Adult Education has always been an important part of the life of our congregation. As followers of Jesus, we strive to live as faithful “students” – perhaps a better translation of the Greek word, μαθητής, usually translated as disciple. Our programs of Bible study, theology, history, etc., can inform our understanding of our history over the last two millennia and help in determining how to be the ones, now in our own time, who carry out the work of responding to the call to love our neighbors as ourselves, to love justice, to forgive and to offer hospitality. To that end we offer two exciting new classes in January and February.
For three weeks beginning on January 9, Pastor Jen will lead a class on Peacemaking that looks at the roots of our current hostilities and considers strategies for peacemaking within our families, our communities, and the larger society.
We live in a time of great tension and anxiety. As anyone who has been a part of a family system knows, tension can build into irritation, hostility, and eventually create clashes that lead to complete cutoff in relationships. How can we respond to the buildup of hostility as Christians? How can we be peacemakers in the world today when words are easily misunderstood and suspicions run high? There is hope!
For three weeks beginning February 6, Rev. Steve Jacobsen will help us imagine what it must have been like to be part of that early gathering as they first heard “Paul’s Letter to the Philippians” being read out loud. This was decades before the first “Gospel” was written, and 300 years before there was a “New Testament.” Why is this letter treasured almost 2000 years after it was first read aloud for that small gathering? Join us as we go back in time and explore this brief, powerful letter.
“An Exciting Letter Has Just Been Received and Will Be Read at Our Next Gathering”
Imagine walking down the streets of the small but prosperous town of Philippi around 60 AD. You’ve been invited to join a small group of spiritual seekers that meets in a home once a week to share a meal and stories about a man who died in Israel 30 years ago named Yeshua. The regulars at the meeting believe Yeshua was an anointed messenger from the God of Israel. Following his teachings is making a dramatic difference in their lives. Leaders of the house gathering have just received a letter from a man named Paul, who first brought the message of Yeshua to town 10 years ago. Paul is in prison now but sent a letter to the believers in Philippi. People who have seen the letter say it’s full of powerful teachings and practical advice. The letter is going to be read out loud tonight at the shared meal, and a discussion will follow.