B-E-L-L-S (A Community Rhythm)
As bells used to ring from church steeples, calling people to prayer, our community rhythm- using the acronym B-E-L-L-S -reminds us of ways we can pay attention to God.
We find regular ways to practice these together in community, use them in our gathering’s liturgy, and encourage those who call Blvd Abbey ‘home’ to engage in personal spiritual formation; promoting a healthy, sustainable spirituality by finding rhythms of Grace in our daily rhythm.
B = Blessing (practicing generosity & grace)
The word ‘blessing’ in ancient Hebrew can simply mean; ‘to affect, for good.’ We regularly acknowledge the beauty and generosity of God, allowing that grace to overflow to others. We look for ways to ‘affect people for good;’ from being generous, adding value to our neighborhood, to recognizing and affirming the Imago Dei in someone. All of these are gifts given without expectation.
E = Eating & Drinking (practicing fellowship & hospitality)
Just as Jesus built community around table fellowship, we regularly eat & drink with both friends and ‘strangers’ – whether it’s a cup of coffee, a glass of wine, or a meal- noticing God’s presence in that moment. We have regular community dinners, as well as practice The Lord’s Table together weekly.
L = Listening (practicing silence & attentiveness)
We strive to be a listening community; listening to God, the voices of others, and the longings of our neighborhood. This happens in our gatherings though hearing Scripture, liturgical prayers, hearing someone’s story, in silence, listening walks around our neighborhood, personal prayer practices, and several other ways.
L = Learning (practicing discovery & growth)
We regularly engage in learning that encourages and stretches our faith… seeing the spiritual life as a continuing journey of transformation. This happens in our gatherings thorough reading Scripture; and interactive discussion, teaching, and experiences.
S = Sent (practicing being rooted & releasing)
From using our passions and gifts for the good of others, simple do-able acts of compassion, to partnering with others in our city towards the common good; we see Blvd Abbey as a sent community. And whether empowering leaders for ministry, seeding new projects & faith communities, or using our resources for the good of others (rather than big programs and big productions); we want to be regularly sending.
(thanks to the ‘Small Boat Big Sea’ community in Sydney AU, for inspiring the acronym BELLS)
B-E-L-L-S: Questions for Personal Spiritual Formation