Deepening Faith

Using our hearts, minds and strength to dig deeper into faith.

Jesus tells us to love God with our heart, soul, mind and strength, and our neighbours as ourselves.

Any of us who have tried in some way to follow this calling of Jesus on our lives will have found it is wise, inspiring, and very difficult! That is why we need each other in the Body of Christ: both those we know personally, and those from the past and present whose guidance can help us along the way.

This page is a place to find resources for home groups/study groups (learning from each other), workshops within the Diocese and beyond, and opportunities for individual study (learning from the wider Body of Christ). 

Seasonal Resources: LENT

Resources for Lent study groups and individual devotion

Remember that any of the studies, below, under the heading of “Becoming Reconciling Communities” are also appropriate for Lent.

This study gives us the opportunity to contemplate how we will live out our faith as churches, as communities of grace. Although written in the context of the Royal Commission, and building on the “Holy Church” study from last year, it can be used independently of that previous study and be applied far more widely than the issues raised by the Royal Commission. It is about love, about us becoming what Jesus and Paul both prayed we would become: communities of reconciliation, standing out from the world because of the reality and strength of our love.

This study works brilliantly with our focus on “reconciling communities” for 2024. We highly recommend this study for all churches in the Diocese.

Click the photo above to find out more and order copies.

Sustaining Faith in the Future: a Lent Course for rural churches

This simple 6-session study is designed in the UK, but is highly relevant to our smaller churches in the Diocese of Dunedin. Over Lent you look together at biblical wisdom when it comes to considering buildings, administration, worship, working together, vocation and evangelism in small, rural centres.

Contact the DME on enabler@calledsouth.org.nz for a copy or click the picture above to download.

Who is God calling us to be?

The Diocese of Waiapu have created this set of six studies, for the six weeks of Lent.  Each of them engages with some aspect of a call from God.  Some of these are calls to the Church as a whole and to all Christians, others are a more individual call, to a particular role or life.  As we go along, we meet a collection of people who have responded to God’s call in the past. 

These studies are suitable for both small groups and for individuals to do on their own.  They’ll be sent out by email to Waiapu people (parishes and clergy, and also to any individuals who request them) ready for printing on 24 January.

Many of you will remember the “Seasons of the Spirit” liturgical resources that MediaCom in Australia used to produce. L3 provides a similar range of helps and ideas, many of which could be especially valuable in our smaller centres, where there is perhaps a little more flexibility. The “All Age” activities are particularly helpful. Each week of the liturgical season you get:

  • Practical planning with an introduction to the season and support articles
  • Worship outlines
  • Sermon seeds, discussion and reflection ideas for personal reflection and group study
  • Embodied practice ideas to engage more fully through sensory experiences and stimuli
  • Text files for copying, adapting, adding bulletin or slides for projection.

Click on the picture above to learn more.

“Watch and Pray challenges us to seek God in both familiar and unfamiliar places: in darkness and in quiet; in movement and migration; in the healing and transforming work of the Spirit; in the weeping of Holy Week and in the joy of Easter morning.” Archbishops Justin Welby and Stephen Cottrell

This Lent we are encouraged to wait expectantly for God to meet us and sustain us through the storms and trials we all face.

The Church of England’s Lent theme for 2024 is Watch and Pray: Wisdom and hope for Lent and life.

On the night he was betrayed, Jesus kneels in darkness in the Garden of Gethsemane. Though he pleads with his disciples, “Stay here with me … Watch and pray,” they all fall asleep, leaving him alone in his hour of deepest suffering.

Watch and Pray invites us to seek God in both familiar and unfamiliar places this Lent: in darkness and in quiet; in movement and migration; in the healing and transforming work of the Spirit; in the weeping of Holy Week and in the joy of Easter morning.

FInd out more by clicking on the picture above

If you are looking for a guide for individual devotions during Lent, click on the picture above to take you to a range of options. (All cost money though!).

2024: Becoming Reconciling Communities

In 2024, we will be focusing on a Lambeth Call which is at the heart of our faith. We are to be ambassadors for Christ, bringing reconciliation to the world.

Yet so often our own communities are divided. We all want to love others, we all want to be peacebringers – but how do we do it? How do we start with ourselves? How can we become communities of peace, of non-violent and loving communication, of justice?

Below are some liturgies, prayers, studies and learning opportunities to consider. More will be put up over the year ahead.

This would be an invaluable study to use over Lent in 2024. Navigating a divided and complex world can be hard. We encounter this in our relationships, in our communities and in our wider systems and structures. Many of us long to make a difference, but often we don’t know how to respond or where to start. This is why Archbishop Justin Welby has brought together leading practitioners and thinkers to create Difference, equipping you to cross divides, navigate disagreement and pursue a just and flourishing world. Across five sessions, Difference teaches three habits that have the potential to transform everyday relationships. Talk with the Ministry Educator if you want to find out more.

Peace Liturgy

This PowerPoint has been designed to accompany the Peace Liturgy Leader Notes which are available for download. The liturgy is designed for a teacher, a class, a youth group or any group of people to reflect on and pray for peace. It can be used on or around International Day of Peace (21st September). You will notice that there is a Gospel reading and a selection of quotes. You may choose to use both or just one of these in the liturgy. The hope is for participants to reflect on what peace-building means and Jesus’ teaching about peace

It is very possible that the next few years will give rise to increasing debate over the Treaty of Waitangi. Many of us have collected various views and understandings over the years, some of which will be accurate, others less so. We will need to listen to each other carefully and respectfully, and be ready to speak out if it becomes clear that justice is threatened. This is a talk that Dean Jay Ruka from Taranaki Cathedral gave to an interdenominational group of school chaplains a few years ago, giving a quick overview of NZ Christian history and the treaty. It may be helpful.

Talking Circle Workshops 2024

A Talking Circle can be a highly effective process for a group to use when we want to establish (or renew) trust and relationships; explore issues and creative opportunities; and develop shared commitment and collaborative action. We are offering a half-day workshop to simply experience the process and explore its possibilities in our churches, as well as a full-day experiential workshop which will equip participants to facilitate Talking Circles in their own context(s), either local parishes or regional/enabler settings (including complex or conflicted settings). Sunday 21st April 2pm-5pm and Wed 17th April 9am-4.30pm

A collection of Prayers for Peace 

The following collection of prayers for the International Day of Prayer for Peace comes from a variety of denominations and countries. We encourage you to use them freely, taking note of the copyright information when given. Please cite the World Council of Churches if no other source is provided.

Upcoming Events and Opportunities

Upcoming workshops, talks, and opportunities to learn from the wisdom and experience of others

Since the beginning, following the example of Jesus, there has been a tradition of silent prayer in the Christian Church. This 6 Day Silent Directed Retreat is from Sunday 10 March – Friday 15 March 2024. To register contact Trish Franklin: franklytrish@gmail.com
22 Pinfold Place, Mosgiel 9024
021 279 8343

 

We are deeply fortunate to have a Chaplaincy programme at Otago University, and then blessed again to have the Rev’d Graham Redding running it. Any of you who were part of our first “Spring Saturday” workshop will remember him. If you are interested in learning more about chaplaincy of any form, or simply want to deepen your ability to reach out to those beyond the walls of the church, think about studying with Graham. More information below.

Resources for Study Groups

Below are some worthwhile programmes designed for study groups, home groups, or individual study.

Sometimes it can be good to check our foundations and dig them a little deeper. Olive Tree Media (Australian-based) have some brilliant resources, including videos and study guides, which call on the wisdom of Christians around the world to help us understand Jesus and faith better. See, to start with, their series, “Jesus the Game Changer.” The Ministry Educator is allowed to give a small number of people free access to these resources, so get in quick!

 
The Anglican Journal of Theology in Aotearoa and Oceania supports the kaupapa (purpose) of Te Piri Poho, which is to foster a network of intellectual discipleship – theologians and scholars broadly working within the Anglican tradition, contributing research and resources in service of God and the mission of the church in Aotearoa and the Pacific.

The journal additionally welcomes readership and contributions from the global Anglican and theological communities.

Navigating a divided and complex world can be hard. We encounter this in our relationships, in our communities and in our wider systems and structures. Many of us long to make a difference, but often we don’t know how to respond or where to start. This is why Archbishop Justin Welby has brought together leading practitioners and thinkers to create Difference, equipping you to cross divides, navigate disagreement and pursue a just and flourishing world. Across five sessions, Difference teaches three habits that have the potential to transform everyday relationships. Talk with the Ministry Educator if you want to find out more.

These leaders pass on skills and tools through formats such as in-person workshops, lectures, sermons and mentoring. Their training sessions are truly a taonga of the Church and have equipped thousands of disciples to live out their call. The challenge with these training opportunities is that they often require travel to a city, can only be done at a specific time and cost to attend. In “Discipleship Pathways” their knowledge can be accessed by anyone in Aotearoa, at any time, free. Have a look at the range of courses available!

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