Quiet Day Guide
Abundant Life – Nourishing and Flourishing

I am come that they may have life,
and have it abundantly. John 10.10

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  1. Location
    Choose a peaceful place, maybe in the church, church grounds, or in a home. It is good to have access to outdoors if possible.
  2. Briefly introduce the day
    Ask people to reflect on what abundant life is, and whether they think their own lives are abundant. Explain that there is no need to share their thoughts during the day unless they wish. There is no need to invite sharing at this point.
  3. Readings
    Choose one or two readings. Some possibilities:

Genesis 1: 12-13     Deuteronomy 8.7-18      Psalm 8
Psalm 33               Matthew 4:1-9               Luke 12.16-30
John 4:31-38          John 21: 4-8                  Philippians 2.1-11

    Speak very briefly about why you have chosen this reading, and how it speaks to you about abundant life. You may choose to use the idea of a garden – how it needs nourishment to flourish, what are the difficulties a gardener faces? What is the role of pruning, fertilising, watering? Where are the bees?
  2. Questions
    Invite participants to find a quiet place and think about the reading and some questions. Prepare some questions for reflection for participants, and suggest they might like to add some of their own.  eg What is this passage telling me about God’s care for me and our world? How have I experienced such care in my life? What does abundant life mean for me? How might I contribute to making the lives of others abundant? What helps me to flourish in my Christian journey? Who are the people who nurture me, and who do I nurture? What fruit do I bear?
  3. Sharing and  Reflection
    When people return there may be a sharing time, and a quiet reflection time when people pray silently for themselves and each other.
  4. Other suggestions
    • You might invite people to go for a walk and bring back an object or a photo (on their phone) that speaks to them about Abundant Life.
    • You may collect some pictures or articles from newspapers for people to look at that might stimulate their imagination about the topic.
    • You might provide pens pencils and paper for people to use creatively, eg make a bookmark on our theme.
    • If you want a longer session you may use a second reading and questions.
  5. Conclusion
    Conclude with a quiet time in which people write down specific ways in which they will try to live life more abundantly and share that abundance with others.
  6. Prayer
    You might invite people to write a prayer or use a prayer like:-

Eternal God,
you crown the year with your goodness
and you give us the fruits of the earth in their season: grant that we may use them to your glory,
for the relief of those in need
and for our own well being;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.

A Blessing

May God the Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who is the source of all goodness and growth,
pour his blessing upon all things created,
and upon us his children
that we may use them to his glory
and the welfare of all peoples;
and the + blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be with us always. Amen.

Father, we give thanks for the blessings of food, provision and nourishment. Please grow in us a harvest for the world. Come sow a seed of hope within our souls Lord, that we might yield goodness, patience and kindness in abundance. Sow a seed of peace in our lives Lord, that we might bear the fruits of forgiveness, compassion and righteousness. Come sow a seed of love in our hearts Lord, that others would reap the blessings of family, friendship and community. May each seed of hope, peace and love grow within us into a harvest that can be feasted on by all. Amen

We thank you, Lord, for the world we see around us;
For the flowers, the trees and the animals.
Bless all those who care for them, Lord.
Help us to protect your creation by being careful
about how we use your resources,
so that there will be clean water,
clean air and plenty of wild birds,
mammals and insects to maintain
the ecological balance of our countryside. Lord, hear our prayer

We give thanks for all that is good in your creation
and all who bring in the Harvest of the sea and the land. We are conscious of so much that we get wrong.
So we give thanks too,
for your grace and patience with us,
when we fail to look after your world as we should.
Help us to change
so that we too become a new creation
walking in the light of your Gospel. Lord, hear our prayer

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