Along with churches throughout the country and in our diocese, we are engaging with the Living in Love and Faith initiative.

LLF is asking how do questions about identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage fit within the bigger picture of the good news of Jesus Christ? What does it mean to live in love and faith together as a Church? How can local churches, and the national church, learn together and love one another truly as one body whilst not diminishing our diversity and differences.

In a changing world, many in our church are unsure what they think about these questions, whilst others can better articulate their understanding, and of course for many these are not questions but are very live issues in their own journeys or those of their family members and friends. Through this we are very aware of the hurt and pain experienced by Christians and those who have left the church through how these questions have been addressed or ignored in the past.

For a taste of what living in love and faith is about watch the video below:

The Course

In particular the main way we are engaging with LLF at the moment is that we have had several church members trained to facilitate the Living in Love and Faith course. This is a 5 week course for small groups to listen, learn and discuss together about the LLF questions.

THE AIM OF THE COURSE IS NOT TO CHANGE OR CONVINCE PEOPLE OF ANY ONE PARTICULAR VIEW, BUT TO LISTEN TO ONE ANOTHER AND LEARN FROM OUR SIBLINGS IN CHRIST.

Each small group will have a facilitator, whose role is to remain neutral, not expressing their own opinions and encourage the group to listen and learn as well as possible together. The five sessions include:-

  1. Learning Together – what it means to learn together as followers of Jesus Christ.
  2. Identity – How our identity in Christ relates to sex and gender.
  3. Relationships – What kinds of relationships God calls us to.
  4. Sex – Where our bodies and sex fits into all of this.
  5. Life together – How diversity and difference affects our life together as a church.

Each session is guided by a video series, and will include a mix of teaching, discussion, bible study, listening to real life stories, with an invitation at the end to reflect our learning and bring it to God in prayer.

Dates and sign up

Starting in November we are running the course, with a daytime and an evening option. The course will run on Tuesdays at 7.30pm starting on 2nd November, and on Thursdays at 11am starting on 18th November. Spaces are limited due to groups not exceeding 8 people as a maximum so you need to book by emailing curate@christchurchdownend.com

Due to demand and couples not both able to attend with childcare requirements we will look at running the course again in the spring.