Christian Practices

Worship

what is it?: ways in which Christians show their love for God because God said "go and worship me" 

Liturgical -worship that has a set order. Christians know what to expect. Can be seen as old fashioned

Non-liturgical -worship that is informal and has no set order. People can focus on what they want to, but no structure

Private worship -done as home, alone. Allows anyone to feel closer to God in their own way

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Sacraments

Sacrament: physical things thst Chritians do which has a spiritual effect on them.

Baptism: When christians are welcomed into the church. Its important because Jesus was baptised and it washes away sins.                Believers Baptism -Allows someone to decide to become Christian when they are old enough to decide for themselves. Completely immersed in water in a river or the sea. Infant Baptism -Done as a baby. Water poured over the head three times (trinity). Water symbolises washing away original sin. 

Eucharist: (holy communion) When bread and wine are shared to symbolise the body and blood of Jesus. it remembers the last meal that Jesus had with his deciples before his crucifixion. Remembers that he died to save us from sin. Catholics -preist gives out alcoholic wine. Methodists -share non alcoholic wine between themselves. Jesus said "this is my body and blood which is given to you in remembrance of me"

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Pilgrimage

Pilgrimage: A journey to a special/holy place to take time to focus, meet other christians, feel closer to God, escape daily life and learn more about themselves.

Lourdes France -A place where the Virgin Mary appeared to a young girl who found a spring. She believed the water had healing powers. Many sick people visit Lourdes and experience miraculous cures. Busy, touristic.

Iona Scotland -The home to St Columba who brought Christianity to Scotland. He built a monastery which has become a place of pilgrimage

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Festivals

Christmas: Remembers the incarnation of Jesus (God in human form). The birth story is known as The Nativity. Jesus was born into poverty so we remember the poor. Gifts are given, as the wise men did to Jesus.

Easter: 

Lent -give up luxuries for 40 days before Easter.

Good Friday -Remembers the day Jesus died. A sad time, churches remove colourful items.

Easter Sunday -Celebrates the day Jesus resurrected. Candles are lit to represent Jesus rising from the dead. Bright flowers and music, happy time.

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Prayer

Prayer is communicating with God because Jesus said God would respond. Christians also do it of they need help or guidance,

5 types of prayer: 1) Pray for self, 2) Pray for others, 3) Give thanks,       4) Confession, 5) Praise God

Set Prayers: Prayers have been writen down and said for many years.

The Loards Prayer: The most common set prayer. Known by heart. Often said together.

Informal Prayer: When the believer makes up their own words.

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Church Growth

The number of christians has grown a lot since the time of Jesus.

There is between 1.5 and 2.5 billion christians in the world. 

In some parts of the world numbers are decreasing because science is replacing religion. 

In the middle east numbers are not growing because christians face persecution.

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Mission and Evangelism

Missionaries: People who go to other countries to teach about Christianity. This is their 'mission' and will help them get to Heaven.

Evangelism: To spread Christianity, oftern giving talks in public. Lots of christians do this by sharing stories of how Jesus has changed their lives for the better.

Alpha: Is an organisation which tries to spread Christianity by making everyone welcome. They have food and discussions about life.

Some people think its wrong to try to convert people because everyone should be able to make up their own mind (free will). God gave everyone free will. 

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The Church in the community

Food Banks: Ask for donations of food to give to thoes who are in need.

Street Pastors: A team of people who go onto the streets late at night in areas where there is likely to be drunk people (bars and clubs). They help stop anti-social behaviour, stop fights and ensure people get home safely. They hand out flip-flops to girls in heels. 

"Love thy neighbour"

"Always treat other as you wish to be treated"

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Importance of the worldwide Church

The main purpose of the Church is to teach people that Jesus came to mend the elationship between God and people (Original Sin broke this relationship).

Christians also have a duty to mend other peoples relationships (reconciliation) and have set up charities to do this.

Corymeela: Set up in Ireland to help reduce religious tensions between Christian groups. They work with families and school to build positive relationships with one another.

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Persecution

Persecution: When people are treated very badly purely because they are Christian. In some countrys, christians must pay higher taxes, are not allowed certain jobs, can't build churches and can be murdered or tourtured.

80% of discrimination in the world is directed at christians!

If you were persecuted for your beliefs you will go to Heaven when you die.

Christians are encouraged to forgive thoes who persecuted them.

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Response to world poverty

Jesus encouraged christians to help thoes in need.

"Love thy neighbour" shows agape. 
"Always treat others as you wish to be treated."

Christians have set up charities to help poorer countries.

CAFOD: Catholic Agency for Overseas Development
A Christian charity who help the poor

Short term aid: Give food, water, medical kits, tents, blankets.
Long term aid: Helping them help themselves, rebuilding schools and water sources

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