Centre Director Angus Ritchie blogs on our spring programme, where we will be taking theology beyond the walls of the church:
Community Bible Studies
Over the last 4 months we have been studying the Bible together outside the usual ecclesiastical settings. Andy Walton has blogged on these Community Bible Studies – in which we are finding that God is speaking to us in fresh ways because we are making the effort to read His word deep in the community. We will be meeting next at noon on Monday 4th February in the Hudson Bay pub, Forest Gate, with the Revd Chigor Chike (from the neighbouring Emmanuel Parish Church). The Bible Study finishes at 1pm – and those who have time to stay are welcome to have lunch together.
The Centre’s programme for Lent includes a mixture of contemplation and action – beginning with an afternoon on Silence: Practicing the Presence of God with speakers from the Roman Catholic, Coptic Orthodox and Anglican churches.
We have also launched Seeing Change, a Lent course which includes an innovative mixture of Bible study and community engagement. (A version of the course is also available for other times of year.) Churches participating in the course will spend three weeks reflecting on the Biblical story of the prophet Nehemiah, before moving into action with a Money Talk held either in the church building or elsewhere in the neighourhood.
You are warmly invited to the Sunday evening (6pm) service St Paul’s Cathedral on 17th March, at which those involved in Seeing Change will be leading intercessions for all affected by the financial crisis, and all working for a more just and compassionate economic order.
February also sees the annual Presence & Engagement Lecture – which is this year given by the Dean of St Paul’s, who travels south of the river to St George the Martyr SE1. At 7pm on Monday 18th February, he will give a talk entitled Guardian or Gatekeeper? Faith in the Public Square and the role of the Church – and this public lecture is preceded by an afternoon workshop on Making Sense of the Census. Full details of both events, and a Near Neighbours workshop later in the month, are on the CTC website.