bible study

Pastor's Class: ListenUp! Beginning May 22nd

Pastor’s Class
1 Corinthians, a ListenUp! Bible Study

Life together has never been easy. Corinth, one of the earliest Christian communities struggled with conflict and division that chronically undermined their community from within. Despite the thousands of years in between, their struggles living in community mirror our own. Over six weeks we’ll work through this challenging letter to hear where God is still speaking with new wisdom and insight to our faith community here and now.

Sundays May 22-June 26 9:00-9:50am
SECOND CLASS ADDED:
Wednesdays May 25-June 29 10:00-11:00am

both in the Upper Lounge, coffee will be on Sundays!
Cost: $10 suggested donation for course booklet

Limited Space available, sign up online using the form below or at the Welcome Table following worship by May 19.

What's a LISTEN UP! Bible Study, and why is it unique?
God's word is alive. God will always have something new to say to us. That's why the purpose of the Listen Up! Bible Study series is not simply learning information about the Bible. It is hearing God speak. There is a difference. In these Bible studies, you will be encouraged to listen: listen to the Bible, listen to your own questions and responses, and listen to the honest sharing among participants in your study group. Trusting in the power of the Holy Spirit, we believe that in that mix of biblical text, personal engagement, and honest speaking and listening, God's word may be heard, speaking words of challenge and words of comfort.

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Living Traditions

"Tradition," from Fiddler on the Roof, 1971.

As a "millenial" and a "young minister" I am often asked what the church needs to do to appeal to people of my age and demographic. I've heard a wide variety of answers to this question--from utilizing social media strategies to getting a congregation involved in Greenpeace to abandoning the particularity of Christianity altogether for something more modern and less old ancient and/or superstitious. It's a more recent form of a similar argument made throughout the last few generations of church that we should "get with the times."

And while I do certainly believe that we as the church much adapt to our present context from our music to our words to our practices and relationships, I am not sure that this is what ultimately drew me to and kept me at church. Or got me caught up in the Way of Jesus. I have actually connected the most with the particular Christian stuff--the Bible, prayer, worship, singing, tithing/giving, serving.

Sarah Puryear wrote a great article called "Wooing Millenials with Tradition, Not Pyrotechnics" that addresses this same issue. Writing as an Anglican she says:

Rather than luring young adults through flashy programs or outsourcing their formation to experts, we will contribute to the spiritual formation of the next generation best by being serious about our faith ourselves. We must be serious about our faith on two levels — first and foremost, demonstrating what it means to be a Christian, a disciple of Jesus; and second, modeling what it looks like to be a Christian in the Anglican tradition.

Two steps: First--model spiritual formation and a deep, lived faith as followers of Jesus. Second, offering practices and ways of living one's faith based on a particular tradition.

As with every other article out there, there is no one easy fix. But I wonder what would happen if we started deepening our own spiritual lives and knowledge of our own tradition. We have spoken at length on how we might reach out and draw others into the same spiritual pilgrimage that we are on. Yet, I am not sure if we can invite anyone else in to something we don't know very well for ourselves.

So, over the next year we'll be discerning how we can best go about this as a community of faith. There are a few studies in mind, including the longer Disciple Bible Study that begins in September (there are still a handful of spots left). But the main question remains: how can we best grow people of faith to be a blessing to the world?

Disciple 34 Week Bible Study

Becoming Disciples through Bible Study is a dynamic approach to the study of the Bible. During 34 weeks of intensive study, this program moves through the scriptures from Genesis to Revelation using print and video resources in a small group format. Rev. Ryan Slifka will be be leading this intensive formation-oriented small group bible study over the period of 34 weeks to give people the opportunity to dive in and dig deep into the Christian story and learn how to live it daily.

September 2015-May 2014, time and location TBA