Welcome, we acknowledge that we gather on the land of which the people of the Kulin Nations have been custodians since time immemorial.

This is our fourth in a series called The Art of Discipleship where we showcase the material of different books and engage with their material creatively.


The activity this week is taken from:

Women of Spirit: Woman’s Place in Church and Society

This Australian book by Janet Nelson and Linda Walter looks at how church and society both have ways that they tells us what  we are and aren’t supposed to do and how we are and aren’t supposed to look.  How can we reinterpret our self-esteem and identity understanding ourselves to be made in the image of God?

As has been done before, in a Seeds small group and a Women’s Circle at Surrender, images of women doing sacred ordinary things are blu tacked around the room with bible verses referring to women, where God is speaking to women and where “feminine” metaphors are applied e.g. God: “As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 66:13) or “How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” (Matthew 23:27).

This time we also had images of men juxtaposed with this “feminine” language and imagery.

So we had a time of some music playing while people walked around the room ( a reflection space created with pictures, bible passages, mirrors) immersed in these images and words and people were invited to grab a verse or image if it spoke to them and bring back and sit when they were ready.

  • What stands out?
  • What jars? What resonates?
  • What image/text do you have? – tell us about it

Read the story of The Bunyip of Berkeley’s Creek (a theme of the main book)

  • What does it mean to dwell in this idea that: God delights in you!!?
  • Where do you look for your identity? Sense of self?

“If this is my experience, it means that something of the greatest importance is happening.  It means that God is inviting me to discover “Him” no longer as another beside me but as my own deepest and truest self.  He is calling me into the experience of meeting Him to the experience of finding my identity in Him.  I cannot see Him because He is my eyes.  I cannot hear Him because He is my ears.  I cannot walk to Him because He is my feet. And if apparently I am alone and He is not there that is because He will not separate His presence from my own.  If He is not anything at all, if He is nothing, that is because He is no longer another.  I must find Him in what I am or not at all. (Williams 1976)” p.171

How might seeing yourself in the image of God change your life/the way you live?

Using a camera, take some pictures of yourself – not a “selfie” that is about looking your best/who you’re with/what you’re doing but perhaps some part of your body you feel critical of, somehow a part that captures your ‘self’that you might feel critical of – scroll back through the images you have taken and prayerfully try and hear what God is saying to you in the mix of how you feel about yourself.



People can share their photos (if they feel comfortable to do so).
Discuss how the exercise makes you feel or what it gets you thinking about.

Close with the ‘Greeting Circle’ from p.194  – go around the circle blessing each person.

Blessed are you among wo(men) ____________________ [name]
For you have found favour in God’s sight.