The disappointment of not being able
to go to a centre in Durham
(It close down - must have heard about us!)
was more than made up for by the speakers,
and the opportunity
to catch up with colleagues.
Rabbi Mark Solomon started us off looking at “Christ Through Jewish Eyes”.
He also led us, later, in evening prayers from the Liberal Synagogue.
Raficq Abdulla gave us an insight into "Jesus Through Muslim Eyes".
We discovered that Jesus is highly regarded in Islam,
but their story about him is subtly different from ours.
The accept the virgin birth, but do not regard Jesus as divine in any way
The virgin birth is just another example of God creating 'ex-nihilo' as God did at the creation.
Revd Carolyn Smyth led us into thinking about Jesus through Christian Eyes,
and we considered the wide range of undertanding about Jesus that Christians themselves have.
The three speakers, who had each heard the other's input, answered questions,
and we were all stimulated to reconsider our own basic belief.
Of the three workshops - Andrew Twilley on “Eight Models of Biblical
Engagement”, Michael Forster on “Valuing the Human Spirit”, and
Derek Hopkins on "Making Lots of Dough” I opted to make bread.
Here we considered the function of bread making as a means to draw people together in a common activity, and use the 'waiting times' as the bread rose to stimulate discussion on matters of life and faith. an approach stimulated by the success of 'Somewhere Else' in Liverpool.
Towards the end of the Summer School, a retirement gift was given to Terry
- a beautiful hand crafted box made by Michael Forster. He said it was a 'trinitarian box made from three types of wood: Bubuinga from Africa, Macassar Ebony from Indonesia, and Ash from Europe
before our final lunch we gathered in the Swanwick chapel for communion.