Journey in Faith

The Journey in Faith (JiF) Course – developing a theologically informed laity and discerning vocations

Jackie Johnson, our Ministry Development Adviser writes: One of the things I’ve hoped for, (apart from a season ticket at Anfield), is to be part of a diocesan family actively committed to working collaboratively, eagerly learning more about the faith, and searching out who and what God wants us to become. So, I am really excited because the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham is that place – we are a learning diocese, dedicated to encouraging people to be a part of the transforming mission of God.

What does a learning diocese like ours really look like? Well, why not take a quick look in a mirror, then come back and tell me what you saw? I’ll make a cuppa while you’re away. .…….

Welcome back. What did you see? Dust! Putting the dust aside what did you see? You saw your own reflection. Without being a know it all, I knew you would. So, the answer to the question, ‘what does a learning diocese look like?’ is … it looks like you and you and you and you and you. Forgive me for not mentioning each web reader individually.

Our worshipping communities work together to build God’s kingdom but inevitably there are times when we don’t feel up to the job at hand. But we shouldn’t worry. Legend has it that St. Michael was walking in paradise with Jesus and asked, ‘The ones you’ve left behind, are they fit for the task? Can you trust them?’ Jesus turns to Michael and says, ‘I have made no other arrangements. There is no Plan B. I am counting on them!’

We are part of God’s ‘Plan A’ and to become all that He wants us to be we need to be trained, properly equipped to unpack a truth which is vital to these changing times, to encourage people to do business with God, helping them to grow in faith, and to support people as they embrace their vocation. To do that, we offer a variety of learning opportunities.

Our ‘Journey in Faith’ (JiF) course is a great place to start. Three 10 week modules help you to explore your own faith journey, to look at God’s call and your response. So that is 30 two hour evening sessions over an ‘academic’ year, starting in late September and finishing sometime in June. There are sessions on biblical interpretation, the development of the church, and doctrine – or what we say we believe. It’s a great way to meet with people, none of whom are experts, to learn more about the faith you profess. The course costs £120 for the year of learning that you will do.

To download the flyer with further details then please click here

We hold Taster Evenings where you can come along and find out a little bit more about the course. Click here to download a flyer with details of the Taster Evenings for 2016.

You can take the course just as it is for your own growth, interest and development as a disciple, and who knows where that might lead? Throughout the course there is a vocational theme to help you look into and discover what more God might be calling you to. It could be that He is asking you to stay where you are, or perhaps to deepen the journey with more of the same kind of study on the Journeying Deeper in Faith (JDiF) course.  It might also be that God is calling you to an accredited ministry – for example Licensed Lay Ministry (Reader), or ordination to be a Deacon and/or Priest. Download a JiF application form by clicking Click Here to find out more.

Journeying Deeper in Faith (JDiF) If the Jif experience inspired you and you want to continue your study you can join a second year course – ‘Journeying Deeper in Faith’. This builds on JiF and gives space to further develop your spiritual journey. It covers modules on, ‘Who are we, and how can we be?’, ‘What can we do for the Lord, and how can we do it?’, and ‘What do we stand for and how can we be heard?’ Within those areas one might look at Christian spiritualities, learning from the Global Church, being a theologian, ethics, politics, gender and the Bible.  It works in exactly the same way being run on 30 weeknights over a 12 month period. The course costs £120 for the year of learning. To download a course overview click here

Bite-Size Courses  Nationally accredited ministries across the Church of England such as ordained and Licensed Lay Ministry (Reader) are not for everyone, but we are all called in some way to be part of the Missio Dei, the mission of God.  In recognition of that we have introduced several short courses which enable people to have a taste of a variety of roles.  These courses are:

  •  Available across the diocese
  •  Accessible to more people
  •  Attractive because courses are ‘served’ in smaller ‘Bite-Size’ portions
  •  Achievable by virtue of their being all of the above

Our ‘Bite Size Training’ currently consists of:

Bite-Size (10 week) Pastoral Visiting Course, Called to Care
Bite-Size Preaching course (6 weeks)
Bite-Size Leading Worship course (2 Saturdays)
Bite-Size Leading Small Groups (1 Saturday)

Click here for the link to the Growing Disciples training brochure (Coming Soon)

We seek to encourage far more people into vocational learning.  These short courses provide sufficient ‘tools in the kit bag’ to enable people to begin to test the waters with regard to a calling with the intention that there will be an ongoing engagement with further training to hone those skills.  It is expected that individuals applying for the above courses will have the endorsement, support and encouragement of their parish clergy.   Ultimately, our aim is to offer this training across the diocese by creating Deanery Training Teams who can deliver Bite-Size courses locally and more frequently, but that’s a work in progress.