Author: BACI: Biblical Association for the Church of Ireland

Lenten Study 2019 Preview: Transforming Repentance — Coming Home to God

BACI Lentstudy 2019 cover

THE LENTEN BIBLE STUDY for 2019 offered by the Biblical Association for the Church of Ireland will be presented by a group of young writers from the RevoLectionary team organised by UCD chaplain Scott Evans. (RevoLectionary is a weekly blog written by young Christians, reflecting on the gospel readings for the coming week.)

The Lent Holy Gospel readings from St. Luke, which include the parable of the prodigal son, have inspired the title, ‘Transforming Repentance: Coming Home to God’. Repentance, of course, is a key Christian command, but the English word fails to convey the drama of the Greek metanoia, which implies a complete turnaround of a person’s life.  Scott Evans explains: ‘Rather than falling prey to the shallow version of repentance as saying “sorry for not being perfect”, we will reflect on repentance as a return to who we are called to be as part of God’s redemptive plan’. The key texts for the studies will be the Gospel readings for the first five weeks of Lent.

The Bible Study booklets will be available in January from BACI treasurer Barbara Bergin ( at the usual price of €2.50 or £2.25 plus postage, or at the formal launch in Church House, Rathmines on January 22nd (further details to follow), where a 10% discount for multiple copies will apply. The study will later also be available for download from this BACI website.


AUTUMN LECTURE: ‘Cable Ties & Icons — Ecumenism: Behind the Scenes at the Pope’s Visit to Ireland’ (AGM to follow)

Archbishop Michael Jackson and Other Clergy at Phoenix Park Papal Mass (Credit: Janet Maxwell)

Greg Fromholz, Coordinator for Young Adults in the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough, will be the speaker at the Biblical Association for the Church of Ireland’s Autumn Lecture preceding its AGM on Saturday September 29th in Holy Trinity Church, Rathmines, where he is also a member of the Rubicon team.

The title of his lecture — ‘Cable Ties & Icons: Ecumenism — Behind the Scenes at the Pope’s Visit to Ireland’ — refers to his work for the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) as co-ordinator of performers and artists taking part in the WMOF presentations at the RDS Family Arena and at the Pope’s Mass in Phoenix Park.

‘I was involved with everything’, says Fromholz, ‘from booking the artists, including a Protestant NI band (Rend Collective) to play at the Papal Mass, a rare thing, to overseeing the relics and icons at the Mass — including cable-tying them down as the Pope was fast approaching — to co-creating the pre/post programmes of the Mass (with Ger Gallagher) and serving in a myriad of consultation roles throughout the week; also co-creating and running the main stage RDS programme at the WMOF’. Fromholz notes that the biblical principles of service and trust applied at every turn.

Greg’s talk is sure to enliven discussion on the important topic of ecumenism in Ireland.

LECTURE: ‘Cable Ties & Icons — Ecumenism: Behind the Scenes of the Pope’s Visit to Ireland’ — presented by Greg Fromholz.

DATE/TIME: The event will take place on Saturday, 29th September 2018. Tea and coffee upon arrival at 10.00am. Lecture to commence 10.30am, followed by questions.

AGM: The BACI AGM will follow after lecture and questions.

LOCATION: Holy Trinity Church, Rathmines. Directions HERE.

ADMISSION: Free to paid-up members of BACI. Admission charge for non-members is €5.

FURTHER INFORMATION: Mrs. Barbara Bergin, BACI Treasurer, or telephone 01-2888877.


2Archbishop Michael Jackson and the bishops and archbishops processing into the Papal Mass at the Phoenix Park. (Photo Danny Tiernan) copy
Archbishop Michael Jackson at Phoenix Park Papal Mass (Photo credit: Danny Tiernan)

‘Young Voices Speaking Old Words: A Lectionary Revolution’ – BACI’s Spring Lecture

Article by Lynn Glanville, Diocesan Communitions Officer for Dublin & Glendalough

RevoLectionary writer Emma Rothwell and founder Scott Evans (centre) with BACI committee members, the Revd Dr William Olhausen, Barbara Bergin, Canon Dr Ginnie Kennerley and the Revd Jack Kinkead at the BACI Spring Lecture.


RevoLectionary – Youth Blogging about God

There is a story being told on the internet which is not being informed by the Church while there is a narrative happening in the Church which is often not informed by the wider world. So says Scott Evans, founder of RevoLectionary, the weekly online blog on the lectionary which is written by young adults.

Scott was speaking at the Biblical Association for the Church of Ireland’s Spring Lecture which took place in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, yesterday (Sunday, April 29). He was joined by one of RevoLectionary’s writers, Emma Rothwell, who is the Diocesan Youth Officer for Meath and Kildare and chaplain at Wilson’s Hospital School.

RevoLectionary is a 600 to 1,000 word blog released every Tuesday on the readings for the following Sunday to help people who are going to be preaching to engage with the text and hear young adults’ perspectives on it. It is also for people who are interested in following the lectionary and hearing the voices of young adults.

Helping Youth to Engage with the Bible

The blog grew in response to three challenges and three opportunities. Scott identified the challenges as being Biblical illiteracy and the difficulty young adults have in engaging with the Bible; the need to engage in the online world; and the need to bring the perspective of the wider world in which we live to the Church.

“There is a story being told on the internet that is often not being informed by the Church so we wanted to introduce ourselves into that space and be part of the online conversation. But there is also a narrative that is happening in the church world that is not being informed by the wider world in which we live. We wanted to be able to participate in that so that we could feed into the conversations that are happening in churches,” he explained.

Networking to Access New Preaching Resources

He also identified three key opportunities which he said included a local and global network of clergy and lay readers who have to preach on a particular passage every Sunday. “We have a captive audience and there is not a lot of people creating stuff for them,” he pointed out. He added that creating websites has never been cheaper or easier. Most importantly he highlighted the “unique relationships with passionate and articulate young adults who truly care about what’s happening in the world, what’s happening in church and what’s happening in Scripture.”

Emma Rothwell spoke about why she enjoys writing for RevoLectionary. She wanted to get involved because she loves to study the Bible and share it with others and was delighted to get the opportunity to go deeper into the Bible. She spoke about her background in the Church of Ireland and as a student of the Bible and highlighted the foundational value of children’s ministry.

But she said that when young people enter secondary school the Church of Ireland failed them. “We confirm you and then give you no idea what to do or how to be a Christian after that point. That’s difficult because young people won’t come; they won’t come to church or to anything that you’re doing so the blame can’t really be put on clergy. But you don’t get a step up as to how to read the Bible as an adult,” she commented.

Starting Conversations about Lectionary

The lectionary is a discipline and being involved in RevoLectionary is a discipline for her, Emma explained. As someone who prepares a weekly sermon for her school, she said she realised it was easy to fall into a rut and ask what will they get out of this piece of Scripture. In RevoLectionary she is not feeding a congregation but starting a conversation.

She stressed the importance of stories and the narratives of the Bible and the lectionary is based on the idea of story and continuing the story. “The spirit of the age is yearning for the narrative approach … people want a truth that feels real,” she said.

Concluding, Scott said that the strength of the project was the diversity of the team of writers and their different backgrounds from which they approach the text. He said all the contributors, except Emma, were raised outside the Church of Ireland which raised the question of how the Church of Ireland could create models for increasing Biblical knowledge without bringing in people from the outside.

He said the success of the project would be measured by its capacity to create ways to increase Biblical knowledge and understanding of the text and to raise up students with knowledge and wisdom. He said it also gave young people the opportunity to create an ethical framework which is dynamic and nuanced because it is them we need in our pews and pulpits in the future.

RevoLectionary is funded by the Priorities Fund of the Church of Ireland. It can be found at

BACI’s spring lecture was live streamed and you may find it at the bottom of the page on this Dublin and Glendalough Facebook Link.

The Biblical Association for the Church of Ireland (BACI) exists to enrich and deepen the use of the Bible in the Church of Ireland.



‘Young Voices’ in Christ Church Cathedral Bible Event – BACI Spring Lecture

‘A Lectionary Revolution: Young Voices Speaking Old Words’ is the title for the BACI’S Spring Lecture by University College Dublin chaplain Scott Evans on April 29th.


The leader of the ‘REVōLECTIONARY’ group — which has been posting young people’s reflections on the Sunday readings on line since September 2016 — will be accompanied by members of his team.

This BACI Spring Lecture will take place in Christ Church Cathedral’s Chapter Room after 3.30pm evensong on Sunday April 29th. Tea at 4.30pm, courtesy of the Dean. Start at 4.45pm. All welcome. (No charge for BACI members.)



Irish Biblical Association


BACI Launch of 2018 Lenten Study on the ‘Five Marks of Mission’

BACI_2018_launch_committeePhilip McKinley, Barbara Bergin, the Revd Dr William Olhausen, Archbishop Michael Jackson, Archbishop Richard Clarke, Canon Dr Ginnie Kennerley, and Canon Paul Houston at the launch of BACI’s 2018 Lenten Study.

Note: Following are excerpts from a press release from the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough at the launch of the BACI 2018 Lenten Study. See the post following the present post for detailed information on the study and additional information on where to obtain copies.

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Lynn Glanville, Diocesan Communications Officer, reports:

The 2018 BACI Lenten Study — As the Father Sent Me, So I Send You — was launched in Church House, Dublin, yesterday (Tuesday January 23) by Archbishop Michael Jackson. The Archbishop has put the ‘Five Marks of Mission’ at the centre of the United Dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough’s discipleship programme, Come&C.

The Five Marks of Mission were formulated in the Anglican Communion in 1984 and have been emphasised in the Church of Ireland in recent years. This year’s BACI Lenten Study focuses on the important aspects of Christian mission, moving from the teaching and pastoral care required after initial conversion to the wider societal challenges of the Gospel.

The writers contributing the study’s five chapters addressing each mark of mission are the Revd Jack Kinkead, the Revd Lesley Robinson, Mr Philip McKinley, Canon Paul Houston and Mr David Ritchie of the RCB. The Archbishop thanked the study’s editor, Canon Dr Ginnie Kennerley, for the way the work is presented and commended BACI’s accomplishments in bringing the Bible to the centre of life in the Church of Ireland.

Archbishop Jackson said that the invitation to “go and make disciples” is not just an invitation to go and recruit members. “It is about affirming people who are already doing good and interesting and Godly things.”

He drew out several nuggets contained in the Bible studies. Under the heading of the ‘Tell’ chapter of the study, he said one of the important questions raised is how the Church of Ireland would cope with a plentiful harvest, a question he suggested that is not often asked. The ‘Teach’ chapter highlights the importance of both instruction and modelling and looks at the holistic aspect of teaching.

The ‘Tend’ chapter looks at the wider responsibility and individual commitment that need to come together and the concept of praying for, and contributing to, the flourishing of the city we are in. The study looks at pilgrims, refugees and migrants but also people who are moving through a consumer society. The chapter also examines tending the self.

The ‘Transform’ chapter makes a plea for Christian engagement in politics. The Archbishop said that Christians are encouraged not to sidestep the political world and also to invited to seek ways of being in solidarity with others.

Archbishop Jackson discussed how the ‘Treasure’ chapter looks at the connection between theology and ecology. “It is very important for us in the Church of Ireland to have this articulated by the Chief Officer,” he stated, citing the chilling phrase used by Mr Ritchie that we are “chipping away at the goodness of the Earth”. He said the study highlights our theological responsibility, but also the need for a reversal of expectations whereby we walk or cycle where we would formerly have driven.

“Each of these studies draws in reflection, Scripture, commentary and prayer so as to comprehensively engage with the Five Marks of Mission…. The Marks of Mission are not exclusive of each other. In doing one you might actually be doing two or three. Mission is exciting. It is also an intrinsic part of our relationship with our neighbour,” he concluded.

Chairman of BACI, the Revd Dr William Olhausen, also thanked Canon Kennerley and all the BACI committee and contributors for their work on the study chapters. He said that each year BACI aims to engage the Church with more relevant studies and get more people involved. He said that the studies alert people to the broad canvas of what mission is and added that there is something for everyone in them.

Copies of BACI’s Lent 2018 studies are available at £2.25 or €2.50 each and are obtainable from the larger cathedral bookshops or by post from the Book Well in Belfast or the Biblical Association for the Church of Ireland treasurer, Barbara Bergin in Dublin

The full press release may be found online at: BACI Press Release. Contact for Lynn Glanville is

2018 Lenten Study Available – ‘Readings to Support the Five Marks of Mission’

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The Biblical Association for the Church of Ireland (BACI) launches their highly engaging 2018 Lenten Study on the 23rd of January. The study, entitled, As the Father Sent Me, so I Send You – Readings to Support the 5 Marks of Mission, is a resource for churches to examine the subject of the Anglican Communion’s ‘Five Marks of Mission’ in the context of biblical readings.

Biblical Foundation. Christ sends his followers, his disciples, into all the world to share his love and his teaching (Matt 28:19-20), and to make new disciples whom he will send in their turn. We are to go in God’s peace, and we will succeed only through God’s gift of the Holy Spirit.  We are to ‘stay in the city’ until we ‘are clothed with power from on high’ (Luke 24:49).

Animated by the Holy Spirit. As Canon Ginnie Kennerley states in the Study Introduction, we must be grounded in this understanding of Christian mission before we seek to respond to the call for mission itself. Mission is — literally — being sent out, not by any human authority, but by the Lord himself.  We are to go in his peace, and we are not to go until animated by the Holy Spirit. If for his ministry Jesus himself needed the outpouring of the Spirit at his baptism, how could his disciples possibly dispense with such an anointing?

Five Marks of Mission as Road-Map. To enter into mission, we need to be disciples ourselves, and ‘to be aware at least that we are striving and seeking God’s help to be true disciples, following Jesus as he has revealed himself to us and seeking always to be faithful.  Only then can we dare share the Good News of the Kingdom, whether we are sent out across the world or to the house next door.’ Human beings need a structure or plan for mission.  The Anglican Communion’s Five Marks of Mission offer us this kind of road-map as we contemplate Jesus’ call to ‘make disciples’ for him. The Five Marks of Mission are Tell, Teach, Tend, Transform, and Treasure, each examined in the study in separate chapters structured to be used as individual group study sessions which include prayer, an introduction to the material, a relevant Scripture reading, and study questions to stimulate discussion.

Study Launch. Archbishop Michael Jackson will launch the 2018 Study on the 23rd of January at Church House, Dublin, at 1.15pm. Copies will be available at the launch at a ten percent discount for ten copies. The retail price is £2.25 or €2.50, obtainable from the larger cathedral bookshops, the Bookwell in Belfast, or the the BACI Treasurer, Barbara Bergin,

Copies of the Study may be downloaded below as a PDF file:



Autumn Lecture: Engaging with the Five Marks of Mission (AGM to follow)

We are happy to announce the subject of BACI’s Autumn Lecture: The Church in the World: Engaging with the Five Marks of Mission.


The Five Marks of Mission that have traditionally been identified by the Anglican Communion are being presented by the following:

  1. TELL – Revd Jack Kincaid: To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
  2. TEACH – Revd Lesley Robinson: To teach, baptise and nurture new believers;
  3. TEND – Mr Philip McKinley: To respond to human need by loving service;
  4. TRANSFORM – Revd Canon Paul Houston: To transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation;
  5. TREASURE – Mr. David Ritchie: To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth.

DATE/TIME: The event will take place on Wednesday, 13 September, 2017 at 7.30pm.

AGM: The BACI AGM will follow at approximately 8.45pm.

LOCATION: Parish Centre at Castleknock (Parishes of Castleknock and Mulhuddart with Clonsilla), 7.30 for 7.45 p.m. A map of the Castleknock area indicating the Parish Centre is HERE.

ADMISSION: Free to paid-up members of BACI. Admission charge for non-members: €5.

LENTEN STUDY GUIDE: We look forward to the further contribution of each of our presenters in the preparation of chapters for the 2018 Lenten Study, available in January.

FURTHER INFORMATION: Mrs. Barbara Bergin, BACI Treasurer, or telephone 01-2888877.

Johannine ‘Gardener’ Theme Explored at 2017 Spring Lecture

In BACI’s 2017 Spring Lecture in Rathfarnham parish church (April 27), Margaret Daly-Denton explored themes from her forthcoming book, John, an Earth Bible Commentary: Supposing Him to be the Gardener (London: Bloomsbury/T&T Clark, July 2017). This volume in the Earth Bible Commentary Series suggests how John’s gospel might motivate and resource a Christian response to the ecological crisis.

Addressing the combined BACI and IBA audience, Margaret remarked on how aptly Mary Magdalene recognized the risen Jesus as ‘Gardener’ (John 20.15), completing his day’s work in the ‘garden’ of the Earth. The story of Jesus offers his present-day followers a paradigm with considerable potential to inspire Earth care, sustainable living, and commitment to eco-justice. The evangelist suggests that Jesus fulfils the Jewish hope for a restoration envisaged as a return of humankind to Eden.

Mindful of the garden theme, Margaret reads John’s gospel with sensitivity to the role of the more-than-human world in the narrative with particular attention to the scriptural underlay that repeatedly brings this world into the foreground. Beginning with an exploration of the memories and associations that the garden setting would have evoked for the intended audience, she then follows the gospel’s spiral path that eventually leads to the garden of Mary’s encounter with Jesus. The gospel challenges the reader with the question of how believers might undertake God’s work in today’s ecologically damaged world (John 6.28). Margaret’s insightful book also offers practical suggestions relating to the settings occupied by those who hear her passionate —  yet disciplined — challenge to share in the work of ‘Gardener’.


The Biblical Association for the Church of Ireland is delighted to announce that the BACI Spring Lecture 2017 will be given by Dr Margaret Daly-Denton. The title of the lecture is  ‘Supposing Him to be the Gardener (John 20:15) — Reading John’s Gospel  from an Ecological Perspective’. The lecture will draw upon her book John – An Earth Bible Commentary to be published by Bloomsbury/ T&T Clark in July 2017.


Dr Margaret Daly-Denton

VENUE: Rathfarnham Parish Church and Centre, Dublin 14.

TIME: 7.30PM

DATE: 27th April 2017

Places are limited but can be secured through the BACI treasurer, Barbara Bergin: Tel. 01-2888877.

Free entry for members – non-members €5 cover charge

Lenten Study 2017 – Official Launch by Archbishop Michael Jackson

BACI 2017 Lent Study Aims to Shine Biblical Wisdom on the Migrant Crisis

The Biblical Association of the Church of Ireland launched its 2017 Lenten Bible Study in Church House, Dublin, this afternoon (Tuesday January 24). God’s Heart for Migrants – Biblical Wisdom for a World in Turmoil has been produced by David Shepherd of TCD for BACI and comprises five Bible studies focusing on migration.

Officially launching the study, Archbishop Michael Jackson thanked BACI for taking on this important topic. The Archbishop said that the question that must be asked is, ‘Can we let the stranger become Christ to us?’ ‘Can we let poverty, alienation, homelessness and degradation, become the lens through which we can become new people in Christ and in a common humanity?’ he asked.


The Bishop of Limerick the Right Revd Kenneth Kearon, the Archbishop of Armagh the Most Revd Dr Richard Clarke, the Archbishop of Dublin the Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson, the editor of BACI’s 2017 Bible study Canon Dr Ginnie Kennerley, the Bishop of Tuam the Right Revd Patrick Rooke and chairperson of BACI the Revd Dr William Olhausen at the launch of BACI’s 2017 Lent study. (Photo: Lynn Glanville)

Archbishop Jackson said that ‘immigrancy’ runs throughout the Bible from Abraham to Revelation. He talked about the exclusion of people from ‘there’ rather than those from ‘here’ and said that immigration would remain an identity issue but asked if it need always remain a humanitarian issue. He said the encouragement of the study was to widen and deepen our humanity and to widen and deepen our scriptural understanding.

He thanked BACI for being the driving force in the Church of Ireland for letting the Bible speak to us and through us.

Speaking on behalf of BACI, the Revd Dr William Olhausen thanked the study’s editor, Canon Ginnie Kennerley for the tremendous work she put in in pursuit of excellence in the production on an excellent Bible study. He said this was BACI’s seventh Bible study and added that each year they seek to identify a topic that will challenge participants.

The five Bible Studies are designed to aid reflection on the lessons offered today by the migration experiences of the Jewish people: from Abram onto Canaan, Egypt and back, through the Exodus experience and the giving of the Law, to Ruth the Moabite and the challenges that faced her, and on again through the Babylonian exile to consider the perceived status of ‘pilgrims and sojourners here on earth’ common to Jews and Gentiles alike in the early Church.

Copies are available from Christ Church Cathedral and St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin and further stockists may be advised by BACI Hon. Treasurer and Distribution Manager, Barbara Bergin ( The copies cost €2.50. Copies are also available to download for free from the BACI website

Post text source: Peter Cheney, Church of Ireland Assistant Press Office