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Women's course


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Mother's course 5 weeks

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Women's course

  1. 2. Course in a nutshell A 5 week course to enable women who have recently had children to come together and explore the way in which their lives, relationships and spirituality have been changed, and to support and affirm each other in growing in this new stage of life.
  2. 3. Why this course? <ul><li>Caring for women , not just children </li></ul><ul><li>Church statistics – churches are struggling to retain and attract mothers </li></ul><ul><li>Impact of any major life event on faith </li></ul><ul><li>To create space at a time of pressure for women to actively and consciously shape their spirituality and walk with God </li></ul><ul><li>Discontinuity with the past: need for new models </li></ul>
  3. 4. Theoretical underpinning <ul><li>Women’s faith development: story telling and community </li></ul><ul><li>Stages of life and stages of faith </li></ul><ul><li>The learning spiral – building on the past and integrating new experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Session specific – cognitive dissonance as motivator for growth, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs </li></ul>
  4. 5. Educational Methods <ul><li>Dual emphasis on encouraging independent learning and learning from diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitating approach </li></ul><ul><li>Integration with the whole of life </li></ul>
  5. 6. Practicalities <ul><li>Target group: Christian women with pre-school children </li></ul><ul><li>Timing: during Sunday service, joining congregation for drinks at the end </li></ul><ul><li>Venue: church hall/premises </li></ul><ul><li>Crèche provided (normal Sunday) but children allowed in session </li></ul>
  6. 7. Session Structure <ul><li>Opening prayer </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction to the session (with ice breaker) </li></ul><ul><li>Short reflection on a Biblical text </li></ul><ul><li>Journaling/creative time </li></ul><ul><li>Interactive activity </li></ul><ul><li>Act of worship (including prayer stations) </li></ul><ul><li>Drinks with the rest of the church and/or prayer ministry </li></ul>
  7. 8. Between Sessions <ul><li>A diary </li></ul><ul><li>Blog </li></ul><ul><li>Prayer ministry if requested </li></ul><ul><li>Mentoring </li></ul><ul><li>Anything else agreed between the members of the group </li></ul>
  8. 9. Course Outline Session 1: Who am I? Session 2: Great Expectations Session 3: Body Beautiful Session 4: Stress and Pressure Session 5: Practising the Presence of God
  9. 10. Session 1: Who am I? Aim: to define ground rules for the group so as to create a safe space for women to share to find truth, affirmation and value in one’s identity, to locate one’s own story within the wider story of God and his people Key text: Mark 8:27-28 Activity centred on telling personal stories of faith and reflecting on each other’s lives
  10. 11. Session 2: Great Expectations To come in more detail later!
  11. 12. Session 3: Body Beautiful Aim: To embrace the changes that we understand to have occurred externally and see these in the light of our inner changes. Key text: Psalm 139:14 Activity: creative prayer exercise that allows for both joy and lament
  12. 13. Session 4: Stress and Pressure Aim: to discuss strategies to deal with the stress of early motherhood, with a focus on the re-negotiation of relationships to self, others and God Key text: ‘love your neighbour as yourself’ Mark 12:31 Activity: creative prayer stations and embodied prayer
  13. 14. Session 5: Practising the Presence of God Aim: to formulate a strategy for encountering God within a busy life Key text: Deuteronomy 6:4-9 Activity: creating home prayer stations and thinking about a rule of life
  14. 15. GREAT EXPECTATIONS Unto us a child is born....
  15. 16. AIMS <ul><li>Discern what expectations are attached to mothering and where those expectations are coming from </li></ul><ul><li>Enable women to become increasingly self-aware and confident about their choices in mothering </li></ul>
  16. 17. Underlying theory <ul><li>Exploring cognitive dissonance </li></ul><ul><li>Maslow's hierarchy of need </li></ul>
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  18. 20. Mary and Martha <ul><li>Short reflection on the different expectations of all the characters in this scene </li></ul><ul><li>Ignatian meditation </li></ul>
  19. 21. Group discussion <ul><li>Open ended discussion prompt – what leapt out of the passage or the meditation? </li></ul><ul><li>Follow up questions on what expectations we see bearing on ourselves, which are legitimate or not </li></ul>
  20. 22. Creative space and journal
  22. 24. Blog
  23. 25. Sources and resources K. Aune, S. Sharma, & G. Vincett (2008) Women and religion in the West: Challenging Secularisation , Ashgate Brother Lawrence (2008 edition) The Practice of the Presence of God , Wilder Publications Ltd J. Fowler, KE Nipkow & F. Schweitzer (1992) Stages of Faith and Religious Development , London: SCM A. Heppenstall (2006) Wild Goose Chase: Exploring the Spirituality of Everyday Life , Iona: Wild Goose Publications J. Morley (1992) All Desires Known , London: SPCK Slee, N. (2004) Women’s Faith Development: Patterns and Processes , Ashgate Publishing