Category: News

Enneagram workshops

The Enneagram is a guide to the spiritual journey. Enneas = 9 and in its simplest form there are nine spaces representing nine stances to the world.
But the more we look, the more we find and within those nine melodies are many harmonies. When we find ourselves in the Enneagram we see the stuck record that goes round and round inside us – the motivations and compulsions that seem to control us and the buttons that get pressed again and again.

But we are not left there. This guide helps us clean our lenses, to see past the self-destructive habits and to recognise the ‘slow work of God’ that is happening within. Each day is from 9.30am – 3.30pm

Day 1, 6 November ‘21: A look in the mirror – finding your space on the Enneagram, centres of intelligence and wings, passions and virtues

Day 2, 22 January ‘22: Cleaning the mirror – childhood beliefs, defence mechanisms, sub-types

Day 3, 7 May ‘22: Seeing beyond the surface – uncovering the image of God

Each day builds on the previous ones so for days 2 and 3 you will either need to attend or be familiar with the material on the earlier days.

Cost: £25 each day, includes a copy of the book The ABC of the

Enneagram by Eric Salmon.

Venue: Memorial chapel at St Philip and St James’ Church,

Grafton Road, Cheltenham, GL50 2DD. Please bring a packed lunch.

Click here to book

Readings and questions for Sunday 10 Oct

Hebrews 4.12-16

Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account.

Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Mark 10.17-31

As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honour your father and mother.” ’ He said to him, ‘Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.’ Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, ‘You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.

Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!’ And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, ‘Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.’ They were greatly astounded and said to one another, ‘Then who can be saved?’ Jesus looked at them and said, ‘For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.’

Peter began to say to him, ‘Look, we have left everything and followed you.’ Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.’

Questions:

  1. ‘Go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor’ How do we hear this challenge today?
  2. How should we respond?
  3. How can we prioritise the Kingdom above money?

Engine Room meets weekly on Sundays

Engine Room brings together Christian young people so that they can make new friends, grow in their gifts, and be inspired to be culture-changers in their communities.

Run in conjunction with The Door as part of illuminateStroud, Engine Room is designed for those in school years 7-13 who don’t necessarily have regular access to a church youth group as well as those that do.

Each week centers around a key topic for conversation tackling big issues in young people’s lives, and involves plenty of cake (bring your own cos of covid!!!!). This Autumn we are talking about Social Action from poverty, to refugees, to Climate Change.

We meet weekly on Sundays at 6 pm at St Matthew’s Church in Cainscross.

For more details, contact Kate, or head to illuminatestroud.org.uk

Living in faith and love

An opportunity for a good respectful conversation about human sexuality.

The course will run on consecutive Thursday evenings at 7.30 pm, starting on 23rd September and ending on 21st October, and will be held at Cainscross Church Hall.

Each session lasts about 1½ hours and you can find out more about it on the church’s Living in Love and Faith (LLF) website and general information about LLF on the relevant page of the diocesan website.

Loved and Liked

‘Loved & Liked’ – a 6 session course running in Stroud starting Thursday, September 30th and then on the following 5 weeks. The first session we will meet face to face and then use Zoom for the remaining sessions – it works really well on this course. Joanne from Slad and Peter will run the course this time.

The video on this news piece is a 3-minute video with 2 people from Stroud telling their stories after being on the course earlier this year.

The course is intriguing, different and people seem to really like it. It’s also a great way to meet some of the other people in Stroud.

We only have 15 places left now – so please email Peter Hill to confirm your interest in joining before September 16th

NO financial charge and a free course manual as well.

If you want to know anything more about it:

Who’s it for – everyone! Church leaders and non-churchgoers, young and old – anyone who wants to ask some big questions and isn’t interested in the ‘correct’ answers!

The distinctive style includes space for honest big questions without obvious answers, NIV and Message readings in parallel to surprise us all, together celebrating our diversity.

Things you might discover include:

  •     God likes/delights/wants us… not just ‘loving us’ because He ‘has’ to
  •     We are all different- and that is not a mistake 
  •     We have only seen the tip of the grace iceberg so far
  •     What plans for good, He has for you… and wanting to equip us for next
  •     You are essential

Team Service Sunday 29 August

Do join us on Sunday at 11am at St Laurence’s for a special joint Stroud Team Celebration: Holy Communion for Creationtide – ‘One Planet, One Species, One Destiny’ with Rev Simon presiding. Inclusive of music led by Rebecca Coleman and Jon Trim, and an excerpt from, and Christian reflection upon, the film ‘Overview’ – a film looking at the momentous spiritual effect of the first photographs of the earth from space. Look forward to seeing you there.

Readings and questions for Sunday 29 August

James 1.17–27

Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. In fulfilment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures.

You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness. Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls.

But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing.

If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

Mark 7.1–8,14,15,21–23

Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, ‘Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?’ He said to them, ‘Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,

“This people honours me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me;

in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines.”

You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.’

Then he called the crowd again and said to them, ‘Listen to me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.’ For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.’

Questions:

  • In our own faith journey, where might we have held onto rules and forgotten the meaning behind them?
  • What is your experience of seeing what comes out of someone as a blessing or otherwise?

Bereavement Ministry

Many people from across the Stroud Parishes show care and compassion to those who have been bereaved.

Some of us thought it would be helpful to draw people together who want to develop this ministry.

The idea is that we could support one another, learn from one another and learn together from resources that are available to equip us further as caregivers.

If you are interested in this type of support group and in giving it shape please get in contact with me on 07494 322221 or by emailing me [email protected]

Our first meeting will be at the beginning of September.

Reading for Sunday 22 August

John 6:56-69 Good News Translation

Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood live in me, and I live in them. The living Father sent me, and because of him I live also. In the same way whoever eats me will live because of me. This, then, is the bread that came down from heaven; it is not like the bread that your ancestors ate, but then later died. Those who eat this bread will live forever.” Jesus said this as he taught in the synagogue in Capernaum. Many of his followers heard this and said, “This teaching is too hard. Who can listen to it?” Without being told, Jesus knew that they were grumbling about this, so he said to them, “Does this make you want to give up? Suppose, then, that you should see the Son of Man go back up to the place where he was before? What gives life is God’s Spirit; human power is of no use at all. The words I have spoken to you bring God’s life-giving Spirit. Yet some of you do not believe.” (Jesus knew from the very beginning who were the ones that would not believe and which one would betray him.) And he added, “This is the very reason I told you that no people can come to me unless the Father makes it possible for them to do so.” Because of this, many of Jesus’ followers turned back and would not go with him any more. So he asked the twelve disciples, “And you—would you also like to leave?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. And now we believe and know that you are the Holy One who has come from God.”

Ephesians 6:10-20 New Revised Standard Version

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints. Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak.

Questions on these passages

Q: Does this passage challenge you about what you understand communion to be?
Q: Can you sympathise with the disciples who ‘turned back and no longer went about with him.’?

Q: What does it mean to ‘stand firm’ and how can I do that?