October 2020 (4 - 31 October). See the Resource Pack PDF for full details including weekly subthemes and daily prompts and Bible readings. See the Discussion Group Questions PDF to see the material adapted for small groups.
During the month of October there are four key stories that can help to shape our thinking and reflections at this time of great uncertainty when many are looking for comfort and security. These stories cover a 40 year period and highlight four seminal moments in the salvation history of the people of Israel as they struggled with identity, hardship, and hope for a brighter future.
They are also stories that can be used to teach us about the nature and purpose of the church today, especially as we seek a new kind of freedom and understanding. Coming out of lockdown we are faced with an unprecedented recession and an uncertainty about how public worship should continue and develop.
The first story opens up a discussion about our attitude to worship and its essential role in maintaining our wellbeing. The second story engages with the temptation to worship false gods and how that eventually affects the health and wellbeing of those around us. The third and fourth story open up our thinking about leadership. How do you know when it is time to depart to make room for a new approach? We will learn from scripture about a leadership that models a godly way of living for the community.
These reflection are written to help us as Christians to be relevant and effective beacons of hope in our communities at a time when so many within the next few months will find themselves unemployed, fearful of illness, and facing financial hardships. This must be the moment for the church to re-engage with the meaning and significance of worship and good leadership so that it is meaningful and engaging for all.
We are unable go back to church as we knew it. Yet surely we are being called to make a new journey, to free ourselves from past traditions and buildings and structures that are no longer relevant to God’s mission for his church. The time has come for us to move into a new place of transition and commitment, embarking on a new and exciting faith journey. We hope that the readings this month will open our minds to go on the journey with the hope and assurance that we never travel alone.