morning attracting attention from parents and reducing the number of families at Church on a Sunday morning.

The idea that post pandemic families would choose to return to Church over playing sports, fitness or recreational activities is even less likely due to the evident reduction in participation of physical activity between the start of 2020 and now in 2022. Furthermore, many Churches refuse to offer a sports or fitness program due to them being considered too secular or counter-cultural to religious or said spiritual practices.

The need for Churches to respond to the growing decline in Church attendance and to bring the gap between online, non participation and sports or fitness focused families continues to not be addressed. The movement of Church Planting, Fresh Expressions and new Faith & Fitness based communities is truly evident across a number of denominations and non-denominational religious communities outside of Sunday morning services.

Programs and Ministries such as the Daniel Plan, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Athletes in Action and Upward Sports offer hope to Churches to bridge such a gap. With congregants reluctant to come back and Churches reluctant to change new research is required to help support Pastors and Priests to develop new innovative and creative ways to bring Faith and Fitness focused curriculums to Parishes and Church communities to entice congregational members back to Church.

In conclusion, Sports and Fitness being separated by both Churches, too secular or non-spiritual for religious services, or Congregants, Church is less of a priority, the new “Faith and Fitness as One” curriculum may bring such hope to declining Church communities. It is our hope the new course and research will bring a bridge the gap between existing faith communities and non-religious based communities to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ through Faith and Fitness being introduced to urban and suburban communities.

Passage of Scripture to Read John 17

““My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.””

‭‭John‬ ‭17:20-26‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Scripture for the Lords Prayer from Matthew 6:9-13

““Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father, who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors [letting go of both the wrong and the resentment]. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]’”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:9-13‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Scripture Link:

Introduction to Faith & Fitness as One Blog:

Free & Fit Introduction:

Faith & Friends Session:

Love and Blessings F&F Team.

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