Soil For the Seed: Exploring our Faith as Adults is a two-year, one evening a week introduction to some of the key themes of Christianity, as experienced in the Catholic tradition. It is being held in St. Mary’s Hall, Stewartstown, Coalisland September 2016 – April 2018. The course is for adults, of all ages, who wish to explore their faith, who are willing to listen and participate, and are open to new ideas and ways of ministry. No academic qualifications are necessary. For the course to run, a minimum number of 20 participants will be required.
Sessions are held on Monday evenings beginning at 7.30pm. You can sign up for the whole year or simply for any of the individual modules. Soil for the Seed was previously held in Cookstown, Dundalk, Drogheda, Benburb and Portadown. The dates and descriptions of the modules are as follows:
Module 1: Exploring the Bible – September 12th – October 17th, 2016
This module aims to introduce participants to the narratives of salvation history as presented in the Jewish and Christian Scriptures. It will enable participants to have an overview of the bible and will provide them with some basic skills with which they will be able to engage with the text as individuals and as small faith sharing groups.
Module 2: Jesus God’s Beloved – November 7th – December 12th 2016
This module will deepen participants understanding of the person of Jesus as central to Christian faith. We will explore his relationship to the Father, his ministry in service of God’s reign, the role of the Spirit in his living, dying and rising and how as the Christ he offers salvation.
Module 3: Church: A Sacramental People – January 16th – February 20th 2017
This course will explore what it means for Church: A Sacramental People to be both sign and agent of Jesus’ vision of God’s Kingdom, in the context of a changing Ireland. Various models of Church will be assessed in terms of their capacity to be open to the world and rooted in the gospel. There will be exploration of ways in which the faith community can be a liberating and transformative presence, embodying alternative values and relationships, in today’s world.
Module 4: Who is the Holy Spirit- March 6th – April 10th 2017 It is the study of the Holy Spirit and his ongoing vivifying presence in the life of the Church. The course invites students to explore some of the key scriptural references to the Spirit with particular attention to the Pauline and Johannine corpus. It will look briefly at the Old Testament understanding of the Spirit and examine an ongoing evolution of thought from various theologians on the person and gifts of the Spirit.
Module 5: Called to Mission – September 11th – October 16th 2017
This module will explore the pastoral vocation of all the baptised. Emphasising the continuity between the ministry of Jesus, ministry in the early Christian communities and ministry today, participants will be introduced to various forms of ministry and invited to consider how they can respond.
Module 6: Moral Decision Making – November 6th – December 11th, 2017
This module will help participants to reflect on making moral decisions as a Christian. There will be six sessions in all. The themes include:
1. Introduction to Christian ethics
2. Moral decision making
3. Relationships, sexuality and ethics
4. Conscience and Church teaching
5. Ethical issues at the end of life
Module 7: Liturgy – January 15th – February 19th 2018
This module will introduce participants to the principals of liturgical renewal set out in the Second Vatican Council and in the documents that followed it. Attention will be given to the rites of Christian initiation, celebrating the Sunday liturgy, the liturgical year and the lectionary.
Module 8: Interfaith Relations – March 5th – March 26th and April 9th and 16th 2018
A shrinking world and the experience of immigration have brought us into contact with those of world faiths as never before. We now talk of neighbour religions and all of us are challenged. This course will look at changing Ireland and what it means to dialogue with members of neighbour religions. There will be exploration of particular issues raised for Christians such as who is Jesus in a multi-faith world and what is meant by mission. Ethical questions not least that of peace in the world will be explored in this global context.
Tuition fee per year is £200. Fees may be paid at the beginning of the year or in instalments. Fees for individual modules are £60. Some parishes may offer sponsorship to parishioners. Contact your parish priest for more information.
For more information or to make a booking contact: The Co-ordinator, Soil for the Seed, Armagh Diocesan Pastoral Centre, The Magnet, Dundalk, Co. Louth. Tel 00353 42 933 6649; Email: [email protected]