Recently, Nicole and I have been running a discussion group on the Apostles' Creed at our Church. The Apostles' Creed is a traditional statement of faith, used during baptisms, that developed organically in the Western Church over the first few centuries. It wasn't actually written by the apostles, although it is an accurate summary of their teachings.
We're on hiatus now until mid-January, but some people asked for our written material, so here they are:
I believe in God the Father Almighty
Maker of Heaven and Earth
And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary <- Christmas readings!
Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified
Dead, and buried
He descended into hell
The third day he rose again from the dead
He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty
From there he shall come to judge the living and the dead
I believe in the Holy Spirit
I believe in the Holy Catholic* Church
The communion of saints
The forgiveness of sins
The resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting
Each handout discusses a different line in the Creed, and contains 1) a few quotes from the Bible, 2) a few quotes from Christian writers, and 3) two very quick arguments for why Christians believe that part of the Creed.
If you or your church wish to run a similar group, you are free to print out, use, and/or modify these handouts with no restrictions. We begin with prayer, and take turns reading from the handout. Then I've been getting a different church member each Sunday (not necessarily a regular member of the group) to testify for 5-10 minutes what that line in the Creed means to them personally—unfortunately this isn't included in the handouts!—and this opens up a general discussion. Then we end with prayer. The whole thing takes an hour.
When we finish the rest of the handouts (sometime in Februrary or March probably), I will update this post, without making an announcement elsewhere.
Have a Merry Christmas everyone!