The Wau diocese Lent CourseLessons - Learning from Parables

 A Lent Study created by Wau Diocese 
 

Get the whole course publication here,

Individual weekly sessions available below 

 

Forward by the Rt Rev Moses Deng Bol

Lent is a time of year that is specially set aside for Christians to grow and learn more about their faith. As a Church in South Sudan, in the North Eastern corner of Africa we face many challenges but one of them is not enthusiasm for our faith. 

It gives me great pleasure to be able to offer this course of learning, a thing made possible through the use of our own internet connection. This is an easy course to use and can work as well in North America as it can in South Africa. 

The focus of the course is on education and draws on parables from the Gospel to allow people to learn and grow together. Much of the learning is done through discussion, enabling the sharing of fellowship as well as knowledge. I really hope that this course is fun to attend as well as challenging and instructive. It has never been so important, especially now in South Sudan, to grow our education. The future of South Sudan will be built on good education for all. We can learn much from the parbles that Jesus brought to us in his teachings.

The internet also allows us to make this course something we can all share together and I really hope that you will make time to connect with us in Wau during lent, share your insights with us and everyone else trying this Lent Study course. In this way we can all reach out in fellowship and perhaps learn more from each other. It’s an exciting idea. 

Whatever you decide to do it is my prayer that this course will help you to grow in the knowledge and love of God and bring you closer to Jesus as the events of Easter approach. 

I would like to thank my staff for all the hard work that they put in to preparing this course and I would like to wish you every blessing in your time of study this lent. 

  Every Blessing +Moses  

PDF file Icon Notes for Course Leaders

Week 1Your Light
by the Rev Samuel Mabith - The Wau Diocese Secretary

        PDF file iconWorksheet

        PDF file iconLeaders Notes

Week 2Mustard Seed 
by Rev John Bol - The Wau Diocese Communications Officer

        PDF file iconWorksheet

        PDF file iconLeaders Notes

Week 3Wise and Foolish
By Rev Paul Lueth Kat - Church Army Africa Captain

        PDF file iconWorksheet

        PDF file iconLeaders Notes

Week 4The Sower
By Rev Peter Akook - Ex Acting Principal of St John's College Wau and now a Theology Student

        PDF file iconWorksheet

        PDF file iconLeaders Notes

Week 5Your Talents
By Rev Peter Akook - Ex Acting Principal of St John's College Wau and now a Theology Student

 

        PDF file iconWorksheet

        PDF file iconLeaders Notes

Week 6Great Banquet
By Rev Phillip Ajiing - A Longstanding Pastor of Wau Diocese and Theology Graduate

         PDF file iconWorksheet

         PDF file iconLeaders Notes

 

Notes for Course Leaders


This course is intended to be used anywhere by anyone so there is a lot of scope in our notes for using this course in your own culture and location. There is no real need for anything else than one copy of the course. The Bible verse is provided and everything can be done verbally. If you want them worksheets can be printed for each week to give to those who attend. We hope that keeping things simple will help those with few resources and focus the minds of those that do. The important part of the course is the discussion of the Gospel. We hope that the following notes will help give you the confidence to provide a good learning environment and run a successful course.

 

Prayer for Your Lent Course

We feel that it is important to pray for the work of this Lent Study course. Encourage your church family to pray for the Lent course, the people attending and leading it. If you have regular prayers said in services or in vigils include the Lent Study course during Lent so that all of your work is offered to God and may be blessed at the same time. If several people are leading the Lent Study course they may find strength in a short time of prayer before and after the sessions.

Be Welcoming

Ensure that all the people coming to the course are made welcome. Pick a location to hold the course that is comfortable and suitable to all those that may come. Help to make people feel at ease by offering hospitality if you can. If you can offer a drink or something to eat this helps a lot. It may be that all you can offer is a hug and a smile, this can work really well. Most people are nervous at the beginning of a meeting like this, especially if they are people that do not know one another and are new to church.

Greet one another and share names

When everyone has gathered and been made welcome take the time to introduce yourself and any helpers that are with you. Then suggest that everyone should introduce themselves in the same way so that there are no strangers and everyone is known. If someone refuses that’s OK they will probably change their mind later. Always introduce new people if they join in the following weeks. Helping people to feel relaxed and part of a group will make them much more open to sharing in the group which is important for the course to succeed. Ask people at this point every week if they have any prayer needs so that at the start of the course they can be prayed for. This also helps people to feel included in a group of friends.


A Safe Space

Before you begin each course session agree with everyone that this is a safe space because nothing that is said will be repeated away from the group. There is a strong element of trust to this but making people understand that the group is a safe space to talk is important to allowing people to be truly honest when sharing with the group. 

Presenting the Course sessions

Plan ahead and be organised so that you can take your time. Have a way of beginning such as lighting a candle, ringing a bell or singing a song. Ensure everyone knows that from this point on they are in session. Say prayers for the group remembering any needs that were given earlier.

Discussions often take more time than you think. Discussing the questions asked for each Gospel passage are important to the course. As the leader you will know the answers and it may be that you need to guide the discussions if people are straying too far from the point. Use this time to add knowledge that people may not have seen from the passage themselves. Be careful to prevent differences of opinion becoming arguments. It is OK to have different views and disagree but people should have respect for one another. Also remember that it is possible that people will learn other valuable things from each session so try to be open to this possibility.

It may be best to select a reader to read the Gospel aloud for each session and if you cannot provide worksheets listen to it read several times. The version given is the NIV version. There is no harm in using other versions of the Bible if they are more familiar or people bring their own Bibles. This may help discussion which is a good thing.

Take care to allow plenty of time for the questions so that people can say what they think and talk thoroughly. At the end of the questions encourage people to see how the session applies to the life around them.

Sharing with Others

It may be that in your location there are several churches. Our Lent Study Course can also be used as a tool to share fellowship with other Christians. It can be a way to share resources and spread costs, perhaps allowing you to do together something that you could not do alone. If you consider sharing our course with other churches remember to respect your neighbours and seek to work with them in faith.  

Summing up and Going with Grace

Talking about the Gospel is very important and the way that this course teaches. But it is also just as important to draw the discussion to a point and finish the session with the group realising that they have learned something and been challenged.

Every session has a summing up passage that draws the session to a conclusion. There is also a prayer set on the theme that everyone should be encouraged to join in with. If in your location you cannot provide worksheets this prayer could be repeated several times to allow people to join in.

Take a moment to ask the group how they think they might apply what they have learned in their lives. Think about what message your group would like to send us in Wau and perhaps a member of your group could be asked to do that. Also fix a date for the next session so that everyone present knows it.

It may be that particular needs or concerns will have been raised during the session. This is a time that can be set aside to pray for these needs or the people that they affect.

Finish each session with the Grace prayer this will help to re enforce the idea of unity and fellowship. If it is possible and suitable in your location say this prayer holding hands and looking at one another as you pray. Doing this helps people to feel connected by the love of God and so as they go God’s love goes with them.

When all the people have gone say a prayer for those that attended and anyone helping you to present this Lent Study Course.

It is also wise to make a note of anything that went particularly well or even particularly badly so that you can also learn from each session. If there is anything that you would like to share with us about what worked well or not we would be very glad to know it.

What if They Want More ? 

Part of the aim of this Lent Study course is to reach out to people and make them think about Jesus. This can have a strong effect which may result in two things.

A person may feel that a session has left them with questions or a need to talk about serious events in their lives. It is important to be prepared for this and be ready to meet this need if it comes. Helping a person at this time can be an important step to them accepting Jesus in to their lives.

Attending the Lent Study course may encourage people new to faith but feeling the call of God to come to your church. This is a time of exploration for them and you church should be ready for this possibility too. It is important to help such people start their journey of faith with confidence and love.
 

Please Contact Us

It has been our pleasure to provide this Lent Study Course. We have done this for free because we have been able to and also we really want to share the Good News of Jesus with as many people as possible. We hope that it has helped you to grow in faith and knowledge.

As an Anglican diocese in South Sudan we have many practical needs that require help. So we would very much like you to consider making a donation to Wau Diocese or partnering with us in our work. Practical help can be just as valuable as money.

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Here is our address:

ECS Diocese of Wau
Hai Mozephin, Opposite Wau Teaching Hospital
C/O ECS Provincial Office
P.O. Box 110 Juba South Sudan
Africa 

Tel: +211912239089/+21195958118

Email:  bishop@wau.anglican.org