DEEP CHURCH PLUS
During January and February Christ Church has been hosting a series of weekly talks as part of Al16HT Mission 2016. These talks, now complete, have been open to all the churches in Nailsea and we have been absolutely delighted with the response – some 80 people on average have been attending each week, with over 90 one week. The six talks were followed by a further three weeks of talks by invited guest speakers during Lent as follows:
March 2nd George Westhaver (Principal, Pusey House, Oxford) on ‘The sacramental reading of the Bible’
March 9th David Mitchell (lead pastor, Woodlands group of churches, Bristol) on ‘Spiritual Warfare’
March 16th Geoffrey Rowell (former Bishop of Europe) on ‘The whole of church history in just one hour!’
The Deep Church course has been exploring how our Christian faith hinges on two key foundation-stones: first, the historical tradition of the past, rooted in Christ’s Incarnation, his revelation in Scripture, and his teachings carried forward by the apostolic Church which he instituted; and secondly, the affirmation and renewal of this historical tradition through the ongoing operation of the Holy Spirit in the Church in every time and place. Without the faith-traditions established by Christ and the early Church we would have no creeds or liturgy or doctrine – in other words, we wouldn’t know WHAT we actually believe. The course has examined the problems that occur both in modern secular society and in the modern Church when we forget, ignore, or deliberately sweep under the carpet the historical heritage of our Christian past. However, unless and until these historical traditions are renewed and kept alive by the ongoing activity of the Holy Spirit throughout the ages, they just become dry and dusty museum pieces. We need both Tradition and Spirit if we are to be truly living in Deep Church.
The aim of this Deep Church course has been to make us look at our faith with new eyes; to open our minds and engage with our faith intellectually; to make us think about what we believe and why we believe it, rather than just doing so blindly or unthinkingly, for it is only then that we can share our faith with others. It is a response to Peter’s words in 1 Pet.3:15: “In your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
We were delighted to discover there was a desire from all the churches that DEEP CHURCH should continue in the future. Accordingly we shall now be meeting on the 2nd Thursday of each month, beginning on Thurs May 12th, at 7:30pm when in the run-up to Pentecost we shall be looking at ‘Who is the Holy Spirit?’. This first meeting will be held at Christ Church; later meetings may possibly take place at other churches. A programme for the rest of the year is in the process of being planned, with a mix of teaching/discussion as before plus talks by guest speakers. The new programme will be posted on this site as soon as it is finalised and will also be sent out to the different churches. So watch this space!
Ali Pemble (853885)
Click on the links below….
Deep Church – Background Reading List
“Deep Church” is one of the initiatives offered by Christ Church as part of Al16HT Mission 2016.
For further details please see Tony (853187) or Ali (853885).