On the Third Day
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An ecumenical course in five sessions written by Bishop John Pritchard. For discussion groups and individuals – suitable for Lent or any season.
The Course audio brings the opinions and thoughts of these leading Christian thinkers into your discussion group. It is intended to be used in tandem with this course booklet.
CD, glossy paperback booklet/brochure, black and white booklet transcript of audio. Discounts for multiple copies, or online orders – it is recommended that all group members have their own copies of both the notes and the transcript.
Adults, Growing, small groups, individuals.
Light glossy booklets and an efficient CD invite us to wrestle with the implications of the Easter story, aided by some substantial thinkers such as Tom Wright, Paul Vallely, Ruth Gee, Libby Lane and the always enriching writings of John Pritchard.
The inside cover page spells out a few suggestions, but the layout of the material is self-explanatory.
Helpful notes as to ‘how to get the most out of this course’ appear on the first page. Icebreakers are recommended (but not supplied). All group members are encouraged to read each session before the meeting. However, experience suggests that the session will work equally well without this, as the audio will be listened to, either all at the beginning of the session or split into two. Then there are questions for groups, for which flexibility is encouraged – select a few or address them all.
An easy resource to lead, though it may require some adaptation for your group, to pick out the most relevant questions from the dozen or so available; and decide how much of the pre-reading to pick up on.
The group members can reread the transcripts as well as pre-reading Pritchard’s beautifully expressed input for each session. There is so much to engage with, this would be very helpful. Some members may find the quantity a little too much, but the quality is assured, and pic k and mix allowed. The boxed quotations are a great addition.
Simon Stanley leads us through the CD, with a summary of each session at the start, plus introductions to the audio contributors. All contribute to each of the following sessions, with Libby Lane supplying the reflections at the end of each one.
It is suggested that the leader either supplies or ask group members to bring paper, and pens, and gives advance notice of any Bible passages they may be asked read aloud. Read or listen to the material, of which there is a fair amount – the input in the booklet including boxed quotations; plus the transcript and questions.
• Is there website support? Links?
Listening together, and then discussion, should enable most groups to interact well. The topics themselves are handled from a variety of perspectives by the contributors, which should also produce reactions, both for and against.
This resource is heavy on reading, although obviously the audio CD brings life to that. The boxed quotations, and the questions, should provoke good discussion. There are a few more creative moments, such as imagining yourself into a Bible story, according to the Ignatian tradition.
This resource would suit a more traditional group who are good at listening and reading, and used to engaging in discussion. The topics are well presented, and often challenging, and should get good responses, with opportunities for some healthy wrestling with them.
The chief applications are up to the individual for the most part; though there are some interesting ideas on ‘rescuing Easter’, and some challenges within the discussions.
There is a main Bible reading attached to each topic/ group of questions. These are five or six others within the questions; about half the questions are directly based on a biblical passage.
There are quite a lot of Bible readings for each session, if you want to use them. Many of these just have one question related to them. There are some great juxtapositions of biblical text and quotations from the audio presenters, inviting us to engage with the issues.
This is applied to both life and death, through the focus on resurrection, and what it may mean for us too.
Roman Catholic, Methodist, male and female Anglican Bishops contribute to the audio reflections.
This is a great invitation to wrestle with the implications of Christ’s death and resurrection, for faith, life and thought. You won’t agree with everything that is said by everyone, but it will sharpen your thinking and reveal some of your attitudes, perhaps even to yourself. Pritchard’s input in the booklet is unfailingly inspirational; Libby Lane’s closing reflections return us to a more worshipful focus on God for ourselves.
There are a lot of ideas and approaches for each session, from pithy quotations and Pritchard’s input to the four people on the audio. The questions vary in depth and breadth; plenty of choice.
This resource is wide-ranging, as it explores the implications of the Easter story for our own lives. It gives room for personal as well as academic, theological and practical responses. Loads to think about.
The mixture of input and quotations are often centred on an anecdote or real-life stories which help us to connect the material to our own lives.
There are some interesting points of view on what a Christian actually is, and who is a non-believer, which will raise some reactions, relevant to evangelism, and the resource does not flinch from asking the difficult questions about this.
Some of the questions do invite us to engage with this, but it is not a focus.
Not a focus, but acknowledged.
Not a focus, but implied.