and the Incarnation Rule of Life
One of the things that makes Church of the Incarnation different from other churches is the way we encourage and equip our members to practice their faith. The most significant way we do this is by worshiping together weekly and by following a Rule of Life. These two practices are the heartbeat of our community and the backbone of our spiritual lives.
This 8-part Rule is modeled off of the ancient practices of the early Mothers and Fathers of the Church who dedicated themselves to spiritual disciplines that helped them to love God and love their neighbors as themselves, which are the two great commandments of the New Testament (Matthew 22:36-40). The Incarnation Rule of Life includes:
- Daily prayer
- Daily Bible reading
- Daily confession of sin
- Weekly worship in community
- Regular theological study
- Service to the Church
- Service to the world
- Sabbath keeping
We believe what is written in scripture–that we are made in the image of a loving God whose hope for us is to live in unity with God and each other, in friendship with Jesus Christ, with the help of the Holy Spirit. These 8 practices, when knit together, give a context and a direction for our faith. They help us grow in spiritual wisdom and live lives committed to the goodness of God.
There is a saying by one of the early Mothers of the Church, Amma Syncletica, who said this about taking on a spiritual practice such as this:
In the beginning, there is struggle and a lot of work for those who come near to God. But after that, there is indescribable joy. It is like the building of a fire: At first it’s smoky and your eyes water, but later you get the desired result. Thus we ought to light the divine fire within ourselves with tears and effort.
The most truly wonderful thing about the Incarnation Rule of Life is that you don’t have to do it alone. The Incarnation community exists to help each other on our spiritual paths as we turn our hearts toward God and learn how to follow Jesus as the disciples he calls us to be. Wherever you are on that path–whether you are a practicing Christian or a skeptic willing to explore, whether you’re wounded from a previous experience with a faith community or already at home in your faith–we invite you to join us as we practice this ancient faith together.
For more information about the spiritual practices that form our Rule of Life, see the links below. If there is something you are looking for and don’t find, drop us a line and tell us what you need. While this Rule provides a template for the spiritual life, there are countless ways to practice it, so check back often for more resources and inspiration. Or better yet, come practice it with us!