My diocese offers a course for established members of the Church that will help us to discover more about the Bible, what it means, and the Church of England, and helps us grow in our faith, carry this faith into our lives, and share it with others. Of course I couldn’t resist. I have reached the point, where reading the Bible on my own and reading about lots of things also on my own, starts to get counterproductive because all it does is confuse me. When Jonathan (who leads the group near where I live) told me about it I jumped at the chance. Today was the first session. We didn’t exactly start today though, because there was an opening service at the cathedral that was very nice, where we were sent out to discover; but today was the first time I really got to meet the members of my group and we started a little bit discovering each other and our stories. Obviously everything said in these sessions is confidential and so I will not be sharing any personal stories of anyone other than me. But just the fact that, after meeting for the first time ever, some of us felt able to share some deeply personal things about ourselves (not everyone, but quite a few) was very encouraging. Even though most of the time was more of an introduction and it didn’t feel like we were doing any actual “work” (hopefully it will never feel like work) I came home encouraged in my faith and my journey, and refreshed because I had met other people who were at completely different points in their lives and faith and from a large variety of backgrounds but all of us had the faith in God and Christ in common. About half of us stayed behind in a little cafe after we finished because we were not ready to go yet. And I am also deeply gratified that I like so many of them. To be honest, all my prejudices about who is active in churches had led me to expect a group of old women and (you can laugh at me now) there was not a single old woman in the room (there are 8 of us, the oldest of which is around 60 and a man, the youngest is 21 and everyone else is above 28 and below 40 as far as I can tell). Not one housewife either. It is too bad we only meet once a week. I have already finished all the “homework” we were given, so what am I supposed to do until next week?!?!