We are rapidly approaching the end of our year-long theme-preaching project "The Power and the Story". Over the next couple of months we are focussing on the theme of the people of God in exile, their hope for return to Jerusalem and the promise of the coming King.
It has been a great year. The feedback that has been received at the Local Preacher's Meeting and the Circuit Meeting has been very positive. It feels as though a lot of us are beginning to feel more confident in how we fit the different pieces of the jig-saw that is the Bible together and how we see God's plan of salvation unfolding through the centuries.
It would be great to hear any stories that you or your church have about the difference that this year has made to your faith, whether they be related to Sunday worship, housegroups, children's groups, training days or personal study. Please do email any views through to our Circuit administrator as they will help to inform and shape what comes next.
So we have looked at how the story of faith spread from the Garden of Eden, through the Patriarchs, slavery in Egypt, the Exodus and conquest of Canaan under Joshua and the Judges. We then considered what it meant for the people of God to be a nation, looking at the Israelites call for a King to be anointed and the stories of Saul, David and Solomon. During Lent we examined a number of key texts that helped the Israelites understand their identity as the people of God and since Easter we have been studying the ups and downs of the relationships between the Kings and the Prophets, which saw the nation divided in half and eventual exile under Assyria and Babylon. What shines through many of these texts is the idea of light in the darkness.
The Power and the Story Part 2 – God with us!
Both the Circuit Meeting and the Local Preacher's Meeting have recently agreed to a proposal from the Circuit Staff that having got this far, we should now spend some time looking at what this has all been pointing towards – the fulfilment of God's plan for salvation through Jesus. So we are in the process of developing themes that will help us to explore both the development and significance of Jesus' life, ministry, death and resurrection. Some of the key sections will be the birth narratives, the Sermon on the Mount, the "I am" sayings, Jesus' parables, the resurrection stories, culminating with a look at the Book of Hebrews and what it has to teach us about the significance of Jesus and how he fulfils the Law and the Prophets.
As with this year we are developing a plan for study days, housegroups, materials, ideas for children's groups and personal reading plans. If you would like to be involved in any of the planning then please contact Rev Tim Perkins on 01943 864187 or email@example.com
Learning & Development Team
The Power and the Story has demonstrated what can be achieved when we think creatively about opportunities for growing in faith. The Circuit Leadership Team has recently established a small Circuit Learning and Development Team whose remit will be to help local churches and the Circuit to assess what needs we have for areas of spiritual formation and training and to identify and provide resources to address those needs.
If you are enthusiastic and passionate for this aspect of faith then please contact either Viv Pitts, Pauline Tate or Rev's Tim Perkins & Vicky Atkins as we would love to grow the team.
For a download of the Power and the Story Lectionary click http://www.wandamethodists.org.uk/doc/D256233.pdf.11(here
)For more information on The Power And the Story, click here