We’re pleased to share this article from Lichfield Diocese about Transforming Poverty, a new course which we published in February 2019.
Six sessions for churches and house groups: use the film 'I, Daniel Blake' to engage with God’s heart for poverty in your community.
Transforming Poverty is a course by Revd Gayle Greenway, a curate in the Diocese of Lichfield.
In six sessions, the course will bring church or house group members together to talk, think and pray about the struggles that local people, maybe including yourselves, have today or have had in the past because of having little money. Alongside this, it will help you look at how the Bible and your faith in Jesus guide you to respond to these issues.
The course uses Ken Loach’s film I, Daniel Blake to inspire conversations and apply scriptural insights to everyday life issues relating to socioeconomic deprivation.
We know that in most parishes there are people whose low income makes choices between heat, light, food and health a daily challenge. This course will help people to talk together about these things, and hopefully to move beyond talk to prayer, and to action and loving sharing.
———— Canon Dr Christina Baxter, St John’s College
Last year, we took members of several Poverty Truth Commissions to the Greenbelt festival for the first time. It was an exciting and inspiring experience – especially the opportunity for us to reflect together with Clare McBeath, our friend from the Centre for Theology and Justice. Clare collated and shared these theological reflections on the experience of being part of Poverty Truth Commissions.
Our Director Niall Cooper recently shared this sermon on a visit to a church in Birmingham. We invite you to draw from it if you are preaching on Church Action on Poverty Sunday, 3 March 2019.
The Bible shows us again and again that God is on the side of the poor and the oppressed. People on the margins.
But too often, when we read scripture in our churches, we focus on other aspects of the story, or we are so familiar with the text that we don’t notice the challenging things it has to say to us.
Jesus’ parables are one of the best examples of this problem. When we read and think about the parables, we almost always look for allegorical, spiritual meanings.
But the parables are actually very earthly stories – and if we try to put ourselves in the place of their original audience, we discover very different messages in them.
These five Bible studies will challenge you to get alongside the people who are on the margins of our own society – and to speak out for justice. They will show you how the parables are subversive, dangerous stories.
We have also produced a bookmark for your Bible, with questions to help you find perspectives from the margins whenever you are reading scripture.
I wanted to thank you for putting together such an excellent course – accessible, opinionated, challenging, affirming and easy to lead and to build on.
So many courses are dull and simplistic – yours opened up new vistas. There was never a sense of being forced into a right answer or finding an easy solution. It was a complex course for complex times and a complex faith.Revd Richard Lamey, Rector of St Paul at Wokingham in the Diocese of Oxford
Click the links below to download the Bible studies and the bookmark.