This week, rather than share a reflection I would like to tell you about our next bible study, which will commence on Wednesday 2nd of June.
The study is based on the novel, The Shack, written in 2007 by Wm. Paul Young. It has proved to be so popular that over 5 million copies have been printed to date. Having said this, the book is quite controversial, in a number of ways, and is certainly not everyone’s “cup of tea”, though most comments I have heard (from clergy and lay people alike) have been very positive! Whether you like the book or not, it is certainly thought provoking and raises issues regarding faith, the way in which we view God and the call to forgiveness.
While the novel is our starting point, our studies will draw on scripture so you will need to have your bible alongside you during our sessions. This book is, after all, a work of fiction, and matters of faith should be checked against our proof text, which is, of course the Bible! Before commencing the study it is recommended that you read the novel… then, over a period of 5 weeks, we will explore the following faith related topics – “The Mystery of Human Suffering”, “The Power of Forgiveness”, The Effects of the Fall”, The Mystery of God’s Grace”, and “The Mystery of God’s Love”.
I am very much looking forward to sharing this study with those of you who are able to be with us. I was incredibly moved by the novel and found that, whether or not I agreed with all of the theology, I was certainly forced to examine my own faith. I hope you might like to do the same.
At this point of time we are only offering a day time study, but should the interest be great enough there is the possibility of an evening session.
Love and Blessings
NOTICE – SUNDAY SCHOOL
I have become aware that some questions have arisen around the issue of the discontinuation of St Paul’s Sunday School.
When I arrived there was a Sunday school operating alongside our 9am service. It was overseen by Bev Constable and run by a number of volunteer parishioners on a rotating roster. All of those involved expressed a desire to use a slightly different approach and Bev, alongside most (if not all) teachers was in need of a break. Added to this was the concern by teachers that, while they were with the children they themselves were not being “fed”.
In view of the fact that we no longer had anyone to organize the program we met, early in 2011, and it was agreed that the Sunday school would need to fold, for the present. I offered, as an alternative, the possibility of a more inclusive/interactive style of worship to cater for the needs of a multi age congregation. This was to be a trial… but, in fact, without teachers we have no other alternative if we want to include younger family members in our worship. Contrary to some stories I have been hearing, I did not choose to close the Sunday School!
The current arrangement requires a much greater workload for me, in the lead up to Sunday’s worship – and the preparation of 2 separate sermons for each Sunday. It also adds to work of the volunteers… however, I believe that the 9am congregation appreciates our efforts. Perhaps some of those who haven’t attended a 9am service since the beginning of 2011 might like to join us and experience the difference for themselves. Regards Rev Shan