What have we been doing?
In autumn 2015 we set up a House Group by way of a trial to find out if this would attract interest. The declared aim at the time was to get to know a grouping of people better than is possible through attendance at a Sunday service and to provide a forum for discussing issues relating to our Christian faith. In fact it has attracted interest and we regularly have some 10 or so at meetings – with a potential of up to 14 or so.
Now well beyond our trial period, we have become a regular feature of Belhaven Church life. We have covered a range of issues as follows:-
- (i) Towards Belief: This is a video based series produced by an Australian based company – Olive Tree Media - dealing with a range of high profile issues often seen as barriers to Christian faith. Issues such as suffering, reliability of the bible, religious violence, science and God – and a number of others. The Group had lively discussions on several of these issues and I think benefited from the range of views expressed.
- (ii) The Prayer Course: This is also a video based series involving interviews with Pete Greig the director of prayer at Holy Trinity Brompton Church of England in London – and founder of the 24-7 Payer movement. The series includes sessions on different types of prayer – confession, adoration, petition, intercession etc – handling these in a gentle and non-threatening way. Again the Group had good discussions following the short videos and many noted that it helped their understanding of prayer.
- (iii) Fruitfulness on the Frontline: This is the latest series we have been doing. It is produced by the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity (LICC) and consists of a series of 8 videos designed to explore different aspects of how Christians can bring their faith into their everyday lives in a natural and non-threatening way. The sessions are led by Mark Greene (Executive Director of LICC) and include subjects such as – Modelling Godly Character, Making Good Work, Mouthpiece for Truth and Justice etc. These sessions again led to lively discussions, essentially about how each of us can influence the place where we are – be it workplace, community or home – in ways that reflect the Christian faith.
Where to now?
We will be continuing on our regular fortnightly basis. We plan to complete the Fruitfulness on the Frontline series (one more session) and then move on to one or two new things – possibly some more bible based series – but still for discussion.
One hope that we harboured early on was to encourage the development of further House Groups perhaps with different interests or on different evenings or times of the day. This has not yet happened – but we still maintain this hope.
We would be pleased to see anyone at our Group meetings – they will be clearly advertised in the Sunday Orders of Service. Please don’t feel that these meetings are for the “interested” few. They are not. They are for anyone who would like to discuss the Christian faith and to grow in it.
For anyone wishing to look at some of the series we have already covered in the Group meetings I would be happy to lend out the video material on Towards Belief and Fruitfulness on the Frontline that I have. The Prayer Course material can be downloaded from the internet – by searching “Prayer Course”.
I will provide brief summaries of the Group’s progress from time to time.