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Review and Evaluation

On the 23 April 2024 Geraldine and Geoff led the group in a review and evaluation of how things were going and the value it offered members. 

The responses are summed up in this Wordcloud

These were the questions asked:

Feel free to disregard all or any of these questions, if they seem intrusive or inappropriate.  They are only meant to be prompts for the discussion on the 23rd.

1 Where were you on your faith journey, your relationship with the institutional Church, when you joined PandA? 

2 Who or what led you to join PandA?

3 What role does PandA play in your faith life?

4 Have you discovered new talents or the confidence to use existing talents, during your time as a member of PandA?

5 Has your relationship with the Institutional Church changed since joining PandA? 

6 Have you formed a small group locally? How did you find the members?  What materials are you using?

7 What lessons would you share with others who are hoping to set up new groups in person or online?

Dawn Light

Debbie took this picture of the field next door, which belonged to her neighbour, Dawn.   The picture helps her remember a good friend who died two years ago.

 Dawn across the field

Debbie also share Richard Rohr's reflection for 4 April 2024 entitled Dawn's Radiant Light

 During the first six centuries of Christianity, the moment of Jesus’ resurrection was mostly deemed unpaintable or uncarvable.  The event is not even directly described in the New Testament. All we’re given are the aftermath stories—stunned guards, seated angels, visiting women, and other resurrections: “The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of those who had fallen asleep were raised up” (see Matthew 27:51–53). Note how resurrection was already corporately understood in this telling verse.   Read More

Caring for our Common Home

from Ann

Ann's gardenAnimal and plant welfare are a feature of Ann's garden

Pope Francis’ encyclical, “Laudato Si: Care for our Common Home” was published in 2015 to great acclaim and is regularly cited by world leaders and international bodies as a seminal document addressing our responsibility to care for our common home, the earth. Yet its length (some 180 pages) and the range of issues discussed can make reading through it unaided a daunting prospect for individuals and groups. CAFOD produced a study guide inspired by the encyclical

The guide invites groups to reflect on some of the main themes of the encyclical and to explore together how we might take action in our particular circumstances. It is not an in depth guide to the encyclical itself but offers an initial way of engaging with the important message set out by Pope Francis in Laudato Si. The guide offers four sessions, each of which introduces key paragraphs from the encyclical and also incorporates testimonies from around the world as well as from UK parishes

Session one: Creation is a caress of God. This reminds us that as believers, Scripture reveals that God created the world and it is good.

Session two: The climate is a common good. This encourages us that as inhabitants of the earth, we have a particular responsibility to protect creation.

Session three: A universal family. This calls us, as neighbours to each other, to recognise that we are on an earthly pilgrimage together.

Session four: We were made for love. This final session looks at how we are called to respond in solidarity with our global family and all of creation.

There are also leader’s notes that offer helpful guidance for those facilitating groups

The links to the Encyclical, Study Guide and Leaders Notes are found here

Reflections - 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year B

from Sue and Mary,

Baby by Victoria via PIxabay
'Baby' by Victoria via Pixabay

In early January we reflected on the readings from the second week in ordinary time, including 1 Corinthians 6:14c-15a, 17-20. One companion mentioned reading an article about Pope Francis' advocacy for a ban on maternal surrogacy, as well as his opposition to in vitro fertilization. Our small community discussed IVF and surrogacy, including the challenge of balancing positive outcomes with potential abuses.

We recognize that in our modern societies we face complex ethical issues. In the case of surrogacy and IVF, advances in medicine and broadened social options have impacted decisions around child bearing.

Several personal examples were given to illustrate cases where in vitro fertilization in particular allowed families to live their call to have children. One person told us about her son's experience. He and his wife had difficulty conceiving, and as she shared, 'when they conceived Rebecca Grace they were over the moon.' At 21 weeks Rebecca was born, but only lived 27minutes. Later the couple conceived another child through in vitro who is now, at age 12, a joy to his family.

We acknowledged the immeasurable gift children are to all of us, and the dangers in seeing children as a commodity. These dangers include the risk of putting women in a position where their reproductive capabilities are also made a commodity. Some examples we discussed included women who are forced into carrying children for others against their will and cases where a child is rejected in a surrogacy situation when he or she has a handicap or doesn't meet the expectation of the prospective parents.

We are grateful that we can seek to deepen our understanding of these and all issues through open and trusting conversation in our community. We cherish in each other the image of Christ who calls us to be a loving neighbor.

Reflecting on Gaza

2 January 2024

from Debbie,

In this Christmas week 2023 I had this urge to do something in my sketchbook . I like working with paper cut outs. Here I have used newspaper article, the scenes of Gaza bombed for the body of Jesus and the article itself for the faces of Mary and Jesus in the picture foretold by Simeon. The halos in both pictures are made from a photo of the grotto of the church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The Madonna is a reworked cover of Bible Alive .

It helped doing this to be silent and in conversation with God .

I recommend this to you all … as you can see it’s no great work of art but it does help me to focus at times.

Intense prayers now that this war doesn’t escalate to a new level;

debbie1

debbie2Luke 2: 33-35