Christian education is central to our core mission
In addition to the Men's Sunday School Class, which meets in person in the church Parlor (with donuts) at 9:30, our pastor hosts a class in the Genesis Room (yes, donuts can be found there, too) AND via Zoom in a conversational hybrid format.
Our Session is also learning. Here are some of the books we've studied recently:
Neighborhood Church: How can we embody the values of love, grace, and justice? As faith communities, how can our collective embodiment of these values shine even brighter? The answers to these questions must always unfold right here, right now, exactly where God has planted us. Neighborhood Church acts as a resource to inspire churches to become a vibrant and engaging community partner with the families and neighborhoods living around them. The need for transformation is acute. Congregational decline continues across all mainline denominations. The abandonment of the church by the millennial generation is ubiquitous; no denomination is escaping it. This is, in part, a consequence of disconnection from our communities. Van Tatenhove and Mueller believe that, parish by parish, we can reverse this trend. They dare to have an audacious hope for local congregations not only as signs of God’s kingdom but as life-giving institutions that anchor their neighborhoods. Drawing on their combined sixty years of parish experience, wisdom from Asset-Based Community Development, and compelling case stories, Van Tatenhove and Mueller do more than just call us to incarnational ministry. They give practical, essential tools that lead to communal conversion, develop the DNA of listening, spur fruitful partnerships, promote integrated space, and sustain long-term visions. They believe these tools will spark true revival and unleash the power of incarnational ministry. Westminster John Knox Press, 2019.
Love Carved in Stone (Presbyterian Women / Horizons Bible Study Seminar, 2019-2020)
What would it mean to consider the Ten Commandments not as a harsh list of what not to do but, instead, as a “love letter” from a loving God? A fresh embrace of the Ten Commandments (or Words), author Eugenia Gamble suggests, may ultimately contribute to the restoration of ourselves and our communities and the furthering of the gospel in the world. “Moral behavior matters, not simply because immoral actions can anger or disappoint God, but because principled behavior is how love becomes real, both toward God and in community.” Love Carved in Stone is a Bible study that helps us reframe the way we look at and live in the world.
Why the Ten Words? The author notes that nowhere in the Hebrew text does the word for “commandment” appear. She says, “In the Bible, these utterances are called just what they are: ‘words.’ I’ve chosen to use the term ‘Ten Words’ because it is the biblical form and opens us up to looking at the Ten Commandments in fresh ways.” Each lesson begins with an exploration of one of the Ten Words in its biblical context. From there we consider a moment from Jesus’ life that shows us how he lived out that Word. We then consider the Word for our own lives and contexts. We conclude with an invitation to pray with the Word in our circles or study groups and in our personal devotions.
(Words of Love: A Healing Journey with the Ten Commandments, 2022)
The book, based on the author's years of study, creates space for Christians to re-encounter the first ten commandments as a clarion call to build-up the community of Christ-- even in today's world--by leading the reader on a healing and spiritual journey!
The changing dynamics of contemporary church life are well-known, but what’s less well-known is how leaders can work most effectively in this new context. In Quietly Courageous, esteemed minister and congregational consultant Gil Rendle offers practical guidance to leaders—both lay and ordained—on leading churches today. Rendle encourages leaders to stop focusing on the past and instead focus relentlessly on their mission and purpose—what is ultimately motivating their work. He also urges a shift in perspectives on resources, discusses models of change, and offers suggestions for avoiding common pitfalls and working creatively today. Cokesbury, 2018.