Category Archives: Study groups

Dwelling in the Word

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Lent Suppers 2017

We had our first Lent Supper last Thursday on the theme of Prayer. The main activity of the evening was the reading of Luke 18: 9-14: the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax-Collector. We used a method of study called Lectio Divina – an old monastic tradition of reading and rereading of a passage, looking for words or phrases that particularly call out for attention and spending time reflecting on why they feel significant. It allows us to find different layers of meaning even in familiar passages. We did this as a group exercise, but it also works when reading the Bible on your own. If you’re interested in exploring further, information can be found here

We finished the evening with Compline, a night service which is a peaceful and prayerful way of bringing our day to a close. If you would like to know more about this kind of service and other daily prayers, try here.

Over the next few weeks, we will be continuing our exploration of different ways of praying through the ancient Orthodox Jesus Prayer, music and the Ignatian practise of Daily Examen.  Please join us 7 – 9 pm on Thursday evenings.  To book, please click here.

Journey through Advent: Forgiveness

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The discussion at the first of this year’s Advent Suppers focused on the challenge of forgiveness. We regularly pray that we may be forgiven as we forgive others and sometimes it is easy to forgive – but there are times when it is hard, even impossible. So how does the Bible help us understand how we might approach forgiveness? To help our discussion, we read some news stories including two about Eva Kor, a concentration camp survivor who was able to forgive the unforgivable when others would not or could not. We watched Rob Bell’s video ‘Luggage’ in which he argues that forgiveness is as much to do with setting ourselves free as it is lifting the burden of others. A lively discussion followed that ranged over a variety of personal experiences and produced some memorable mental images including filing cabinets, dead balloons and horse jumps!

Unfortunately time didn’t allow us to explore some of the wider questions, such as how forgiveness relates to desire for revenge, whether it means condoning bad behaviour and how it might differ from reconciliation. We plan to organise a discussion group next year to give us an opportunity to discuss some of these questions, maybe in the form of a book club. The Brothers Karamazov, anyone?

If you would like to look at the materials we used you can download them here.  You can also find a link to the Bell video we watched.

If you haven’t signed up but would like to join us for the second and third Advent Suppers, please let Mark know by signing up here