Living in Love and Faith
In May and June 2022 our Team will be running the Church of England’s ‘Living in Love and Faith’ course. (This is the same course that was run on Wednesday afternoons at St Mary's SW in February)T his five session course is in response to, and will inform, the debate within the CofE about gender and sexual identity. Broader than that, it has been shown to be an effective way of exploring how we, in a broad church, live with difference of belief and opinion of all kinds. I thoroughly recommend it to anyone who can give the time.
The course will be running at three venues and on different dates in May and June 2022 No need to book - just turn up.:
Little Chesterford Village Hall on May 18th, 25th & June 8th, 15th, 22nd at 2.30pm
St Paul’s Mission Hall, Wimbish on June 16th, 23rd, 30th & July 6th, 13th at 7.30pm
Parish Rooms, Saffron Walden on May 11th,18th &1st, 8th June ( 4 sessions) at 7.30pm
More information can be found on the Church of England website at https://www.churchofengland.org/resources/living-love-and-faith
Jeremy writes more about this course in the February edition of Parish News - see below
In the run up to Lent, that is in February, we will be running a short course called "Living in Love and Faith." This is a resource put together by the Church of England in response to the debate about gender identity and sexuality, and draws on the views and experiences of Christians from all sorts of viewpoints, some mutually exclusive. It recognises the difficulties faced by those of differing convictions, but understands that the once oft used strategy of "don't ask, don't tell" is both dishonest and damaging; ultimately unChristian. It encourages us to engage with people of difference, recognising that they are fellow Chrisitians, created by God and in the image of God, and to wrestle with what that means; just as Jacob wrestled with the angel at the Jabbok River (Genesis 32:24). Jacob was changed for the better by that experience, and the hope is that we will be too. Of course, these five sessions are not simply about sexuality and gender, but about how we live with diversity and difference in God's Church: Do we, as some Christians do, retreat to an echo chamber where we only hear those views that sooth our own particular prejudices? Or do we try, sometimes failing, to live out our faith in the challenging world where God has placed us and called us to be? You might have guessed that I believe the latter is more honest to our vocation as Christians.
This group will meet on five successive Wednesdays, from 2.30pm, in the Parish Rooms at St Mary's, starting on 2nd February. Each session will last a maximum of an hour and a half, and I encourage you to come to as many as you can. I will aim to run an evening course in May. This is for members of Churches from the Saffron Walden and Villages Team only.
Finally, if any of this makes you a bit nervous, I encourage you to remember the words of Jesus in John 14:6; "I am the way, the truth and the life." Our journey is not alone, but Christ is with us, a faithful companion and far better map reader than you or I. Let us ask him to help us find God's way and to follow.