Weekly Bible Studies with the Pastors
Those Other Epistles: James through Jude
Jim Wagner – 10:00 a.m. in the library
Keeping with the tradition of our Monday morning Bible study, we will look to interpret scripture by drawing from other scripture and from history. For our meetings in the fall, we will work though those epistles near the end of the New Testament, those not attributed to Paul and his proteges. Our focus will be on James; 1st and 2nd Peter; 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John; and the book of Jude. These letters are sometimes called the catholic (universal) epistles, written for the encouragement and edification of the established Church. Among the questions they try to answer are, “Now that we call ourselves Christians, how should we live? What does it mean for us to be Holy, set apart?”
“In a World Divided, In Christ United”
Pastor Lisa Schrott—6:30 p.m. in Sanctuary
In our world and in our lives we encounter people who are vastly different than us. We agree and we disagree on various issues. As christians, though, we believe in “one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and father of all, who is over all and in all.” So how do we live as a community that exemplifies that in spite of our differences?
“Digging Deeper”
Pastor Lisa Schrott – 9:00 a.m. in the Library
This class will take a more detailed look at the weekly scriptures of “The Story.” We will examine their cultural and historical contexts and how that affects our understanding of the text.
September 12: Creation Stories
The two creation stories in Genesis are markedly different and can be traced to different authors and editors. How do multiple creation accounts shape our understanding of the nature of God?
September 19: Sarah and Hagar
Two women bore sons to Abraham, and yet scripture tells us of decidedly different fates for each. What is the cultural context that influenced how their stories were told?
September 26: The OT Trio: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
Why is God is referred to as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob throughout scripture? We will look at the role of covenants in the ancient near east and in OT writings.
October 3: The Name of God
God, LORD, Lord God, Jehovah, Lord of Hosts… Where do these various names for God come from? We will delve into a little Hebrew to find out.
October 10: Ten Commandments: Exodus vs. Deuteronomy
Why do the two versions of the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament differ slightly? What is the historical context for codes of law like the Ten Commandments?
October 17: No GPS: Journeys in Scripture
Scripture is full journeys – from Abraham to the freed Hebrew slaves to David’s journeys through the lands that become Israel to Jesus in the desert and Paul’s missionary journeys. Why is the journey motif so prevalent and how can it help us relate scripture to our own lives?
October 24: Battle Texts
The books of Joshua and Judges can be hard to read through our 21rst century eyes. We will look at when and how this portion of the OT canon was put together as a way of understanding the importance of historical context when reading scripture.
October 31: Poems, Prayers, and Proverbs
What exactly is the Wisdom literature and why is this genre important in our faith tradition? We will look at the various types of moral tales, advice for living, songs, and prayers in the Old Testament.
November 7: Offerings to God
Sacrifice was an important part of cultures in the ancient near east. We will look at the roots of our Christian traditions and how we moved from sacrifice to offerings.
November 10: Transitional Leadership
As Israel becomes a nation, the question of leadership gets messy. How does God call leaders? How are transitions in leadership used to reflect the values of the people?
November 14: The House of the Lord
David brings the Ark of the covenant to Jerusalem and Solomon builds a grand temple. How does having a dedicated place for worship change the practice of religion for the Hebrew people?
November 24: Hindsight is 20/20
Can you worship and swear allegiance to a king and to God? What happens when the values and practices clash? We will look at how the process of telling the story of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah shape the message shared.