York Courses. A Five session course for groups and individuals – for Lent or any season
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(From the website www.yorkcourses.co.uk) Easy-to-use ecumenical courses, bringing famous voices and challenging opinions into your discussion group. If you want to:
then York Courses are for you. We recommend a course booklet for each group member and CD/digital download – plus transcript booklet.
York Courses is based in historic York and we produce courses specially designed for groups of Christians from different traditions to use together. Our discussion courses are used in more than 20 countries, all over the world, helping people to share their experiences and understanding of the Christian faith. Although the most popular times to use our courses are Lent and Advent, they’re not ‘season-specific’ and so can be used at any time of year.
Softback slim A5 Course booklet; CD/digital download and transcript. Most are five sessions; some six. Variety of titles available (to date, 23, since 1997) including:
CDs contains five 14-minute radio-style starter for group discussion, with well-known contributors (e.g. Steve Chalke, Catherine Fox, Stephen Wigley, Archbishop John Sentamu, Baroness Shirley Williams, David Suchet CBE, Dr David Hope, Paula Gooder, Christina Baxter, Joel Edwards, Sr Wendy Beckett). Also available are some CD conversations on relevant topics such as Climate Change, Prayer and Science (£5 each). Invitations and posters can be downloaded from the website. No timings.
Adults, Growing, small groups.
Taster pack of one course booklet, CD and transcript: £16.30 or £14.70 for digital download; £3.75 per individual course booklet or £3.10 for digital download; £3.55 for transcript or £3.10 for digital download; £8.99 for CD or £8.50 for digital download. Some audio tapes still available at £8.99.
Free postage and packing within UK. Subsidised postage overseas.
Slim glossy booklet is dense but contains a good mix of quotes as well as material relevant to the subject. CD in nice sleeve. Transcript easy to follow and worth getting (though not in colour). A marvellous kaleidoscope of contributors.
Suggestions for group leaders at the start of each course. Main aim in to encourage ‘A lively exchange of views' with 'no right answers'.
Introductory page of Leader's tips for leading. Clear and helpful. Use of CD and questions are open to flexibility. There is a closing reflection for each session. The text is fairly tightly packed, but coloured boxes separate the quotes from the main material. No timings. Leader's notes encourage icebreakers and worship and prayer but leave it for the leader to instigate. Sub-groups and thinking time encouraged as possible initial responses to questions.
This resource is easy to use, so would suit any group leader.
Booklet contains much input material plus boxed quotes and all the questions, so plenty to keep and consider. The input material is designed for reading before the session rather than during it.
CD is clear to listen to. Each subject introduced by one contributor and commented on by the others. The mix creates material for discussion as they bring distinctive and different angles.
Each session has the topic pre-reading (4 A5 pages), and then decisions to be made as to how to use the CD, which questions to choose perhaps; general familiarisation with material; what other elements to include in the session.
www.yorkcourses.co.uk contains a downloadable guide for organising a Lent course with York Courses, plus an organiser's checklist.
No, though the events to which contributors refer may in due course. New contributors included as new editions are published.
Leader's notes encourage icebreakers, worship and prayer but leave it for the leader to instigate. Reading the session should happen beforehand, but Bible study and other questions on the theme are all group-based. The fact that a variety of approaches to the topics is aired on the CD will provoke interaction too - could be interesting if people disagree with some of these.
This resource will suit those who like listening, thinking and reading – as well as being prepared to join in with discussion.
Group members would need to be happy with reading in preparation, and concentrating on listening to the CD so may not suit groups which are used to being more lively. There is a bit of remembering to do about what the contributors have said as well, although the transcript can be referred to. The contributors bring different angles to the subject which will bring helpful new insights as well as provoke discussion, as people are bound to disagree at times.
Some of the questions and subjects encourage personal honesty, and a grappling with the subject, so there may be important issues that arise. But application is often implicit rather than explicit.
45%. Each session has around a dozen questions, roughly half of which are focused on relevant biblical passages.
Some of the pre-reading is based around or refers to biblical material. Many of the questions seek to elicit a personal response, and link them firmly with relevant biblical passages.
Depending on subject, this varies, but all the contributors seek to ground what they say in what people think or their experience of life.
Range of contributors bring a range of perspectives.
This is a thoughtful approach to many topical, demanding, theological and interesting subjects.
The contributions plus questions cannot fail to provoke discussion and further thinking for participants.
The range of contributors bring a refreshing variety of thought to issues of faith and vision. Whether they speak your language or not, they are bound to provoke reactions - no one will agree with everything!
All the subjects are relevant to everyday life and thought. The questions invite us to consider the issues thoughtfully; how you apply what you discuss is more left up to the group. A good leader might well encourage some more application.
Depending on subject. See e.g. Live Your Faith.
Depending on subject. See e.g. Can we build a better world?
Depending on subject. See e.g. Can we build a better world? Definitely an awareness of these issues.
Depending on subject. See Handing on the Torch, New World, Old Faith.