Revd Canon Karen Hutchinson - vicar of The Bourne and Tilford
In November 2015, 'Faith Pictures', a brand new, free resource was published by the Church Army to help people share their faith. I went along to the launch at General Synod, liked what I saw, and introduced it to the Bourne Parish after Easter this year. It has proved itself highly suitable in a ‘traditional’ parish where it doesn’t come naturally for people to share their faith with others. It helps that it doesn’t have ‘evangelism’ in the title, otherwise I suspect I would have had very few takers!
It’s a six-week course, with all material, including videos, downloadable from the Church Army website. Each session contains material for around an hour and a half, though there are some additional questions for discussion that can take longer if you wish.
We began by exploring how we feel about talking about our faith, then moved to thinking about how we share enthusiasms for other aspects of life. We shared our faith journeys with each other, in pairs and in larger groups. We looked at how Jesus used picture language and parables to share his teaching about faith, and began to think of the pictures we would use to describe our own journeys with God. Were we like a brown banana, or a tapestry? Is God to us a running shoe, or a battery?
The course ended with a video reminding us that the ‘Missio Dei’ is God’s work, and we simply join in with it. It’s all about listening to God, and being ready to be used in God’s service.
The end feedback was so encouraging that I share some of it here:
‘I feel much more confident about my faith.’
‘Finding a picture to describe things makes it real.’
‘It clarified my faith within myself so I would be able to get it over more clearly.’
‘I will be more relaxed about speaking about faith.’
‘I feel I am on the path and can keep going.’
‘Go where God is and don’t worry.’
Participants are so keen to share that they are going to start by sharing with the congregations one Sunday this month!
Find our more about Faith Pictures here.