Ian's suggested topic for study is inspired: friends and enemies. There is much to explore re Bible stories, songs/psalms, theological themes, values, hopes, vocation, rituals/sacraments, non-violent practices, personal/social/ecological experiences, and so on.
Our first meeting in the church hall on Thursday February 9 saw Blair Silverlock present on imprecatory psalms (e.g. 109 and 137). We discussed enmity as a reality/experience worthy of prayer, seeking transformation of self and others in the presence of God who promises justice/community/friendship. Can we discern voices of the poor, lamenting friendships corrupted, betrayed, lost? Do we trust God to hear/handle our lamentations or protests?
We made a list of questions and possible subjects for further exploration: stories of Sarah and Hagar, David and Jonathan, Samson and Delilah, Naomi and Ruth, Job and his friends, Jesus and Peter/Judas/Mary, Peter and Paul; the Society of Friends (also known as Quakers), Friends of the Earth; "friends" and "de-friending" on Facebook; vengeance and forgiveness, fair-weather friends and "frenemies"; dysfunctional relationships and cultural norms that validate dysfunction; political allies and national interests; opportunities to offer/express friendship and to be a friend to others ... "O my friends, there are no friends," said Aristotle with a sigh ... hoping, despairing, hoping ...
Next gathering: Thursday March 9, 7-9pm in the church hall. A light supper will be served! All welcome!