Exploring The God Question: Sharing the Experience
From the many ‘Exploring’ sessions held across the world in more than 30 countries, we have selected 3 leaders in the UK whom we have asked to share their experiences. We identify them simply as JC, MF and RM.
Where were the sessions held?
We held the sessions in our church hall. – JC
We explored The God Question in our main church sanctuary. – MF
We used a room in a local Toby Carvery. The proprietor was happy for us to have the facility free as long as we bought drinks on arrival. – RM
How were the sessions advertised?...
The normal church publicity machine was used to spread the word. – JC and MF
The events were advertised in posters in shop windows and noticeboards. Leaflets were distributed in the local community. - RM
There was an even spread of men and women and included younger people. We consistently had around 40 people attending. – JC
We started with 16 folk on the first night but it quickly grew to 30, thanks to word of mouth recommendation. – MF
We were able to welcome about 40 people. On every evening, there were believers, atheists and agnostics attending. Exploring The God Question material is excellent for a situation in which people of faith and those of none can combine in really meaningful discussion. - RM
What was the format of the evening?
Each evening was introduced by two scientists who set the scene. The viewing of the programme followed and then group discussion, using the study guide. The evening concluded with a light snack. – JC
Typically, after a short introduction from me, the format was simply ‘view and then discuss’ using the study guide much of the time - though conversations naturally followed their own direction sometimes. – MF
Each evening commenced with the viewing of the episode, followed by discussions in groups. There was a very positive atmosphere and people from all persuasions enjoyed the evenings very much. - RM
What was the outcome?
We are motivated to create our own curriculum on the subject of God and Science. We would also now like to extend the opportunity to Explore the God Question to the local community. Probably, for this, we will combine with one or more churches in the area. – JC
Exploring The God Question is now part of our ongoing programme. Its popularity has meant that more and more people wish to engage with it and we have even offered it twice in one day: in the afternoon as well as in the evening. – MF
On the last evening, I gave those present an opportunity to add their names to a list if they wanted to continue the discussions in some form or another. Arising from this, there is now a group of believers, atheists and agnostics meeting to continue our explorations of the big questions. Separately, I have been asked to re-run Exploring the God Question sessions for others in the local community. – RM
If you would like to communicate directly with others who have experience of organising and presenting Exploring the God Question sessions, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org