Study Guide - Welcome 4

Published: Friday, 04 March 2016

Introduction

On 14 February we commenced a series based on the Sunday Scriptures and sermons at ABC under the theme of ‘Welcome’.

Questions are provided each week and posted in ABC’s Friday Bulletin and on the ABC website. These resources are designed to be a format and stimulus for people wanting to study the passages in small study groups or to do individual study. Don’t feel you have to address all the questions in a group session. Begin by reading the Scripture passage slowly and meditatively, asking God to reveal important things for you to know and act upon.

You may want to read and/or listen to the sermon appropriate to the week as it is posted on the ABC web site. Links to the Sermon Podcasts and Sermon Scripts.

Study 4—The Welcoming God (6 March 2016)

Scriptures: Luke 15: 1-3; 11b-32

God and Grumblers Luke 15: 1-2

 - What does it say about the person of Jesus that tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him?
 - How do you understand the grumbling by religious leaders about Jesus’ welcome of sinners and his eating
    with them?
 - Where and about what do you see this grumbling taking place in our day and in our sphere?

Storytelling God Luke 15:3

‘So he told them this parable’. No, he told them three parables.

 - What is so powerful and effective about telling stories?
 - What are the distinctive angles and contributions of the story of…
    - The sheep? Luke 15: 3-7
    - The coins? Luke 15: 8-10
    - The sons? Luke 15: 11-32

The ‘Parable of the Prodigal Son’ Luke 15: 11-32

Read this familiar parable over in silence and mark (with a pen or a highlighter) the words that stand out for you anew. Share with your group the fresh thoughts about this story that you have highlighted.

 - With what other titles have you heard this parable called and what is the best name for you? Why?
 - About the main story (Luke 15: 11-32) with which character do you identify with at the moment and why?
   (Younger son, Father, Older son, the fatted calf)
 - What does this story tell us about the nature of God?
 - What does this story tell us about the welcome we are called to give?

Prayer

Ask God for the strength to cope with the grumbling and to extend the welcome that results in great joy.

Study Guide - Welcome 3

Published: Friday, 26 February 2016

Study 3 - Spacious Welcome 

Welcoming the work of God in our lives has been the focus of our Lenten series. 

Recap from Last Week

 - Any more reflections from our second study—Welcoming those who don’t want to be welcomed?
 - How does the image of God as a gathering mother hen change your prayer?

Scriptures: Luke 13:1-9 (look at this paraphrase from Nathan Nettleton)

Disasters and the Judgement of God

In Luke 13:1-9 the story suggests disasters are not the punishment of God. We know that the love of God endures so what is it that does not last?

The fig tree

 - Grace and Judgement, manure or the axe…
 - How do we know the difference in our own lives? 
 - Can you think of an example of either?

Our calling in this story is to turn from unhelpful behaviours, habits and attitudes to ones that bring life. This is a life journey! 

 - What resources can we draw on to keep growing? 

Welcoming 

The reading from Isaiah 55:1-9 offers us God’s extravagant hospitality.

 - What do you want to create space for?
 - What might you need to clear away in order to do this?
 - What do you need to give more time (grace) to?
 - In what area of your life would you like to be more disciplined?

Through the Coming Week

In your prayer life this week make this a prayer of confession.
 - I’m turning from …   towards the life giving welcoming God.

Study Guide - Welcome 2

Published: Friday, 19 February 2016

21 February Welcome Studies

Introduction

On 14 February we commenced a series based on the Sunday Scriptures and sermons at ABC under the theme of ‘Welcome’. This falls in the period leading up to Easter known as Lent.

You may want to read and/or listen to the sermon appropriate to the week as it is posted on the ABC web site. Links to the Sermon Podcasts and Sermon Scripts. Click here to download the study in pdf format.

Recap from Last Week

Any more reflections from our first study—Welcome the Stranger?

Any ways in which you have recently sensed God in the face of a stranger?

Any recent ways that you have welcomed a stranger and found your life to be enriched?

Study Guide - Welcome series

Published: Friday, 12 February 2016

Lent 2016

Introduction

On 14 February we are commencing a series based on the Sunday Scriptures and sermons at ABC under the theme of ‘Welcome’. This falls in the period leading up to Easter known as Lent.

Questions will be provided each week and posted in ABC’s Friday Bulletin and on the ABC website. These resources are designed to be a format and stimulus for people wanting to study the passages in small study groups or to do individual study. Don’t feel you have to address all the questions in a group session. Begin by reading the Scripture passage slowly and meditatively, asking God to reveal important things for you to know and act upon.

You may want to read and/or listen to the sermon appropriate to the week as it is posted on the ABC web site. Links to the Sermon Podcasts and Sermon Scripts. Click here to download the study in pdf format.

God and Creativity - Small Group Resource

Published: Monday, 13 October 2014

This Small group or quiet prayer resource was prepared by Keren McClelland to accompany her address presented at ABC on Sunday 12 October 2014.  

Blessing of hands mid morning - Macrina Wiederkehr

Sit in your favorite chair, stand by a window, or choose some soulful place for this blessing prayer.

Hold out your hands in gratitude for their many uses. Reach out and touch the things that are near you.

Feel the texture of the things you touch.

Think of some of the tasks you have done and will do this day. How important are your hands for these tasks?

Now bring your hands to a comfortable resting place on your lap or held up in a gesture of praise.

Time to Pray 5 October 2014

Published: Friday, 03 October 2014

SUNDAY MORNING PRAYER - 11:00 am WELLSPRING CHAPEL

In the Celtic tradition 2 main features are prevalent.

It is marked by the belief that what is deepest in us is the image of God. Sin has distorted and obscured the message but not erased it.

It is also marked by a belief in the essential goodness of creation. Not only is it viewed as a blessing but as an expression of God. The great Celtic teachers refer to it as the “book of creation” in which we may read the mystery of God.

The light of the first day is seen as an expression of the divine light that is at the heart and origin of all life.