The Vine Dresser and the Fig Tree, by James Tissot (1)

THEOLOGICAL COURSES, RETREATS AND SEMINARS

I. Theology Courses for Lay People

Originally requested by a small group of interested lay people, we have since June 2013 started teaching theology to lay people in Kuching who seriously wish to undertake a systematic reflection of theological issues but have no where to go to do so. Upon request, we have also accepted a class in Sibu to begin early May 2015.

An ideal class size is 15 people. A preferred range is 12 to 20.

Two courses are now on offer, and more will be added upon request.

[1] Christology

Course Aim: To appreciate the tremendous significance and implications of the true humanity of Jesus the Christ in Scriptures, tradition and Christological reflections from the early Church to contemporary times.

Course length: 12 lectures of 2 hours each

Contents:

3 parts: 1. The identity-question of Jesus of Nazareth; 2. The salvation-question of Jesus Christ; 3. The work of Kingdom-advancement of Christian disciples.

8 chapters: 1. Introduction: What does it mean to follow Jesus? 2. Retrospection and the inner dynamism of faith; 3. The lasting significance of Nicaea and Chalcedon; 4. Salvation by ransom, penal substitution and satisfaction; 5. Salvation by love, non-violence and positive non-acceptance; 6. Keeping our Jesus of Nazareth; 7. The kingdom-orientation of the followers of Christ; 8. Christians confronting the pluralism of religions.

[2] Theology of Creation

Course length: 6 lectures of 2 hours each.

6 chapters: 1. Introduction: From creation to eschaton; 2. God the Creator; 3. The meaning of the biblical creation account; 4. The creation of the human being; 5. Sin and salvation; 6. Epilogue: An ethic of creation.

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II. Retreats and Seminars

We have been conducting retreats and seminars based on our existing modules as well as going to the drawing board to design programmes on request. Some of the modules which are still current include the following:

[1] The Prodigal Son Retreat

The current module was first designed together with Archbishop John Ha, Kuching, Sarawak. Inspired initially by Fr. Henri Nouwen’s book titled “The Return of the Prodigal Son,” it is based on the Parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15, Rembrandt’s classic painting, and personal experiences and reflections.

The retreat time-table may be adjusted according to whether it is a lived-in or non-lived-in weekend.

The programme begins with Bible Enthronement on a Friday evening at 8:00 PM followed by “An Introductory Talk” and ends on Sunday afternoon at around 3:30 PM after a “Service of the Cross & Resurrection”.

Saturday begins with Mass. Two talks in the morning focus on the Younger Son and two talks in the afternoon focus on the Elder Son. The evening is taken up by Holy Hour, Benediction and Confessions.

Sunday begins with Mass. Two talks in the morning focus on the Father figure. The retreat concludes with a Service on the Cross and Resurrection in the afternoon.

Note: The Retreat Team normally comprises Archbishop John Ha, Angie & Jeff Goh, except where Archbishop Ha is unavailable in which event a member of the local clergy may be invited to make up the team. To include Archbishop Ha, please apply early, certainly before the end of each calendar year, for possible inclusion in the following calendar year.

[2] Living the Gospel

Type of programme:  A seminar.

Focus: St Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians as a perennially serious and often painful challenge and at times a rude wake up call towards authentic discipleship and truthful community.

Duration: Three half days, usually a Saturday morning and afternoon, and a Sunday morning.

Contents: [I] Introduction – conversion & commitment to discipleship; [II] Knowing God, Belonging to Christ – problem of Factions in the Faith Community; [III] Belonging to Christ in an Unbelieving Society – Sexual Immorality – Problems of Incest; Going to Prostitutes; Taking Brothers to Court; Marriage or Celibacy; Eating Meat Offered to Idols; [IV] Belonging to Christ in a Believing Community – Problems of The Lord’s Supper; Spiritual Gifts; [V] Hoping in God, the “All in All” – Problem of Resurrection of the Body.

[3] Biblical Spirituality Seminar for Couples

Type of programme:  A seminar.

Focus: Couple spirituality, drawn from the Bible and lots of real life stories.

Duration: Three half days, usually a Saturday morning and afternoon, and a Sunday morning, with two input sessions each.

Contents: 1: Male & Female He Created Them; 2: Submit to One Another; 3: Betrayal & Tell-tale Signs; 4: Sweating Blood; 5: Raising Children – Joseph as Model; 6: Loving Service in Foot-Washing.

[4] Eucharist: Real Presence and Life

Type of programme:  A seminar.

Focus: The official teaching on the Eucharist, coupled with challenging spiritual and pastoral reflections towards Eucharistic living.

Duration: Two half days, usually a Saturday morning and afternoon, with two input sessions each.

Contents: 1. Eucharist – Institution and Real Presence; 2. The Last Supper; 3. The Miracle of the Loaves; 4. The Walk to Emmaus.

[5] In Spirit and in Truth

Type of programme:  A seminar.

Focus: Stories of Jesus’ encounters with Women in the Gospel of St John and Book of Esther; raising consciousness of pervasive prejudice against women; the laity’s hard look at their responsibility.

Duration: Three half days, usually a Saturday morning and afternoon, and a Sunday morning, with two input sessions each.

Contents: 1. From Cana to Calvary; 2. Samaritan Woman at the Well; 3. The Woman Caught in Adultery; 4. Mary of Bethany Anointing Jesus’ Feet; 5. Mary Magdalene at the Tomb; 6. Queen Esther and the Catholic Laity.

[6] The Last Judgment

Type of programme:  A seminar.

Focus: Michelangelo’s classic painting, theological considerations and the Scripture passages related to the Last Judgment and the resurrection, towards a more ethical living in the here and now.

Duration: Two to two and a half hours – in one evening or one half day, morning or afternoon.

Contents:  Michelangelo’s classic painting, together with extensive selection of Bible passages, stories and spiritual reflections.

[7] Advent Retreat – From Christian Identity to the Last Judgment

Type of programme:  A seminar/retreat.

Focus: Spiritual reflections for the season of Advent, taking stock, rendering account.

Duration: Three half days, usually a Saturday morning and afternoon, and a Sunday morning, with two input sessions each.

Contents: Meditating on Scriptures and classical paintings, participants move from a heightened consciousness of their Christian identity, through prayers, mission, communion, life-interruptions, and spiritual gifts, towards the Last Judgement. Special emphasis on Word and life.

[8] Programmes on the Sacraments, RCIA, Ecclesiology, Christology, Paschal Mystery, Day of Recollection, Group Retreat.

On request.

Contact:

Dr. Jeffrey & Angie Goh

House phone: +6082410414

Mobile: 0138171858

Emails: jeffangiegoh@gmail.com