Only Connect?

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A few years before the First World War E.M. Forster set the words ‘Only connect…” at the front of his book Howard’s End.

To ‘connect’ is something that we seek to do as disciples, connect with each other and connect with God. Connecting with each other is central to being disciples. The Christian ‘thing’ is about community. It isn’t something to be done alone. New Roots is about trying to create community – to create ‘connections’ with one another. We seek to do this through the exchange of views and ideas within the website – and to encourage engagement through the forum and posting comments.

michaelangeloConnecting with God is also what we are about. Making time to connect, and finding ways that can help us maintain a connection with God is part of the point of New Roots. We know this isn’t easy – so this article and video is about some clues and ideas that may help.

You may find it helpful to take a look at the posting on Time. Finding time, or making time, to connect can be the hardest thing. It may be helpful to have a regular time each day where you positively seek to be ‘connected’. This will depend on your lifestyle and personal situation. Each day may well not be the same for you, so you may have to adapt your times for ‘connection’. The important thing is not to feel guilty if you fail to find time on any particular day.

What do you do with the time?
You could try sitting still and being silent. Sit comfortably, breathe slowly with your hands on your lap with your palms facing upwards. Take time to settle. You may find it helpful to have a phrase that you repeat in your head as a form of prayer; something from the Psalms or the Gospels.
Or one of the phrases that recur in scripture. Try this from Hebrews 13:5 (also in Deuteronomy)
“I will never leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5)

Some find it helpful to use a simple prayer format. Take a look at this reflection from Ben Treadway on Lectio Divina

Prayer Books
Prayer Books

Some find the use of set liturgy helpful. It saves having to think what to do and brings you into a community of Christians around the world doing much the same as you – trying to connect.
finding what works for you will be different for each person. Here are some you might want to look at:
Northumberland Community
Sacred Space
Common Prayer
Daily Prayer from the Church of England
Bible Society : Lyfe

All of these are available on-line and many work as apps. It is easy to be distracted by other things going on at the same time if you use your phone to help you pray – try not to check your email or send a text whilst you are seeking to ‘connect’!
Give yourself a set period of time (maybe a week or a month) to use one of the above resources (or something else).
Some people find it helpful to keep a journal as they seek to ‘connect’. Write down what strikes you, phrases and words. Or draw a picture. A journal can be a private place for you to keep a record of your reflections. It soon becomes a valuable thing to come back to.

To connect is at the heart of what God seems to be up to. Join in the connection!