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Four/Five/Six Strings & The Truth

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theology

Theology For Life: my degree course

For a lot of years now I have really wanted to take one some kind of formal study in theology, just for personal development reasons rather than any desire to use that training professionally.  For a whole host of reasons it has been difficult to find a course that I considered suitable, I was not keen to go through my own denomination, I feared that avenue would be in conflict with my screaming liberal tendencies and would likely be skewed in a particular direction.

That being said it’s impossible to find any course that’s not skewed in some direction or other and it seems like whichever way you go you’re going to have to take from it what you can.

My nephew Ed now works for the Church In Wales and he has recently been asked to be a facilitator for the ‘Theology For Life‘ course which comes from St Padarn’s Institute, the educational facility of the Church In Wales. When Ed asked me if I was interested I agreed as it was the kick start that I needed to get into study.

Theology For Life is a part time study course designed around small group and individual study. Each year has three terms made up of one module each.  It is a course that you can take as far as you want to, two years will give you a Certificate, a further two years gives you a diploma and if you complete six years in total you will graduate with a BA in Theology and Discipleship from Trinity St David’s University.

I mentioned earlier about courses being slewed and this one is unsurprisingly very Anglican.  The first module is called ‘Exploring Anglican Worship’ and with me never having been an Anglican it’s already a steep learning curve, but it looks interesting.

At this rate I could be a graduate before I’m sixty!

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Progressive Christianity Network AGM

This weekend I enjoyed a train trip up to Birmingham to attend the AGM of the Progressive Christianity Network.  It’s the first time I had been to this event and didn’t really know what to expect, apart from previous experiences of other AGMs leaning towards the tedious.

In fact this was a very enjoyable afternoon. 65 people in attendance with a chance to make some new friends over lunch before starting the proceedings.  The business part of the meeting took place first: Election of officers, finances, reports etc. Once that was all out of the way we split into sub groups to discuss a variety of subjects and I found myself in a small group discussing how PCN members can make better use of social media platforms.  As an avid tweeter this was home ground for me, but a couple of our other members were quite new to the whole concept.

The whole group reconvened for a plenary session to discuss issues raised by the various groups and it was a good opportunity to hear from a broad selection of the members.

It was great to meet Adrian Alker at last. I picked up a copy of his book ‘Is A Radical Church Possible‘ and added it to my already too large pile of books to be read.  I’ll get round to it. Adrian also expressed an interest in coming to address our PCN group at Cardiff so we’ll be fixing up a date soon.

I brought home a box of resources for our group. PCN have recently released a set of four leaflets to be given to friends or used in churches.  These are titled ‘An Introduction To The PCN Groups Network’, ‘An Introduction To Our Eight Points’, ‘Helping Churches To Share A Progressive Faith’ and ‘Helping You To Live A Progressive Christian Faith’. These are an excellent little series of leaflets, I’ll be distributing them to our group, if you’d like a set please get in touch and I’l be happy to send them.

I’ve been grateful for the friends at PCN over the last twelve months or so and look forward to future events.  Next major conference is with Robin Meyers in Bristol on May 13th. Details here.

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