‘Dare to Dream’ – a Lenten Resource for the whole Diocese.
Bishop Declan invites each one of us to take time during this coming Lent to reflect on the life of our Diocese as we move forward out of the pandemic. Inspired by the writings of Pope Francis, ‘Dare to Dream’ encourages us to think about God’s invitation to each one of us to shape the future of the Church, particularly in this corner of the world. Each reflection is accompanied by a video which we encourage you to watch before engaging with the scripture offered. This resource can be used by individuals, by families or by already established on-line parish groups. As we move towards Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, an introductory session will help to orientate us for the weeks ahead. Each session has a similar framework to follow. The reflections and videos will appear on the Diocesan Website under the banner – ‘Dare to Dream’. We are encouraged to read the accompanying resource before we set out on this journey through Lent and later onwards to Eastertide. Each new video and reflection will be available on the Friday before each Sunday of Lent.
Taking time during Lent will enable all of us to contribute more fully to the conversations that every deanery will be having to discern how we grow our parishes to be places of mission, serving the poor and responding out of our abundance to the needs of the local community and the wider world.
A MESSAGE FROM BISHOP DECLAN LANG
Someone once said to me; if we do not dream, how can we shape the future?
The seasons of Lent and Easter are an invitation to share the dream of Jesus, a dream which he called the Kingdom of God. These 40 days of Lent and 50 days of Easter are times to renew our understanding of and living by the dream of God. We do so as members of the Body of Christ because as we are reminded on Ash Wednesday, it is the whole community, young and old who enter the Lenten call to be reconciled to God and one another and to be ambassadors for Christ.
As we look to the future, we need to have a dream which broadens our horizons from just looking at ourselves and our parishes and enables us to be missionary disciples. Where is our mission and how can we live it more faithfully.
Change is going to happen. We can look at it positively or negatively. As Moses said to the people of his day, when they were experiencing a time of change; I set before you life and death. Choose life. (Deut. 30:19)
The way ahead may not always be clear, but we believe in the promise of Jesus that he will always be with us until the end of time. In that is our hope, that the Lord walks by our side, even when like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, we do not always recognise his presence. But we will recognise him at the breaking of the bread.
I commend this resource for Lent and Easter as a way to dream the Kingdom of God and to shape the future of our diocese.
Rt Rev Declan Lang, Bishop of Clifton
St Ambrose, Feast of Candlemas, February 2021
Resources for ‘Dare to Dream’
Please use these documents to guide you through Lent and ‘Dare to Dream’. They will also explain how to approach the videos each week.
New resources will be added as we journey through Lent and a new video will be posted each week.
Lent Week 1 – The Time has Come
Week beginning 21st February 2021
Before you begin the prayer…
The season of Lent is one of metanoia, of transformation and of a movement towards new life. It is the journey we take which leads from where we are to somewhere new, from being trapped or enslaved to new life. When we talk about metanoia, the journey we are taking is one that may lead us to a change of heart, of mind, self or way of life. As a diocese we are being invited to take such a journey, to allow ourselves to be transformed, not only personally but communally. If our diocese is to flourish we will need to make the journey, a journey that will not be easy but one that does have the potential to be rich and rewarding. As it does each year, the Lenten journey begins with an invitation to enter the desert with Jesus.
Video: The Call to be a People of Hope through Lent
Watch and listen to Fr. Tom Finnegan on the right of this page
Introduction to Lenten Reflections
Week beginning 14th -19th February 2021
‘I am the handmaid of the Lord, let what you have said be done to me.’ Luke 1:38
For our introductory session we focus on Mary and the life-changing decision she was asked to make when the angel came to her with a message from God. Whilst in Scripture it seems that her decision was made instantaneously, the likelihood is that it took her sometime before she could respond. In the end it was possible because Mary lived a life rooted in prayer with a desire to do the will of God. Her eyes were consistently on God and her ears open to hearing what God was calling her to.