Our “We Believe” series is posting weekly from Aug 22, 2012, through the end of September. Content will remain in archives after that date.
To see the current post and listen to an interview, go to the “home” tab, above.
For our weekly “For your own reflection” thoughts, scroll down
The Nicene Creed in photos:
Click on one of the links for the Nicene Creed in words and photos. For the first link, you must have PowerPoint on your computer (this is the preferred viewing method). If you do not have PowerPoint, click on the PDF link.
The Nicene Creed in photos PowerPoint
The Nicene Creed in photos PDF file
For your own reflection:
Week 6 – the Holy Spirit (go to week 6 posts)
Thoughts and Questions for Reflection:
In what ways have you allowed your biological existence to give you ultimate meaning and value? What happens when one or another of life’s circumstances takes away that meaning and value? Who are you then? What becomes of your life?
Have you ever tried to reinvent yourself? How did that work for you? How many times can we reinvent ourselves?
This part of the Creed suggests that life is dynamic, not static. In some sense letting go is at the core of all authentic spirituality. Are you willing to let go of the life you have to receive a new life? To what do you cling? What makes it hard to let go?
Consider this third part of the Creed in light of what G.K. Chesterton wrote: “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried” (What’s Wrong with the World, p. 48)
Imagine what the Church, the world, and life would look like if we truly lived an ecclesial existence.
Week 5 – God the Son (go to week 5 posts)
Thoughts and Questions for Reflection:
- What has been your understanding and experience of human nature? Have you ever used your humanity as an excuse?
- This scandal has implications for our understanding of sin. Consider this. Sin does not arise from being “only human” but from living as less than fully human.
- The scandal also changes how we understand salvation. Rather than being saved from something, salvation is a process of becoming complete, more fully who we were intended to be, more like God.
- What would it mean for you to live the scandal? How might this change your relationships and the things you say and do?
Week 4 – God the Father (go to week 4 posts)
This week, read “Five Thing We Believe About God” by the Rev. Mike Marsh, and listen to an interview with Betty Chumney, Director of World Mission for the Diocese of West Texas. Go to week 4 posts.
- What are your images of God? Where did they come from? Have they changed over your lifetime? If so, how? How have they sustained and grown you? How have they prevented growth?
- In what ways does the Creed challenge or support your image of God?
- How does your life reflect what the Creed professes?
- Implicit in our statements about God are corresponding statements about humanity. What is being said about humanity in the declarations of this first part of the Nicene Creed?
This week: read Communal Believing by the Rev. Mike Marsh and listen to an interview with Greg Richards, Director of College Mission for the Diocese of West Texas. (to go to Week 3 posts)
- Chances are that we know Sheila. She is a part of most of us. What are your “Sheilaisms?”
- What in the Nicene Creed is difficult for you to say and believe? Why?
- While the Creeds do set boundaries on what we are to believe, they also call us into a larger and more complete belief. How does the Nicene Creed challenge you and call you into a larger believing?
- When has the Church praying “We believe” strengthened and carried you? Consider that there is someone who was sustained by your praying “We believe.”
Week 2 (to go to Week 2 posts)
- The Nicene Creed is, at least in part, a response to controversy and dispute within the Church. Reading the creed is like reading the answers. What are the questions? What controversies do you see being addressed by the Nicene Creed? Do they still exist today? If so, how?Pray the Apostles’ Creed (BCP, p. 96) or the Nicene Creed (BCP, p. 358) as it is printed in The Book of Common Prayer. Try it several times but now substitute one of the following wherever it says, “I/We believe in.”
I am/We are believing in;
I am/We are entrusting and committing myself/ourselves to;
I am/We are giving myself/ourselves to.
What was that like? Do you hear or experience the creed differently? If so, how?
- Why is the Nicene Creed placed where it is in the Eucharistic liturgy? What is its relationship to what comes before it, the Word of God (BCP, p. 355), and to what comes after it, the Holy Communion (BCP, p. 361)?
- Notice that in the baptismal covenant (BCP, p. 304) and in the Great Vigil of Easter (BCP, p. 292) the Apostles’ Creed is in a question and answer form. Why is this?
Week I (go to the Week 1 post)
- Often when we pray the liturgy we hear voices that are speaking faster or slower than others. Try this the next time you pray the Creed: Intentionally join your voice to the voice next to you. Listen and then adjust your cadence to mirror that of the person standing next to you. How does that feel? Do you experience anything new or different?
- Do you simply recite the Creed? Do you pray the Creed? Do you live the Creed? Are these different? If so, in what ways? What implications do they have for your life and faith?
- In the “Repetitious Believing” article by the Rev. Mike Marsh, consider Bishop Ware’s statement, “The Creed belongs only to those who live it.” What might you do or change that would help you live the Creed? How might living the Creed affect your relationships with others?
- Bishop David Reed says, “There continues to be a live question in the minds of Christians and non-Christians alike. The question is, “Who is Jesus?” We might ask that question of ourselves: Who is Jesus for you? (To hear the interview with Bishop Reed, click here