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From St Peter and the Apostles to the Catholic Church today

The heroism and love of Franz and Fani Jägerstätter. A homily by Fr Stephen Wang

Looking at the topic of love in human experience and connecting this with some reflections on love from philosophers, the bible and the Christian tradition. With reference to St John Paul II, Pope Benedict, Pope Francis and CS Lewis and the teaching of Jesus.

The transforming power of baptism. A homily by Fr Stephen Wang

If you are looking for resources to use in your parish or chaplaincy this Lent, check out the Sycamore Lent Course. It takes you through some of the great themes of Christian faith, and gives you a simple way of doing some faith-formation for your community. It can also be used as a tool for outreach and evangelisation, giving a gentle introduction to Christianity for those who are curious. Click here to see the topics.

Don’t be daunted – you can run the course very easily! Just choose your venue and starting date (e.g. sometime in the week of 24th Feb, so you finish before Palm Sunday); advertise to the parish or chaplaincy; ask people to come for themselves and also to bring friends; buy some nice cakes and some good coffee; show the films; have some great discussion.

For more information about Sycamore please visit the website.

The six-session Lent “pathway” is explained here.

All of planning and training information is in the Leaders’ section here.

This can be a great form of parish renewal, and it can also serve as a taster-course for the parish, to learn about Sycamore and think about how you could use it in your autumn courses.

When you take out a subscription on behalf of your parish or community this will give you access not just to the 6 week Lent course but to all the Sycamore materials for the next 12 months. It will therefore allow you to run whatever courses you wish within your community over the coming year. Click here to subscribe.

You don’t have to cook, but if you do – make sure you do it with enthusiasm and energy!! [See the photo below from the Newman House University Chaplaincy group]

TESTIMONIES

In case you missed the testimonies from Sycamore leaders that we shared last month:

Suni Perera, Osterley Parish, West London: “We finished washing up and putting away the chairs after a very successful Sycamore advent course at about 10pm yesterday and even after the hard work, we felt enlivened and energised. I am naming this “the Sycamore effect”. Having been part of every possible type of programme before, I have to say I was a sceptic. But having run Sycamore and seen the impact, we are converted. It’s a dynamic, classic and yet contemporary course that really works by building on lived experience. Eating together allowed people to become more comfortable with each other and really made the small group discussions flow. The quality of the films and the inclusivity of the materials made the sessions flow with ease. There was a good age range from people in their 30s to 80s, and parishioners were able to make new friendships and forge connections. We are already being asked when the next pathway will be run. All being well we want to use some of the resources to strengthen our confirmation programme in 2020 which starts in just a few weeks’ time. Thank you to the entire Sycamore team!”

Fr Paul Grogan, South Bradford: “We had a splendid evening – the launch of our 10-part Sycamore programme (five sessions before Christmas and five afterwards). The level of engagement in the discussion from participants was a joy to experience. We covered so much. The evening gave us all permission to share and a safe environment in which to do this. Thank you Sycamore for creating this marvellous resource.”

From hearing to seeing to believing. A homily by Fr Stephen Wang

HAPPY NEW YEAR from all us on the Sycamore team. Many leaders have been sharing their experiences of running Sycamore over the autumn period. We have copied below two testimonies from parishes in London and Bradford. If you want to find out more about running Sycamore in your own parish, school or chaplaincy then visit the main website here: https://www.sycamore.fm/

Suni Perera, Osterley Parish, West London: “We finished washing up and putting away the chairs after a very successful Sycamore advent course at about 10pm yesterday and even after the hard work, we felt enlivened and energised. I am naming this “the Sycamore effect”. Having been part of every possible type of programme before, I have to say I was a sceptic. But having run Sycamore and seen the impact, we are converted. It’s a dynamic, classic and yet contemporary course that really works by building on lived experience. Eating together allowed people to become more comfortable with each other and really made the small group discussions flow. The quality of the films and the inclusivity of the materials made the sessions flow with ease. There was a good age range from people in their 30s to 80s, and parishioners were able to make new friendships and forge connections. We are already being asked when the next pathway will be run. All being well we want to use some of the resources to strengthen our confirmation programme in 2020 which starts in just a few weeks’ time. Thank you to the entire Sycamore team!”

Fr Paul Grogan, South Bradford: “We had a splendid evening – the launch of our 10-part Sycamore programme (five sessions before Christmas and five afterwards). The level of engagement in the discussion from participants was a joy to experience. We covered so much. The evening gave us all permission to share and a safe environment in which to do this. Thank you Sycamore for creating this marvellous resource.”

HOW TO PLAN A GROUP
If you are still unsure about whether to start a Sycamore group or how to get things going at the very beginning, remember to look at the PLANNING RESOURCES on the Sycamore website here.
The first three sections discuss:
  • Key ingredients of Sycamore
  • First steps for your team
  • Basic timetable for an enquiry session

 

 

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