The Shack Lent Course

Every year during Lent (the weeks leading up to Easter) we meet at St. John’s for a short course about some aspect of our faith. (Some of our small groups will stop meeting and join together, along with others, for these weeks).

The evenings include some . In past years our courses have been based around films such as “The King’s Speech”; “Shadowlands”; the Narnia films: “Les Miserables” and “The Theory of Everything”. This year we will be using short clips from the recent feature film of the bestselling Christian book “The Shack”. We hope to have several copies of the DVD available for lending out before and during the course.

Based on The New York Times best-selling novel, The Shack takes us on a father’s uplifting spiritual journey. After suffering a family tragedy, Mack Phillips (played by Sam Worthington) spirals into a deep depression, causing him to question his innermost beliefs. Facing a crisis of faith, he receives a mysterious letter urging him to come to an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Despite his doubts, Mack journeys to the shack and encounters an enigmatic trio of strangers – all three persons of the Trinity led by a woman named Papa (played by Octavia Spencer). Through this meeting, Mack finds important truths that will transform his understanding of his tragedy and change his life forever. In many ways, The Shack is a modern-day parable, similar to the stories Jesus told to help people better understand the truth He wanted to communicate. The Shack is an artistic and imaginative representation of a deeply personal story that explores encountering God’s love. It raises provocative questions and points us toward the path for healing out of impossible tragedy. For all those who have wondered where God is in their pain, for those who have questioned if God is there at all, The Shack presents an unforgettable encounter with a divine love that promises to never leave us.

The story of The Shack applies to us all, whether we have endured terrible tragedy and pain or the more common struggles of everyday life. Wherever you find yourself on your spiritual journey we hope this Lent course will be a place to wrestle with your questions, start a conversation, and explore the answers with God. We really do hope that you will wish to join us (even if you cannot make all the sessions).

The course will run on Tuesday evenings, 7.45pm coffee for 8.00pm start, from 20th February to 20th March. It will be a real help if we know in advance if you intend to come so please sign up on the lists which will be available at both churches.

Prior to the course we will start Lent with a service on Ash Wednesday (14th February) at St. Mary’s church at 8pm, which includes the traditional imposition of ashes.

Colin

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