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). 

PENTECOST, TRINITY AND BEYOND

The Church year is full of highlights over these few weeks. We reach a peak at Pentecost, but then we have the fascinating weeks of Trinity and Te Pouhere. Here are some ideas and links to help you think about the significance and meaning behind these celebrations.

Bible Explore has a great range of Pentecost, Trinity and Te Pouhere resources. It’s a New Zealand resource and on it you will find links and resources for every Sunday of the lectionary.  It is especially helpful for intergenerational worship, but our Gospel Conversations generally feature too! Click the picture to be taken there.

Bishop Robert Barron is a Catholic priest in the USA who is making a name for being able to communicate complex theological ideas in a way that ordinary people like us can understand them! Click the image above to a discussion of the Trinity using a fascinating blend of ancient theology and quantum physics.

If you’ve ever encountered the Athanasian Creed and found it, like the Trinity, completely incomprehensible, there’s a great, clear, 3 min visual which uses just the same way of talking about the Trinity in a nicely comprehensible way

The Bible Project is almost always a good place to start if you’d like a clear, well-presented way in to understanding parts of the Bible and the theology that has grown from it. This link will take you to a short video on the first few chapters of Acts, including Pentecost, and this link will take you to a podcast on the Trinity and “God’s identity”.

John Bluck is one of the best people within Tikanga Pakeha to talk with us about Te Pouhere Sunday. Click on the picture above to a sermon he gave in Auckland in 2017. It is still worth hearing.

Another set of insights into Te Pouhere Sunday are here: highly recommended. Archbishop David Moxon leads an online workshop/talk about the Treaty and the church.

And of course there are our own Gospel Conversations on Te Pouhere. Click above for 2021…

…and 2022

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

Another great innovation from Diana Langdon and Strandz. “Our Bite Size conversations are the perfect place to dig into a range of children’s ministry leadership topics, over lunch or a cuppa. We’ll be gathering on Zoom in April and May, and would love you to join us. 

Each 1 hour Zoom will include a short Discipleship Pathway video, a reflection and open discussion about how to lead well in this space. Join us for one, or all! These Bite size conversations are free, and open to everyone to dip into. BYO cuppa.” Click below for more.

Come to Peter Mann house on April 30th at 7pm for a book launch of “Restoring the Story: the Good News of Atonement.” This won’t just be about the book itself, but will be a chance to hear Bishop Steve, Bishop Kelvin, and Gillian Townsley talk about how we can understand our Gospel as Good News today. Please RSVP to Nicola Wong (bishops.pa@calledsouth.org.nz) or Anne van Gend (enabler@calledsouth.org.nz)

Click below to learn more.

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.

Anne Gover has recently gifted her huge range of study notes to anyone who will find them useful. These are simple-to-use, informative and engaging studies which cover biblical characters, books, baptism and a host of other topics. If you are part of a small group (or would like to start one) these will make your preparation easy! Find them in a dropbox folder HERE.

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!

Bible Project Classroom is an incredible way to dive deep into Scripture. You can choose an introduction to reading the Old Testament, or a series of over 30 sessions just on Genesis 1, or a whole range of others. Learn how the Scriptures have depths and complexities you’d never dreamed of, but learn it all in a completely accessible way.

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