We're approaching the end of 2019 (where have the months gone?). Now is a good opportunity to update you all on where TTS is going as we move into the new year.
Theology That Sings has been around (in one form or another) for just over three years. Starting in Gill Brown's living room, then meeting at the McGrath's, before opening up to the Churches in Chester in Oct 2018. We've had dozens and dozens of people participate in sessions, and God has been incredibly kind to us. There have always been hungry sheep, and the Spirit has always been faithful to the Word, making it come alive as we explore it for ourselves.
Moving into 2020 there are going to be some changes. The Foundations and Essentials courses will come to their natural end in Jan/Feb 2020. There's a fairly large elephant in the room here - what next?! At this precise moment in time, we don't feel God leading us to run either course again (at least not immediately). The Virtues course will continue, and all those currently attending Foundations and Essentials are invited to start attending the Virtues sessions whenever they want.
Beyond that... we just don't know! Do pray for us as we seek God's leading. Will we re-run the Foundations course? Maybe. Perhaps in a completely different form. It's also possible that we'll create an entirely new thing, and host that instead. This is something we're actively praying about.
We have also enjoyed meeting at Nathan and Jo's house for the Essentials sessions since Sept 19. The group has actually grown since the change of venue; I think TTS has living rooms in its genes! The big announcement at this point is that as of Nov 19, the Foundations sessions will also be changing venue - we'll no longer be meeting at Freedom, but instead convene at Nathan and Jo's. The living room will be a little more squished, but I think it'll change the dynamics of the session in a positive direction.
I want to take this opportunity to thank Freedom Church for their amazing hospitality! They've been nothing but gracious and generous hosts, always available and willing to help.
Chester has a great heritage in the Lord. From the early Christians under Roman rule in Deva, to George Marsh the Boughton martyr, to Matthew Henry the Cestrian preacher - God has been faithful to this city for many centuries. Our prayer is that God reforms and revitalises the Churches of Chester in the power of his Spirit, according to his Word. For as long as we're able, Theology That Sings will serve God's people to exactly that end. What an exciting privilege! We invite you to join us at our next session, and to join us in prayer as we move forward.
As we've explained before, in May 2019 we launched 'TTS Essentials' - a midweek course for busy believers, all about the basics of Christian theology. The sessions don't require previous attendance and are totally stand-alone. Originally we trialled TTS Essentials throughout the beginning of the Summer, just to gauge interest, and I don't see any reason why we shouldn't continue throughout Autumn 2019!
Whereas Freedom Church have very kindly hosted them up until now, I've decided to move the Essentials Sessions to my own home. So far the group attending Essentials has been relatively small, and I think it'd be good for us to meet in a different and more intimate setting. (Note: the Foundations sessions will continue meeting at Freedom - we're again very grateful to Freedom Church for their hospitality!)
Our next scheduled Essentials session is on Wed 4th Sept - arrive from 7.15pm to start at 7.30pm. You can find a full list of Autumn 2019 dates on the Term page. You can also find directions to my house on the Directions page. (Click the link!) If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
Well, here we are - over a month and a half has passed since we last met for a TTS session, and yet it feels like no time at all! I do hope you've all had lovely summers and are ready to jump back into the Word together.
I've updated the Term Page - it now includes full dates for Autumn/Winter 2019. Do go and check it out, take a note of all the dates and pop them in your diaries.
Our next session is THIS Sunday coming (i.e. Sun 1st September). We'll be meeting as a Foundations group to start a new, two-part series on 'Pneumatology', i.e. our doctrine of the Holy Spirit. See you there!
A little while ago, we launched TTS Essentials - a brisk walk through some foundational Biblical truths, aimed at the busy believer who'd find Sunday evenings tricky to attend, or the Foundations course too big a commitment.
I've been really grateful to all those who have made it so far. Last night we looked at the doctrine of the Trinity. It's such a privilege to study these things at length. We've got one more Essentials session scheduled between now and the end of our summer term - we'll be meeting on Wed 3rd July at Freedom Church, from 7.15pm. If you've not been before, we'd love to see you!
So far I've not uploaded any notes for the Essentials sessions, primarily because they offer a modified version of what is taught in the longer Foundations course. However, after being asked about it last night, I've realised that it might actually be helpful to provide the notes here. Find below a copy of everything we've looked at so far!
I. The Awesome Sound
Imagine waking up in a great concert hall amongst a vast congregation of singers. The first thing you hear is a wondrous song, a musical masterpiece, proceeding from the stage at the centre of a circular arena. The sound, though not particularly loud at first, is filled with a thousand perfect harmonies. The intertwined music and lyrics seem more ancient than you can possibly imagine, but at the same time refreshing and relevant. The song never seems to end, and yet it somehow stays entirely captivating, telling a great tale of many movements. It is easily the most beautiful music you have ever heard.
Your heart is gripped in awe, and you are drawn to the source to which all the audience direct their voices. You gaze in the same direction, for on the stage is an awesome scene: a throne, overarched by a rainbow. The One sitting on it has the appearance of precious gems, and next to the throne there is an empty bloodstained cross. All around the throne is a host of musicians and vocalists, young and old, addressing their various sounds to the One in echo of His song. In front of them stands the Conductor, and you realise that you somehow know Him; He has the appearance of the Son of Man. You notice a large songbook in front of you. You pick it up in the hope of confirming what your memory is telling you. The title reads: “The Holy Word of God and The Gospel of Grace: The Wisdom by which the Earth was founded and the Heavens Established”, followed by the conductor’s name, “The Word who was with God in the beginning and is God, Who dwelt amongst humanity for their redemption”.
Now you remember. He is the One who saved you from the state you used to be in; the One who rescued you from the sea of destruction.
Welcome to the Theology That Sings blog. Here you'll find news of upcoming events, as well as notes and notices.