First ‘Exploring Theology Today’ Residential

On a balmy Friday evening in June the participants of Lindisfarne’s Exploring Theology Today course met at Shepherds Dene for a residential to end a year of learning about ‘all things’ religious. We met together with a view to ‘developing new ways to pray’. We brought our own individually personal items and shared experiences on the veranda, an honest and open start to the weekend.

On Saturday the weather closed in but the warmth continued indoors with a collective bread making session in preparation for our bespoke Eucharist. There was plenty of opportunity for personal prayer, reading and learning from one another over the weekend. We were given the chance to become engrossed in the delights of Shepherds Dene: the bird song, the wildlife, the gardens and natural surroundings: God’s creation, a perfect setting for thought.

Some people braved the rain to walk the labyrinth, learning that this may be a corresponding experience to our own prayer journeys with ups and downs, twists and turns, and side tracks. We all agreed that it was a beneficial and enjoyable weekend, and a rewarding experience, enabling us to appreciate each other and what we have learnt over the year as the course comes to an end.

“We were able to get away completely from our everyday lives and concentrate on the programme planned for us. We got a lot from making and breaking bread together, and from having space for contemplation and fellowship. Highly recommended”

“It was lovely to hear everyone’s different experiences and to have the opportunity to help write prayers and the sermon for the Eucharist. It was also just nice to be with God for some time, as being a churchwarden you cannot always worship in the same way if you have to make sure the service is running properly.”

“It was so good to have time to properly get to know all the people on the course (tutors included) and to spend some quiet times with God, sometimes in the chapel, but also outside in the beautiful grounds – a really worthwhile experience.”

If you are interested in joining the next Exploring Theology Today course, beginning in September 2011, please contact Jenny Crawford by email or on 0191 270 4144. An Exploring Theology Today Enquirers’ Evening will be held on Monday 11 July, 7:15pm at Church House, North Shields, but you can still register if you miss this event.

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