The 'paraclesis principle' is that in the church people come alongside other people and journey together. Our desire is that in our church we might have an even more caring culture - journeying together through the highs and lows of life. We believe this culture should flow from within our church outside, helping us also come alongside those outside the church.
This lent, over five weeks, we will be exploring this 'paraclesis principle' in existing small groups and new popup groups. Each week we will consider a different theme and see how it might impact our church life together.
Each theme will be introduced in our services on Sundays. Then, using small group notes and short videos, we will explore the theme together in our groups. The material has been developed by CWR and is presented by Trevor Partridge.
Groups start on the week beginning 19th February. You can sign up to a group of your choice using the small group part of ChurchSuite.
WEEK ONE - Caring
We’re on the journey called ‘life’. In this first session we will consider how we need to develop the core value of care and face our core value of self-protection.
John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."
WEEK TWO - Loving
We all go through hard times so we need to develop a 'paraclesis culture' in our church. The heart of a paraclesis is coming alongside others and showing love.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God."
WEEK THREE - Journeying
This week we see how our stories can help us come alongside others who are facing similar challenges - reaching out to them with our experience of God's grace and compassion.
This week everyone will need a copy of The Gift of Your Journey exercise to complete as part of the small group session.
WEEK FOUR - Living
This week we are thinking about how we can care for, not only our 'outside' lives, but our inner and spiritual lives as well.
Galatians 6:2 "Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."
WEEK FIVE - Healing
This week we explore how we can know hope in the midst of hard times. What is the anchor that will hold us firm and how can that give us security?
2 Corinthians 12:9 "But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Optional week Six - Connecting
There is a sixth week to the course and although we have not got time for this as part of our Lent Course some groups might like to hold an additional meeting.
This week we explore how all we have seen through this course can help us connect with those we know who are not part of our church family and do not know Jesus for themselves.
Luke 10:33-34 "But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him."
Love with skin on
If you want to explore further some of the ideas presented in this series by Trevor Partridge, you might like to get a copy of Trevor's accompanying book.