We are temporarily taking a break from actions as we focus on cultivating our monthly conversations. If you are interested in exploring how to create actions and experiences yourself send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Because we believe that our lives and our faith are connected in every way we encourage our contributors and readers to consider taking action to explore our monthly themes in their everyday lives. The action for the current month will be specified below:
July 2016: Identity and Story
This month we’re challenging you to get a bit creative. Although we encourage and ask for reflection and words from our contributors every month, we also recognize that sometimes you need to get out of your head as part of processing ideas and emotions. For that reason, this month’s action is a visual art project. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to create two self-portraits that reflect this month’s theme, Identity and Story. One of these portraits should portray you (literally or metaphorically) when you are being held back from meeting the world with compassion, what are the stories and scripts that prevent you from accepting yourself and from seeing others with empathy and love? The second portrait should show you when you are fully embracing your story, your identity, and your belovedness. What perspectives help you to see yourself and others as part of a good story?
Use whatever medium is most fun for you. If you’re a photographer, feel free to take photos! If you like to paint, paint! If you feel daunted by being asked to do “art” then just pull out some crayons or markers and let you inner child have at it! Part of the beauty of creating a visual representation of how you feel is that you don’t have to put complex emotions and thoughts into words, so take advantage of that freedom and do something that feels cathartic.
You’re welcome to submit these portraits to Ignited, we’d love to feature them! However, if that makes you nervous then feel free to keep your art private. Either way, do it for you and enjoy the process!
April 2016: Faith and Justice
We believe God calls us to connect our faith to issues of social justice not just by thinking about social justice, but by actually taking action. This often means operating out of our comfort zones to love our neighbors and to stand up for what is right.
This month we challenge you to find a social justice organization near you and take part in an action, training, or other event. If, for some reason, you can’t find any events near you, consider hosting one–rent a movie about a particular social justice issue and invite people to watch and discuss it with you, educate yourself on a specific current issue and share your research with a few friends, host a bible study focused on understanding what Jesus had to say about social justice and what the implications of his words are on our lives.
We’ve found that taking the opportunity to act with others in response to issue of injustice can open our hearts in surprising ways, as well as enabling us to live out our beliefs and take a stand for truth and love.
March/Lent 2016: Sustainability
We invite you all to join us in practicing Lent with focus on inner (spiritual) sustainability AND outer (global) sustainability. Our behavior shapes our relationship with God and with one another, so changing our behavior for a period of time allows us to explore our relationship with God and the world around us in new ways. Choose two practices that you can engage in on a weekly or daily basis (a couple times a week at least is preferable). One of these practices should focus on bringing inner sustainability to your life, and the other practice should focus on your impact on the world around you. In both cases these practices should encourage you to think consciously about the role of sustainability within yourself, and about your role in sustaining the world over the course of the next few weeks. The practice should not be something that you will do anyways, it should be something new or different that allows you to engage more deeply with understanding your relationship with sustainability.
Below we have listed some ideas for practices you might try adopting, but you can do anything you feel inspired to. In March you will have the opportunity to share about your practices in the magazine or on the Ignited Collective facebook page.
— Setting aside time each day for silent, contemplative prayer
–Meeting regularly with a friend or group of friends who nurture your soul and encourage you.
— Setting aside a few times a week to spend being creative, going on walks, or practicing self care in whatever ways work best for you.
–Fasting from a certain kind of consumption for ethical reasons (ex: fasting from meat, fasting from non-fair trade chocolate, not buying any new clothes during this time, etc).
–Changing the source of your consumption (ex: only drinking fair trade coffee/tea, buying produce at your local farmers’ market, patronizing only local cafes and restaurants instead of chains, etc).
–Changing your transportation practices (ex: choosing to walk, bike, or take public transportation instead of driving when possible).
–Learn and/or practice a skill that will help you be more sustainable and self-reliant in the future (ex: sewing, repairing your belongings, or growing food).
–Try out a new earth-keeping practice (ex: recycling, composting, using only reusable water bottles or shopping bags, etc).
More on Sustainability:
More on Lent:
As always, if you have any questions email us at email@example.com!
February 2016: Faith, Doubt, and Struggle
Because this month’s theme is very reflection-based, the action for the month involves sharing those reflections with someone and allowing them to share with you. Meet with someone in your life who you admire or who you see having an authentic and deep spiritual life and ask them about their journey. Specifically, ask them how doubt and struggle have played into their faith and shaped their spirituality. Think about what similarities and differences you notice between your story and theirs. How does it make you feel to connect with someone else on the theme of doubt and periods of distance from God?