Living in Love and Faith five session course

Five session course to explore how identity, sexuality, relationships, marriage and divorce fit within the bigger picture of the good news of Jesus Christ. What does it mean to live in love and faith together as a Church.

The following has been taken from the parish 'Three in One' October magazine.

                                                                                    Living in Love and Faith logo

This church-wide learning together, listening to one another, and listening to God is part of discerning a way forward for the Church of England. How do questions about identity, sexuality, relationships, marriage and divorce fit within the bigger picture of the good news of Jesus Christ? What does it mean to live in love and faith together as a Church?

The Church of England is keenly aware that issues of gender and sexuality are intrinsic to people’s experience; their sense of identity; their lives and the loving relationships that shape and sustain them. We also know that the life and mission of our Church – and of the worldwide Anglican Communion – are affected by the deep, and sometimes painful, disagreements among us which have been debated and discussed on many occasions over the years.

These divisions have come into sharper focus because of society’s changing perspectives and practices, especially in relation to lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual and intersex people. The Church wants to understand what it means to follow Christ in love and faith given the questions about human identity and the variety of patterns of relationship emerging in our society, including marriage, civil partnership, cohabitation, celibacy and friendship.

The LLF resources explore these matters by studying what the Bible, theology, history and the social and biological sciences have to say, and by telling the real-life stories of followers of Christ with diverse experiences and convictions.

Learning together using the LLF resources is part of a new process of discernment involving Church of England churches. It is a unique opportunity to play your part in the life and direction of the Church of England. It is about being open together to hearing what God is saying to the Church of England today.

Living in Love and Faith: The course aims to help Christians think more deeply about what it means to be human using a five-week course:

Session 1 Learning Together         What does it mean to learn together as followers of Jesus Christ? 

Session 2 Identity        How does our identity in Christ relate to sex and gender? 

Session 3 Relationships         What kinds of relationships does God call us to? 

Session 4 Sex         Where do our bodies and sex fit in to all of this? 

Session 5 Life together         How do diversity and difference affect our life together as a church?

Each of the five sessions explores one key topic, with an opening reflection about learning together, followed by teaching, time for discussion and Bible study. The sessions end with a reflection on our learning, bringing it to God in prayer.

The course signposts relevant chapters in the Living in Love and Faith book, films, podcasts and other digital resources available via www.churchofengland.org/LLF, where a video version of the course can also be found.

We will be offering the course across the Parish at three different time slots: one on zoom and the other two face to face. The venues will be decided once there is a clear indication of numbers for each session. One will be staggered a week behind the other two so there will be a chance for catch up if you have to miss a week. I believe it is very important that we come together to learn and explore. The church is full of talk, with many people not feeling able to fully express their views and this is a time to give all of us that opportunity. We are all different and with different understandings and this is a real opportunity to journey together.  We will probably never all agree – and that is fine – as long as we all listen. 

The courses will run weekly on Wednesdays at 2.30pm starting on Wednesday 13th October face to face, Mondays 7.15pm starting on 18th October and Thursdays 7.15pm on Zoom from 14th October.  To join please use the forms available in each church to confirm that you will be attending and your preference for the session or download one from the link below. Please try and make this a priority so that we can really hear and understand each other.

Anne

To download the Living in Love and Faith leaflet with a response form for you to fill in and return please click here