DURHAM ANGLICAN CURSILLO BULLETIN - June 2021
Message from our Lay Director, Martin Luxon
Dear Brothers and Sisters
I don’t need to tell any of you the times they are a changing! We have all been forced to adapt to a totally new way of shopping, working, exercising, worshiping, and even our relationships with family and friends have changed. However, there is hope, but then as Christians there is always hope; and as a fourth day people we are fuelled by hope. Having said that I think even the strongest and most hopeful of us have felt the strain and have struggled at times, I know I have; but hang in there, with prayer and vaccinations, life may be back to normal this time next year.
I want to talk a little about change and some of what is changing in Cursillo. First of all, this year’s AGM will again be on Zoom. I am so sorry for anyone who cannot get on to Zoom but, at the moment, it is the safest way. I spend a lot of time on Zoom and it is a very useful tool, but I don’t like it much. I have, however, loved the Ultreyas we have managed to hold. They were both so encouraging and a lot of fun. We are not planning to keep Zoom up long term!!!
One quite big change is the loss of our Fourth Day Rep’. Rob Mathews is stepping down after many years of service. Rob will be a big miss. Rob is taking on more at his Church and feels it’s time to step back a bit from Cursillo. He assures us we will still see him at events. I would like to publicly thank Rob for all he has done for Durham Anglican Cursillo and look forward to seeing him face to face at the next Ultreya. So, please pray about whether God may be asking YOU to come and be Fourth Day Rep or Pre Cursillo-Rep, or maybe another role?
Another small change will be at the next Ultreya. Our Spiritual Director, Caroline, is wanting to do it a little differently. I’m not going to give anything away so you will have to come to the Cathedral in September and see what she has in mind. Caroline is another change. I have had the pleasure of working with Caroline for over a year now, and many of you know her anyway; but Caroline hasn’t had many opportunities to show her skills as SD and her passion for DAC. So please keep an eye out for the date to be confirmed.
I guess the biggest change is the planning of a two-day weekend. (As it runs from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon, it’s almost a three-day weekend). There has been a lot of positive feedback from Scotland and Chelmsford after their two-day weekends. We here in Durham are putting together a plan to try the two-day event for our next weekend, which will be in 2022. I want to assure you all that it will remain true to the Cursillo ethos and within our constitution. I would encourage you all, again, to think about getting involved and supporting DAC through this.
As ever we as a Secretariat seek God’s will for our organisation and the direction in which we should take things. Please pray for God’s guidance to be clear to us and encourage your group reunions to do the same.
Thanks be to God!!! Ultreya,
Message from our Spiritual Director, Rev Dr Caroline Friswell
Recently I have been reading quite a bit about living as an exile. As Christians in a post-Christian nation, we can often find ourselves out of synch with non-Christian friends, family and work colleagues. We can also feel alienated, at times, from the country in which we live as our Christian values and beliefs clash with so many different cultural attitudes that are expressed around us. It is good, therefore, to remember that Jesus, too, was an exile. He was an exile from heaven living amongst a people who found his radicalism challenging and who badly misunderstood what he was here to do. He embraced his exile, however, because his primary motivation was to serve his Father and he did this by loving the people around him – even those who gave him a hard time.
The danger for exiles is to get into an ‘ex-pat’ kind of way of thinking and hunkering down with other exiles in a holy huddle. Instead, we are called to be the body of Christ working together to be light and salt in the world. Cursillo gives us a way of doing this through our communal, as well as our individual prayer, study and action.
One of the purposes of Cursillo is to encourage one another to live out our baptismal vows and to fulfil our great commission to make disciples of all nations. We need each other and this is where our group reunions and Ultreyas are so valuable to us. So please support both, if you are not currently involved in either, so that we might be a movement that helps grow God’s Kingdom in this diocese. What’s more it will make feelings of exile much easier to bear.
News from the Secretariat
AGM – Saturday 26 June 10:00-12:00 via Zoom
We would like to reinvigorate Durham Anglican Cursillo after the many months of lockdown so please come and support us by attending the AGM. Our keynote speaker will be the Rev. Stephen Bowring, National Spiritual Director. The zoom link is below, but Beth will also be sending out a reminder of the Zoom link nearer the time. If you are not able to access Zoom via video then perhaps you could use the telephone number below. Alternatively, perhaps you could ‘attend’ by joining another Cursillista who does have access to Zoom.
DAC needs You……!
There are three vacancies on Secretariat which we really need to fill so please give prayerful thought to the possibility of you serving the wider Cursillo community by standing for election at the AGM.
The posts involved are: Secretary, Pre-Cursillo Rep’ and Fourth Day Rep’.
If you are interested in standing for any of these positions, please contact Beth Gascoigne on email@example.com
If you are not able to stand yourself perhaps you know someone whom you could encourage to stand instead.
Next Cursillo Weekend
We hope to be able to run a weekend in 2022, subject to Covid, and we will be trialling a shortened weekend – from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon. Other dioceses that have run these shorter weekends have found them just as authentic as the traditional weekend with the advantage that they attract younger participants. We will announce the dates within the next few months.
At the BACC AGM recently we were encouraged to invite non-Cursillistas to our Reunion Groups. This was actually how Cursillo began. Small groups of Christians who had been getting together began to want some training and spiritual development, thus Cursillos (short courses) were introduced. So, if you have any friends or fellow church members whom you think might benefit from joining your Reunion Group then please feel free to invite them along and get them involved.
News from our DAC community
Congratulations to Lilian Clark, a Reader at St Gabriel’s Church, Sunderland, who made her Cursillo on Durham #17 and who has been selected to train for ordained ministry. She will be on placement at St Matthew’s, Silksworth and St Wilfrid’s, Doxford Park and will be ordained deacon by Christmas. Our prayers are with her as she embarks on this exciting new chapter on her Christian journey.
Members of the Secretariat
Martin Luxon – Lay Director
Rev Dr Caroline Friswell – Spiritual Director
Jeffrey Hewitt – Treasurer
Beth Gascoigne – co-opted Secretary
Victoria Button – BAAC Rep'
Robert Matthews – Fourth Day Rep'
Sandy Jackson – Weekend Rep'
Janet Proud – Newcastle Diocesan Rep'