The LLF resources are designed to enable Church of England churches across the country to participate in a process of learning and praying together as part of discerning a way forward in matters of identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage. Issues of gender and sexuality are intrinsic to people’s experience; their sense of identity; their lives and the loving relationships that shape and sustain them. These are issues where Christians often hold differing views.
The Church wants to understand what it means to follow Christ in love and faith, given the questions about human identity and the variety of patterns of relationship emerging in our society, including marriage, civil partnership, cohabitation, celibacy and friendship.
Each year the Christian family unites for a worldwide celebration of prayer and action to protect our common home. As followers of Christ from around the globe, we share a common role as caretakers of God’s creation. We see that our wellbeing is interwoven with creation’s wellbeing. We rejoice in this opportunity to care for our common home and the sisters and brothers who share it.
The first initiative will affect our Sunday services as we focus our attention on God’s Creation.
This month sees the start of two new programmes at St Luke’s, as well as (we hope!) the resumption of a number of activities that have been curtailed for the last 18 months.
This year, the theme for the season is A home for all? Renewing the Oikos of God. In Genesis God set a dome over the Earth. The word ‘dome’ gives us words such as ‘domicile’ and ‘domestic’. In other words, God puts us all — all people, all life — under the same domed roof. We are all in the ‘house’ or ‘oikos’ of God. (Oikos is the Greek word for house).The oikos [the Greek word for home] is a home for all but it is now in danger because of human greed, exploitation and disrespect. Thankfully people in our country and around the world have begun to wake up and take action. This month we are going to think more about what God is already doing and what we can do. And we will play our part in preparing for the COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November. We shall include in this a Climate Sunday Family Service on 12th September and conclude with the Harvest Family Service on 26th September.
The five-week Pastoral Principles course provides an introduction to these issues and guides how together we might engage with the LLF material. Sessions include:
Listening and speaking – addressing IGNORANCE and paying attention to POWER
Talking about confidence and casting out FEAR
Talking about respect and acknowledging PREJUDICE
Talking about openness and speaking into SILENCE
Talking about integrity and admitting HYPOCRISY
The second initiative relates to a five-week "Pastoral Principles" course the churches in and around Keighley are putting on as part of the national Living in Love and Faith (LLF) process.
With my prayers and very best wishes
Dates & venues arranged so far (starting in the week beginning 13 September):
Monday afternoons (1.00-3.00pm) at Steeton Hall Hotel, Steeton.
Monday evenings (7.00-9.00pm) at St Mary’s Meeting Room, Riddlesden
Thursday evenings (7.00-9.00pm) on Zoom
For more information, or to book a place, get in touch with me. All are welcome to take part.
For more information about the Living in Love and Faith process