Faith Matters

New season at Drumalis roots faith in real life

Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch and Brock Peters as Tom Robinson in the film To Kill A Mockingbird, which will feature in the Movie Nights at Drumalis season

DRUMALIS has a new programme of courses to nurture, challenge and stimulate faith this autumn.

Last night's launch of Doing Public Theology: An Introduction, a new book by Dr Johnston McMaster, helped set the tone for the season ahead.

Dr McMaster led a six-session public theology course at the retreat and conference centre in Larne last year, and is returning to lead a new nine-session programme under the title of 'Doing G-O-D in Public - the Practice of Public Theology'.

It begins on Sunday afternoon with 'Uneasy, Unsettled, Unsettling: Religion and State Relations'.

Other sessions include: 'Global Ethics in Practice: Abrahamic and Confucian' and 'Greening Theology and Mending the Earth'.

Dr Cathy Higgins will lead the public theology session in March on 'Revisiting her Story: Biblical Women, Gender Equality and Justice'.

Doing Public Theology: An Introduction by Johnston McMaster was launched this week ahead of the new course at Drumalis

Next month, Broken, a six-session course inspired by the BBC TV drama of the same name as well as a heavy helping of Ignatian spirituality, starts.

Led by Jonny Watson, a former social worker, the course is about "real life and real faith".

"We live in the age of austerity, where foodbanks have become the 'new normal', benefit systems have pushed thousands of families into a spiral of debt and placed an even greater strain on public services, and mistrust of migrants has been amplified by Brexit," said Mr Watson.

"Yet we are called as Christians to take seriously Jesus' teachings about mercy, justice and compassion.

"The aim of the course is to encourage people to think about life in all its grittiness and ask how we might live out our Christian faith in our broken world as we seek to help bring about the kingdom of heaven."

The aim of the course is to ask how we might live out our Christian faith in our broken world

Session titles include 'How do we live faithfully when life is hard?' and 'How might we find God in the most difficult aspects of life?'.

Movie Nights at Drumalis, hosted by Eileen O'Brien on the first Thursday of each month between October and April 2019, seeks to explore the themes and values of some well known - and less well known - films.

"Through these movies we get a glimpse of what it means to be truly human; nobility of character shines through in them all," said Ms O'Brien.

Featured films include To Kill A Mockingbird, Of Gods and Men, The Nativity and Sully.

The Gospel of Luke is the subject of 'Were Not Our Hearts Burning Within Us?', led by Sr Pamela Thimmes OSC over four sessions on Saturdays between October and June next year.

"For many, the Gospel of Luke contains the stories of Jesus' ministry they like best: Mary and Jesus' birth, iconic parables, the walk to Emmaus. But there is much, much more," said Dr Thimmes, who is professor emeritus of religious studies at the University of Dayton and a Poor Clare sister based in Faughart, Co Louth.

'Come Away from the Din', a course on prayer, will be delivered by the Drumalis Spiritual Direction Team over eight Saturdays between October and next May.

Dr Johnston McMaster, who leads the Public Theology course at Drumalis

The Pathways Adult Faith Development Course is also starting next month. This two-year, part-time course aims to allow people to explore, reflect upon and discuss faith and how it relates to everyday life, both at personal and community level.

  • More information on the Drumalis courses can be found here or by telephoning 028 2827 2196 or 028 2827 6455.

Drumalis Retreat and Conference Centre in Larne. Picture by Mal McCann

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