"Beginning to Flourish" is designed to encourage small groups of people to meet in cafes or homes to explore the essentials that make for a contented life. The period of Lent is a time leading up to Easter when traditionally Christians have tried to live a more simple lifestyle in order to focus on the things that truly matter in our lives.
There is a printable version of the study material that can be downloaded here [PDF] or you can soon order a physical copy from our online store.
The reason we have published this as a hard copy is to make it easier for those who are not able to get to a tablet or a smart phone, or indeed because some people prefer to have the material in book form and find it easier for reference purposes.
The material is designed to be read in conjunction with the daily prayers and Bible readings that can be located under Daily Worship on the Sanctuary First webpage (sanctuaryfirst.org.uk/daily-worship), social media and our App.
Starting in March we will begin by exploring the fundamentals. In Part 1 — 'What We Really Need' we will be thinking about our most basic human necessities: breathing, thirst, shelter and belonging. Then in April, as we head into Holy Week and Easter, we will consider the generosity of our God who helps us to flourish. In Part 2 — 'My Father, The Gardener', we will see that our God doesn't just want us to survive: we have been created to grow, develop and blossom, to be rooted in love and become branches of the true vine.
We would encourage those taking part in the Connect Groups to use the daily online material in order to get the best use of this booklet. And also to use the weekly video introducing the themes. In addition to all this, take a look at the set of Lenten Disciplines which are listed at the back of the book for those who wish to do additional study.
We offer this material as a guide to work from but we encourage you to use it in a way that suits the needs of your group, adapting it to your circumstances. The questions are grouped for weekly sessions of perhaps 90 minutes but your group may want to follow a different pattern.
Here is a suggested order for a group meeting:
- Watch the short video introducing the weekly theme on the Sanctuary First site
- Invite group members to share from the reflections, prayers and readings from Sanctuary First that struck them or that they found especially helpful this week
- Go through the questions under the weekly themes
- Discuss any insights the group would like to pass on to the streamed weekly connect segments we will be piloting over Lent on our website
- Encourage the group to keep in touch through the week as you travel together