Bible Study and Discussion Group
The Emmaus Group is inspired by the Emmaus Experience:
- Jesus met with the disciples where they were on their journey
- He opened their hearts to the scriptures
- He broke bread with them
- The experience changed their lives
This is an informal group and is going from strength to strength and tends to focus on themes such as how do we live the ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ in the community.
The group meets every week on Wednesday evenings. In the winter period, to save on oil, we meet in one of the members’ home and in church when the weather is warmer!
The Emmaus group is a group open to anyone who is looking for a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment within which to explore their faith or even the lack of it!
Plans for after Lent 2009
As you gather from the description above of the Emmaus Group, the prime expectation is to move on in faith as did first those disciples on the Road to Emmaus.
So when I was introduced by a member of the group to Richard Harries book, God Outside the Box, I had little hesitation in strongly recommending that this should be the focus of the group for as many weeks as it might take – after Lent!
Richard Harries, the Bishop of Oxford, in his usual intelligent and well balanced style addresses many of the issues (some might call them problems!) facing both, the community of faith and those ‘on the borders’ i.e. those who find it difficult to commit to faith because of the challenges of issues such as these:-
Chapter 1 The Despot God “He is an absolute despot who is out of control of his empire, surrounded by sycophants, answerable to no one, drunk with apathy, who demands homage and taxes from his people without offering any services in return” (Louis de Berniêres)
And that’s only chapter one!
Chapter 3 Eternal Punishment – is there a perspective which might at least touch or interest the 21st Century person, without giving way entirely to universalism – something even Julian of Norwich struggled with as early as the 14th Century?
Chapter 6 Does God Have Favourites? – recently someone gave me a Tee Shirt with the slogan ‘Jesus loves you but I’m his favourite’ This superficially humorous statement carries a real concern – Could the Creator of the universe have selected for special treatment first the Jews and then the ‘second team’ the Christians?
Chapter 10 Religion is Divisive – a truly relevant question in these time when we have only recently stepped out of the shadows of the horrors of sectarianism in Northern Ireland and into the so called division between Muslim and Christian, Jew and Palestinian
Chapter 14 – Christianity Bangs on about Guilt and Sin! – anyone who spent time in boarding school like Ludovic Kennedy will be familiar with the demands made by the confession in BCP , which concludes “There is no health in us” is that what the Church, our faith is about? LK says “Even as a schoolboy I found this demeaning and untrue. I had no idea what holy law I was supposed to have offended against and I objected strongly to being likened to a lost sheep and having to declare publicly that I had been a miserable sinner!”
Chapter 20 The Silence of God – If only God would send me some clear sign – like a numbered account in a Swiss Bank! (Woody Allen) In other words How does God speak? Is He speaking?
These are a few of the 21 chapters we will be addressing – do you feel like a challenge? Do you want to step out of your comfort zone and take a peek over the parapet? Then feel free to join us – this is not a closed group, anyone is welcome for any or all of the sessions. Contact Fr William for more details or just for a chat!:)