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‘As the Father sent me, so I send you’ – BACI launch Lent 2018 Bible studies

Philip McKinley, Barbara Bergin, the Revd Dr William Olhausen, Archbishop Michael Jackson, Archbishop Richard Clarke, Canon Dr Ginnie Kennerley and Canon Paul Houston at the launch of BACI’s 2018 Lent studies.
Philip McKinley, Barbara Bergin, the Revd Dr William Olhausen, Archbishop Michael Jackson, Archbishop Richard Clarke, Canon Dr Ginnie Kennerley and Canon Paul Houston at the launch of BACI’s 2018 Lent studies.

The Biblical Association for the Church of Ireland (BACI) has launched its Bible studies for Lent 2018 with the focus this year being on mission.

“As the Father sent me, so I send you” has been designed to foster a biblical approach to the Five Marks of Mission of the Anglican Communion. It consists of five Bible studies from five different people.

The Five Marks of Mission were formulated in the Anglican Communion in 1984 and have been emphasised in the Church of Ireland in recent years. The five studies focus in turn on the Tell, Teach, Tend, Transform, Treasure aspects of mission, moving from the teaching and pastoral care required after initial conversion to the wider social and environmental challenges of the Gospel. The writers are the Revd Jack Kinkead, the Revd Lesley Robinson, Mr Philip McKinley, Canon Paul Houston and Mr David Ritchie of the RCB. 

The Lent studies were launched in Church House, Dublin, yesterday (Tuesday January 23) by Archbishop Michael Jackson who has put the Marks of Mission at the centre of the United Dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough’s discipleship programme, Come&C.

The Archbishop thanked the studies’ editor, Canon Dr Ginnie Kennerley, for the way the work is presented and commended BACI’s work in bringing the Bible to the centre of life in the Church of Ireland.

He said that the invitation to go an make disciples is not just an invitation to go and recruit members – “It is about affirming people who are already doing good and interesting and Godly things”.

Archbishop Jackson drew out some of the nuggets contained in the Bible studies. Under the heading of Tell he said one of the important questions raised is how the Church of Ireland would cope with a plentiful harvest, a question he suggested that is not often asked. The Teach study highlights the importance of both instruction and modelling and looks at the holistic aspect of teaching.

The Tend study looks at the wider responsibility and individual commitment that need to come together and the concept of praying for and contributing to the flourishing of the city we are in. The study looks at pilgrims, refugees and migrants but also people who are moving through a consumer society and also looks at tending the self.

The Transform study makes a plea for Christian engagement in politics and the Archbishop said that Christians are encouraged not to sidestep the political world and also to seek ways of being in solidarity with others.

Archbishop Jackson said that the Treasure study looks at the connection between theology and ecology. “It is very important for us in the Church of Ireland to have this articulated by the Chief Officer,” he stated citing the chilling phrase used by Mr Ritchie that we are “chipping away at the goodness of the Earth”. He said the study highlights our theological responsibility but also the need for a reversal of expectations whereby we walk or cycle where we would formally have driven.

“Each of these studies draws in reflection, Scripture, commentary and prayer so as to comprehensively engage with the Five Marks of Mission … The Marks of Mission are not exclusive of each other. In doing one you might be doing two or three. Mission is exciting. It is also an intrinsic part of our relationship with our neighbour,” he concluded.

Chairman of BACI, the Revd Dr William Olhausen, also thanked Canon Kennerley and all the BACI committee and contributors for their work on the studies. He said that each year BACI aims to engage the Church with more relevant studies and get more people involved. He said that the studies alert people to the broad canvas of what mission is and added that there is something for everyone in them.

Copies of BACI’s Lent 2018 studies are available at £2.25 or €2.50 each and are obtainable from the larger cathedral bookshops or by post from the Book Well in Belfast or Biblical Association for the Church of Ireland treasurer Barbara Bergin in Dublin berginba@gmail.com.

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Biblical Association for the Church of Ireland

BACI exists to serve as a ‘bridge’ between clerical and lay, academic and faith–based approaches to the Bible within the Church of Ireland and in conversation with ecumenical partners.

The Honorary Patrons of BACI are their Graces, the Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Reverend Richard Clarke and the Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Reverend Michael Jackson.

BACI
 

Biblical Association for the Church of Ireland

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