Faith, Belief or Trust or All Three

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Ernest
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Faith, Belief or Trust or All Three

Post by Ernest » Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:51 am

I was pondering on how people describe those who profess a Religious faith, whether Christianity, or another faith, such as Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism,Sikhism, or even Jedi (which is now apparently a Faith declaration recognized by the National Census people).

I hear or read of 'Faith Groups' or Religious Groups, all lumped together in one. Occasionally you will also hear descriptions of individual religions which might be praise worthy or will denigrate the faith or belief. These days, we are being urged to have the confidence to speak out in defense of our particular faith, mantaining a voice in the increasingly secular world around us.

But how do we convince others, who are critical or disbelieving of any sort of faith or spirituality? In fact, even secular or atheists describe their non-belief, as a form of spirituality.

And we hear those involved in science or the caring professions, asking people if they're spiritual?

For me, I am confident in describing why I belong to the Church of England, I am happy to describe myself as an Anglican Christian, and have the words to say why I am Christian, and that God exists, and is at work in the world.

I am also interested in inter-faith matters and belong to a local interfaith group where I live, where we meet each other socially, visit each others churches or mosque or temple, and share food together and discuss what we have in common, and how we differ. During these discussions we are able to be frank and gentle with each other and to seek to see, where the seeds of God working through people of different faiths, in good works, support for each other and such communications helps us to understand each other, without actually relinquishing the core elements of our own faith and beliefs.

I wonder sometimes, how we can give other Christians the confidence to speak out gently and with integrity, why they are Christian, and witness to the Gospel.

Any thoughts?
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Joe Parrish
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Faith, Belief or Trust or All Three

Post by Joe Parrish » Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:19 pm

My weekly bible study at a detention center brings me into contact with a variety of other religions whose members come to see what we Christians believe. We had a Sikh a while back who said we Christians seem to treat our sacred scriptures so casually, putting paperback Bibles, sometimes tattered, on the refugee bookcases or just leaving them out on tables for anyone to handle. He said Sikh's carefully hold their scriptures in highest esteem, putting them only on special tables with a sacred cloth beneath.
Made me think.
Peace and blessings,
Joe

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Joyce
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Faith, Belief or Trust or All Three

Post by Joyce » Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:57 pm

I'd noticed, Joe, that Sikh children who were given a Bible at school hardly ever touched it. It was usually in a nice edition, with a hard cover,expensive-looking and it got treated as prized object. One mother made a cover for it, with a beautifully embroidered cross on,and put it in the display cabinet.

So, when the children did something appropriate for getting a Bible as a present,such as passing an exam to go to a new school, or coming top in RE, I'd give them a paperback version,saying it was an extra for school lessons etc that could be carried around and treated like any other book in their satchel, even with unwashed hands unless they were very dirty. I remembered a Sikh mother reminding a son she was trying to discourage from getting involved in a strict Sikh sect that Sikhs believed things like turbans, daggers, bracelets,beards etc were only signs, not to be over-emphasised because one day they would be dust. So, I stressed that the paperback Bible I was giving them was paper, and could have notes written in the margin, verses highlighted,and maps coloured in without desecrating it and they could save the other one for 'best'.

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Joe Parrish
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Faith, Belief or Trust or All Three

Post by Joe Parrish » Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:23 pm

Yes, "read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest".
Guess I had not associated that with marking with a pen/pencil.
I heard the 'average person' has more than one Bible, all unread.
Peace and blessings,
Joe

Re:
Sunday closest to November 16
Year A
Proper 28
BCP (US)
<>

The Collect

Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Peace and blessings,
Joe

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Pam
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Faith, Belief or Trust or All Three

Post by Pam » Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:01 am

I think, whether we like it or not, people will judge our faith on what they know of us. It can be difficult even telling people that we're Christians - I once heard a story about a couple of work colleagues meeting each other on a faith-development weekend, neither of whom was aware that the other was a Christian!

I went on a discipleship course called Cursillo (Spanish for 'little course') which takes place over a 3-day weekend, and this taught me a lot more about my faith and gave me more confidence in bringing it inot the conversation, just in very casual ways, like if someone asked what I was doing at the weekend I'd say I was planning to go to church on Sunday.

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Ernest
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Faith, Belief or Trust or All Three

Post by Ernest » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:17 pm

I did a discipleship course some years ago. 4 Hours each session spread over weeks, which allowed time to reflect on experiences before the next session.

I know that I have been helped by the Pilgrim Courses in our parish, particularly leading sessions, as you grow in confidence and can discuss faith openly and what influences you particular view, while listening carefully to others.

They've been sessions of sharing and grace, growth and learning.

Not sure whether such sessions could be conducted online, but a course based on them might be attractive so some who come here to see and to meet us.
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Pam
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Faith, Belief or Trust or All Three

Post by Pam » Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:13 pm

We've done an online version of the Pilgrim course over Lent at least twice in i-church. I had to adapt the material, but I think it worked well in creating space for people to explore and discuss.

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Faith, Belief or Trust or All Three

Post by Caroline » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:09 am

Yes, we did it in 2014 and 2016 and it was very good.

Pam recorded the readings, and we used the videos provided with the course. We met in the i-church Chapel for the sessions and then used the forums for further discussion. I'd say i-church was an ideal location for it!
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Faith, Belief or Trust or All Three

Post by Joyce » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:46 pm

You posted that you were doing other things at the time. Ernest, and were not free to follow the i-church Lent courses.
I agree they suited the online style very well.

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Ernest
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Faith, Belief or Trust or All Three

Post by Ernest » Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:09 am

Yes, I was training or joining in or assisting on lent advent or summer courses being run by the Parish, something that is ongoing.

I had and continue to have to give priority to B&M Parish, because I am called to be there, as well as here.

But I am also encouraged that my Work Agreement, acknowledged via my License from the Bishop includes social media activity and witness via i-church. An acknowledgement perhaps from the wider church of the value of i-church to my ministry. :snowball: :snowball:
Where there is hope and love there is life!
God is Life!
God is Hope!
God is Love!
God Is!!

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