Lent is the traditional time of the year when many churches and groups will give something-up or look at running a course on a particular aspect of faith and life. Here are a few of resources that may be of interest…
1. Carbon Fast
Tearfund are again running Carbon Fast to help tackle climate change and its impact on our global neighbours. Join the fast from 9 March and each day receive a prayer, a reflection, and a lifestyle or campaign action to take. There are weekly themes of simplicity, sacrifice, community, justice, creativity and generosity.
To get started and sign up for daily emails visit www.tearfund.org/carbonfast, where you will also be able to download resources, including a weekly guide for churches.
2. Lent course from Reading campaigning network
The Reading campaigning network have launched a Lent course for 2011. JESUS, THE EARTHLY POWERS AND US, has been devised by Reading Churches Campaigning Network, and is a 5-week course that delves deep into Scripture and into recent scholarship on power and justice. It starts from the words of Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel: “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to the least of these my brethren, you did it to me’. It looks at the ‘New Vision’ of Jesus which has come from Biblical scholars and theologians, including Rowan Williams and Walter Wink, and covers matters such as, What was Jesus really like?, The Lost Message of Jesus, Christians and mammon, Christians and climate change, and what action should we be taking.
An A5 booklet for course participants is available, price £3.50 including postage. The course foundation was laid by Hamish Preston and booklet has been shaped by Peter and Lesley Boardley, Owen Jewiss and John Madeley.
Copies are available from: Hamish Preston, 19 Oaklands, Bulmershe Road, Reading RG1 5RW. e-mail: email@example.com (Cheques should be sent and made payable to ‘Hamish Preston’). Telephone queries to John Madeley, 01189 476063.
Another course that may be of interest for Lent is 21M – an eight-part DVD resource exploring the Five Marks of Mission for the 21st century produced by CMS. The Five Marks are an internationally recognised description of the elements of Christian mission involving evangelism, discipleship, relief and education, justice and creation-care
Using group activities and games, Bible studies, video interviews with current thinkers and practitioners (including Dave & Anne Bookless of A Rocha UK) and examples of mission in action from around the world 21M explores the Marks of Mission in some depth. The resource aims to inspire churches and groups to put the Marks of Mission into action. 21M is designed to be a flexible resource – structured to run as an eight-week course on mission, but elements could be used alone. The course is designed to be suitable for use by cell and home groups, youth groups (aged 14+), Lent groups, and whole churches. It consists of a DVD with film clips and a Leader’s Guide.
More information on the 21M DVD can be found at www.cms-uk.org/21M, where it can also be ordered for £4.95.
4. Future Shape?
BMS World Mission has also released a course with studies for groups and individuals, video comments from experts in the field and a video, including contributions from Dr Elaine Storkey, President of Tearfund, broadcaster and writer, Rev Dave Bookless, A Rocha UK, and Sir John Houghton, Nobel Prize-winning Climatologist.
You can download Future Shape? or order it as a free DVD from www.bmsworldmission.org/futureshape.
Are you using other resources that you can recommend? Please share them in the comments section.