Study groups

Some churches call these house groups, or fellowship groups, Bible study groups, class meetings, even Wesley groups. We haven’t chosen a name, but they are an important part of Castle Street life. Over the course of the 2018-19 Methodist year, we will take some time to look at three small group resources. The aim is to offer a variety of topics and approaches. In addition to the term-time weekly meeting of TableTalk for young adults and students, there will be sessions on a Friday evening, meeting at Castle Street.

Autumn term – Bible Month Book of Jonah (4 sessions)

Fridays 7th-28th September @ 2000 Wednesdays 3rd October – 28 November @ 1900 as part of the TableTalk programme We will use the autumn term to look at the Book of Jonah using the Methodist Church “Bible Month” magazine.
“Walt Disney gave us Pinocchio. Herman Melville gave us Moby Dick. The Old Testament gives us Jonah who, a bit like Pinocchio, has to be taught a lesson. Although there is humour in this absurd story, there is little to laugh about. Jonah is as obsessed as Captain Ahab; not with the whale but with his own brand of religion.”
We will use ‘inductive’ Bible study methods, similar to those used in last year’s Bible Month on the Book of James, to root this strange story in our daily lives. Along the way we can discuss if the story has historical truth (and if that matters) and learn more about the City of Nineveh and how Jonah may or may not be a good example in our relationships with people of other faiths. Download your copy of the Bible Month Jonah magazine here https://www.methodist.org.uk/media/5744/bible-month-magazine-2018-0118.pdf

Lent term – Caring for Creation (5 sessions)

Fridays 8th March – 12th April @ 2000
Tuesdays 15th January – 12th March @ 1900 see the TableTalk programme

In view of all of the recent news about the threats to our planet, I hope that looking at these issues and our responses feels both pertinent and helpful. A lent course examining our responses as Christians fits well with our future Open Church day (date TBC) in co-operation with Extinction Rebellion and the Lent challenges suggested by our Joint Public Issues Team see www.livinglent.org

Lent course starts Friday 8th March, for 5 weeks, 7:45pm at Castle Street – “Caring for Creation, a hope-filled faith-based response to the needs of our world, looking at biblical texts and recent reports.

Course summary
Week 1 “The Environment” Focussing on God’s wonderful creation, planet earth, the place of humankind in it, and why it is under threat
Week 2 “Global Warming and Climate Change” Some facts and figures about climate change, and why faith in a Creator God should give us hope
Week 3 “The Age of Humans” How we human beings with our god-like powers can still undo some of the terrible damage we have done and are doing to our planet
Week 4 “Coming Out of Denial” Many of us find it hard to face up to the reality of climate change, and make the necessary changes to our lifestyle. We need to understand why this is so, and how our faith can help us.
Week 5 “Faith, Hope and Love” We urgently need to be clear about our Christian response to the present crisis: it challenges what we believer; it is also about how we can live in hope, and meet the demands of Christian love.

The course is written by Canon Brian Davis for Churches Together in Market Harborough. Brian is a member of “Green Christian” organisation.

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Summer term – Talking of God Together (5 sessions)

Fridays 7th June – 5th July @ 2000
Wednesdays 24th April – 12th June @ 1900 as part of the TableTalk programme
“Talking of God Together” a new resource (July 2018) which encourages and equips Christians to speak comfortably about their experience of God and the Christian life.
“Is it your desire and design to be on this and all other occasions entirely open, so as to speak everything that is in your heart, without exception, without disguise, and without reserve?” (John Wesley).
“Talking of God Together” helps people to take part in conversations with others, both inside and outside their church, about what really matters to them. This accessible resource includes people’s stories, Bible passages, questions and activities to increase user’s confidence and conviction in speaking more openly about their faith and experiences of God with fellow Christians. (Source: release notes produced by the Methodist Church) nb exact dates and times will be agreed by the participants, but hopefully these indications will be helpful.