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Our Housegroup year runs from September to July with some groups choosing to finish at the end of April and take a longer summer break.
Currently we have seven groups meeting fortnightly (avoiding school holidays), with around eighty members who share a common interest in exploring and developing their Christian faith.
Our Housegroups provide an excellent way of getting to know others and are friendly places in which good fellowship and fun can also be shared. They provide a support network which is recognised as part of our Pastoral Care system at Christchurch. If you would like to know more please contact me through the Christchurch pigeon holes or ask at the Church Office.
The full pattern of Housegroup weeks can been seen on the Housegroup Weeks page, which also includes local school holiday dates.
Housegroup Theme from September 2018
Migration, the Bible and our societies.
Our Housegroups this Autumn will be focussing on the very topical theme of migration. Although very much a part of our present world, migration has been taking place, often on a massive scale, throughout history. To help us tackle this frequently emotive topic we shall be using a study guide published by The Bible Society which uses both Old and New Testament scriptures to help us explore the many ways in which the Bible addresses the issue of migration, and to help guide our thinking.
In his Foreword to the study guide, entitled ‘Love the Stranger, Migration, the Bible and our societies’, the Rt Rev Steven Frost, Bishop of Oxford, writes: “Understanding migration is an inseparable part of loving our neighbours as ourselves. To love means to imagine ourselves in other people’s shoes, to listen to their experiences, to see the world and our towns and cities and churches through their eyes.”
The Joint Public Issues Team of the Methodist Church, United Reformed Church, Baptist Church and Church of Scotland have just published a paper on the subject of migration and the ‘Hostile Environment’ encountered in so many ways by those caught up in migration today. This will be part of the discussion material available to Housegroups and will also form part of an evening open to anyone who wishes to come along, which is planned for Thursday 11 October, 7.30pm at Christchurch.
If you would like to know more or would like to join a group, please contact me via the Church Office or the Christchurch pigeon holes.
Housegroups from January 2018
From January 2018, Christchurch Housegroups will be using study material produced by The Joint Public Issues Team entitled ‘Art of the Possible’. The Joint Public Issues Team is a venture of the Baptist Union of GB, the Methodist Church, the United Reformed Church and the Church of Scotland. Its aim is to allow the four churches to work together in living out the gospel of Christ in the Church and in wider society.
‘Art of the Possible’ is a resource which enables groups to consider the role of politics in the Church.
At a time when a lot of people say they are turned off by politics, many in our churches are still greatly concerned about what is going on in our world.
‘Art of the Possible’ contains six sessions which cover different aspects of Christianity and politics, including our images of God, why politics is about more than voting, whether Christians should break the law, and why Christians should do politics.
The six sessions are entitled:
Each session has Bible references, discussion handouts and plenty of focus on our present day lives as Christians. It looks an exciting resource for a very practical and contemporary topic and anyone who is not already part of a Housegroup but who would like to join in would be most welcome. Please speak to Juliet Amos or contact her by email or leave a message in the church pigeon holes.
Housegroups meet fortnightly in school term time and the dates from January to July can be found on the Housegroup Weeks page.
Housegroups Autumn 2017
Through this Autumn, Housegroups will be reading and studying the New Testament book of James which is only five chapters long, and takes up just five pages in the Good News Bible! This however is seen as an important book for its emphasis on the outworking of our Christian faith in our daily lives. Through it we are challenged to be not only hearers but ‘doers’ of the Christian message, brought to us in the first instance by Jesus but still today a message which is being followed, discussed and understood anew in our lives as 21st century Christians.
Housegroups September 2016 – July 2017
Our theme for Housegroups this year is based on passages from the Old Testament, reading scriptures with which Jesus would have been familiar. We shall be asking ourselves how these passages fit with the perhaps more familiar stories of the New Testament, asking ourselves how this can enlighten our lives as Christians today.
This theme will also be followed in our Sunday services throughout most of the year and by other churches in our local Methodist Circuit.
Housegroups September 2015 – July 2016
Our theme for the Autumn is based on the book of Ephesians and how this book can help us see how we might live a Christ-inspired lifestyle in our lives today.
Then from January, Housegroups will be focussing on Listening which will be part of the Listening Year which Christchurch is undertaking at present in a whole variety of ways. As a church we are encouraging each other to listen in a better way: listen to God, to ourselves to each other, our community and to our world. Housegroup material will reflect this, with time for discussion and learning as well as time for listening and reflection.
Housegroups Autumn 2014
At Christchurch we are fortunate in having a large number of Housegroups with over a hundred people belonging and benefitting from the opportunity to discuss, learn from each other and grow in their Christian faith. New members are always welcome so please read on!
From September we shall be studying a book entitled ‘Let us Bless the Lord ~ Rediscovering the Old Testament through Psalm 103’ by Stephen Dawes. By studying this psalm, the author challenges us to think again about the Old Testament and discover within it the gospel of love, more generally associated with the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament.
The pattern we shall follow is to read and study a chapter at a time so that discussion can be centred around the book itself and the questions suggested at the end of each chapter.
Christchurch has been given an electronic copy by the author which we are able to copy and distribute to group members or which on request can be sent to you by email as a pdf file. The book itself is available in a Kindle version (2011) if any of you wish to access it that way and there are some second hand published copies available if you prefer to search for them yourselves.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s book ‘The Cost of Discipleship’ will form the subject of the post-Christmas sessions.
Plans for September 2012 are already underway as our current Housegroup year draws to an end. Twelve Housegroups have been meeting fortnightly and we aim to have at least that number again in the autumn. Whether you are already a Housegroup member or not, do please read on. This is an invitation to all to join, studying, discussing and sharing new thoughts and ideas about the Christian faith and the way it impacts our lives.
From September until Christmas, groups will be focussing on Acts chapters 1-12, using a Bible Study Guide which aims to help us learn from the example of the early church who took the message of Jesus way beyond Jerusalem into a much wider and more diverse world.
Then from January the subject will be Spirituality, using material initiated by Rob Hilton and others in the Housegroup leadership and drawing from a variety of resources.
There will also be the opportunity to look at the book ‘Tomorrow’s Faith’ by Adrian B Smith, author of ‘Tomorrow’s Christian’ which we have used in some of our past Housegroup sessions.
So, from the third week in September, there will be groups meeting in various home-based locations on Tuesday afternoon and Monday to Thursday evenings, fortnightly, during school term times. Most groups are in Ilkley but there is one which meets in Burley and one in Addingham. If you have not attended a Housegroup in the past year or maybe you have never been part of a group, do please consider joining one in September! The informal and welcoming atmosphere of a Housegroup is one in which friendship, faith and doubts can be shared, questions asked and answers sought. Through all of this we can strengthen our understanding of ourselves and of the Christian faith as we seek to live better lives as followers of Jesus, God’s people, in our workplaces, our families and our community.
If you would like to know more about Housegroups, enquire about joining or perhaps try a different group next year, please contact Juliet Amos.
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How Do We Read The Bible? How Do We Use The Bible?
These are the questions we explored in our Housegroups from
September through to Christmas based on a series of teaching sessions which Rob Hilton gave during some evening services Autumn 2010.
+ The Bible as Revelation
+ The Bible as Story
+ The Bible as Inspiration
+ How to Question the Bible.
We explored the gospel of Mark – 'Life as it is meant to be lived’ based on a series of study sessions by Christine Platt. In her introduction she writes:
‘Jesus kept in close contact with God. However busy he was, he knew he needed time out to refocus and recharge his spiritual batteries.’
Other material will be tyaken from Adrian Smith's challenging book 'Tomorrow's Christian - a new framework for Christian living'.
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There are several strands in our Housegroup Programme, catering for all elements of our church family.
Using Emmaus material, for those keen to find out about the basics of Christianity.
A course for new Christians based on Mark’s Gospel; to introduce Jesus - who he is, why he came and what it means to follow him.
SCOPE Youth Housegroup takes place weekly for young people of secondary school age. Details available from Christine and Roland Henney.
Christian Discipleship (10 Groups)
Throughout this last season, the book of Daniel using a commentary by Bob Fyall, Christian Responsibility for the Environment based on a report to the Methodist Conference and @Tomorrow’s Christians@ by Adrian Smith, have provided varied foci for study.
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