Everything is so green this year! It is a season for growth and all of the rains that we received this winter have set the stage for an explosion of life. The birds are actively building nests and feeding young, the squirrels are hunting for food, and even the plants outside my office that I thought were dead have blossomed with vibrant purple flowers. Life and growth are happening all around.
Growth isn’t just a material event—it is an emotional and spiritual one as well. Our souls are just as tied to a cycle of birth, life and death as our bodies are. Our faith experiences can go dormant for weeks, months or even years and then suddenly emerge with an explosion of awareness and depth. But just like plant and animal life needs water, sun and air, our souls need rest, exercise, and nutrients for its growth. In last week’s Scripture (Luke 24:13-35), we read about the disciples’ awakening to a new awareness of Christ on the road to Emmaus after a period of dormancy. When we asked the question of what brought this new awareness about, the answer was right there in the passage: it came about as a result of learning, prayer, and community.
To grow in faith and spirit is the primary work we are called to do together here at St. Andrew’s. Worship is one of the ways in which we can find what we need to grow, but so are other activities. Our Adult Education program is an excellent way to learn and grow. There are Presbyterian Women’s study groups which not only provide a challenging curriculum but fellowship and mission as well. Then there is the (formerly men’s) book study. They are starting back up again with the book The Trouble with Resurrection by Bernard Brandon. Of course we also have Transition House and other mission opportunities as well, all of which challenge and nurture our faith.
I would like to add to this list two new small group opportunities for deepening our faith, a “Bible 101” class and a prayer group. The Bible 101 class would be a monthly meeting where all questions are welcome and the basics of the Bible are covered. The prayer group would be a time to gather to share prayer concerns and to pray for each other and the world. If you are interested in either of these small groups, or if you know someone who would be, please let me know. My plan is to start them during the summer (which is coming soon). I would be curious to hear what times and days work best for most people.
I am looking forward to growing as an individual and as a community with each one of you. There is so much to learn and to explore together!