Newsletter November 2018
Since our last newsletter, we have held our AGM for 2018 and elected the Secretariat. We will continue to send information from Bristol Cursillo unless you request that you no longer wish to receive newsletters as we are very keen to keep in touch with all 4th day community. Those of us who have continued to attend Group Reunions continue to find them very helpful and we would encourage you to think of trying to attend. If you currently do not participate in a group reunion and would like to do so please let Angela know so that we can arrange to make contact with others for you.
Annual General Meeting
We held our Annual General Meeting on 20th October 2018. The elections resulted in the following appointments:
Lay Director – Angela Smith
Treasurer – Tony Gardener
Secretary – Hilary Greene
Communications Officer – Hilary Greene
Palanca Rep – Hilary Greene
BACC representative – Hazel Tomkins
Co-opted member s– Jean Beech
We are delighted to welcome Hazel to the Secretariat and that Tony is willing to take on the role of Treasurer. Rev Alastair Davies remains as our Spiritual Director.
· Wednesday 21st November 7.30pm at the home of Janet Browning, 4 Haweswater, Twenty Acres Road, Westbury, Bristol, BS10 6PU
· Friday 22nd February 2019 7.00pm at St Mary’s, Hullavington – with National Council. Starting with a meal.
Hello everyone. I would like to introduce myself as the new BACC rep for Bristol Diocese. My husband Chris and I moved to Dursley four years ago to be near family having spent most of our fifty years of married life in the north of England around north Lancashire and the south Lakes. We made our Cursillo in 2003 on Blackburn 38 and were active in that diocese until our move. I hope I can fulfil the role entrusted to me and together we can continue God’s work wherever we are.
The Cost of Prayer
We know that ‘Prayer, Study and Action’ form the basis of Cursillo; for us who follow in the way of Christ, this discipline is particularly important in our daily prayers and when we meet together in small groups or attend an Ultreya.
It is significant that prayer comes first, because it forms the gateway towards a vision of God for which we were created. When we pray we are united with Jesus in God’s work of reconciliation. As St Paul says, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Our prayer and daily life are indivisible. When we pray, we do so just ‘as we are’, learning to accept ourselves and preparing to invite God into every part of our life.
Prayer is both a journey and a reaching-out towards the heart of God; essentially an inner longing, a love affair with God. He comes in search of us. Our hearts are restless, until they find their rest in him. When we discover his great love for us in our lives, so we come to acknowledge that through sin we have often marred his image in us; inevitably we are challenged to make a true conversion of life. We should not see prayer as hoping to ‘get something ‘for ourselves, or others; perhaps security, or happiness or fulfilment. At the heart of our prayer must be the surrendering of ourselves to God, so that by grace, he can work in us what he wills. Prayer incites in us a costly giving in love.
‘Each person must decide whether they are willing to pay the cost of entering into a continually renewed and continually deepening relationship with God in prayer. This requires positive detachment for those giving themselves seriously to the work of prayer. If prayer is learning to unite our wills with the will of God, then the cost must be the cost of Calvary’.
[Encountering the Depths. Mother Mary Clare SLG]
Rev Alastair Davies
From our Lay Director
As I write this I am preparing to visit Norwich for the BACC Standing Committee Meeting on Friday afternoon (16th November) and the Full BACC Council meeting on Saturday, 17th November. I am delighted that Hazel, the new Bristol Cursillo BACC Rep, will be travelling to Norwich with me. At the start of the Standing Committee meeting a short group reunion is held with attendees sharing one thing under either prayer, study or action. On the Friday evening an Ultreya will be held with the Norwich Cursillo community. On Saturday morning, prior to the full BACC meeting there is a worship including the floating group reunion. Norwich is a long way but the benefits of networking with other Cursillistas from around the country, and the support offered by them and other members of the Standing Committee make the travelling worthwhile for me personally and Bristol Diocese as a whole.
In the Bristol Diocese group reunions occur regularly – usually on a monthly basis. Other Cursillistas are keen to attend group reunions but diary and other commitments have prevented these happening on a regular basis. I feel saddened by this and continually pray that issues can be resolved so that more regular group reunions occur. Together with following a rule of life, the group reunion is the bedrock of Cursillo. Quoting from the Group Reunion booklet from the Resource Manual (available to download free of charge from the BACC website):
WHY HAVE GROUP REUNION?
At the heart of Group Reunion is a living experience of life in grace shared with others who seek to live by the same ideal, a realisation of what St Paul (Patron Saint of the Cursillo Movement) meant when he wrote, “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” (1 Cor. 12.77) As is often said in Cursillo, ‘An isolated Christian is a paralysed Christian.’ Group Reunion can provide the mutual enrichment, support and encouragement we need if we are to persevere in our Christian discipleship in response to God’s call to us to be saints and apostles. By facilitating the sharing of personal experience of seeking to live a Christian life of piety, study and action, it can become a well-spring of transformation for group members and, through them, for the world God loves. In Group Reunion, the Body of Christ is made real to its members as they open their inner selves to one another and grow in mutual, Christ-centred love.
By meeting with other Cursillistas on a frequent and regular basis, relationships grow enabling trust, openness and honesty allowing those attending the group to support and encourage each other (this is a two way process of both giving and receiving support and encouragement) on our Christian Journeys for the benefit of Christ.
Bristol Diocese has several Cursillistas who travel long distances to participate in group reunions and continually pray for a local group. Until we have an appointed 4th day co-ordinator I am trying to co-ordinate Cursillistas who wish to become part of a regular group reunion. If you are not attending a regular group reunion please give this action prayerful consideration.
The Cursillo Movement now encourages non-Cursillistas who are interested in the Cursillo movement to participate in group reunions prior to attending a weekend. If you know of anyone who is a committed member of the Church who you think would be interested in the Cursillo method please do hold them in prayer and invite them to attend a group reunion with you. In time, if they are interested in attending the weekend this can be arranged through the Secretariat, with the approval of their local priest, at a neighbouring Diocese which holds regular weekends.
CHRIST IS COUNTING ON US – AND WE ON HIM! ULTREYA!
Unfortunately we had to cancel our 2018 garden party but the 2017 party was such a success, we are planning another one for 2019. This will be held in Tony Gardener’s beautiful garden in Sutton Benger and the provisional date is 13th July.
The National Newsletter for Autumn 2018 has been published on the BACC website.
Hilary Greene, Secretary and Communications Officer
3 Rectory Close
Stanton St Quintin
Angela Smith, Lay Director
Lower Stanton St Quintin