Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Adult Forum Class

Please join us for
Adult Forum Class
Sundays, 9:15am
Trinity Easton
The Charney Room
Hosted by Terry and Danese Grandfield

Hope you will join us to discuss, question, and find ways to apply the bible in our daily lives.

Check here each week to receive a brief synopsis on what we taught the previous Sunday, as well as what we will be working on the following Sunday. We are using a study guide called Living The Good News, a lectionary based program. For those who are not familiar with the term lectionary, it is the book of appointed bible portions to be read during our church services throughout the year, which includes an Old Testament Lesson, The Psalm, The Epistle, and The Gospel Lesson.

There is beauty in how these sections of scripture are chosen. We are privileged to focus on them in our class as well as during our church service, and Father Gern's sermon further adds to what we are sharing during class time.

In a small group setting we also get to know one another more intimately, building friendships and our sense of community, so vital to continuing Christ's work individually as well as collectively. 

We are truly excited to be leading this class. Already we are learning so much ourselves!

Sunday, September 30th, 2012:

Title: The Gifts of God's People

Numbers 11: 4-6, 10-16, 24-29;  Psalm 19: 7-14;  James 5: 13-20;  Mark 9: 38-50

During Father Andy's sermon he said Jesus likes to let people in through the back door..... in other words, Jesus often chooses to use people we do not expect. In the reading from Numbers, Joshua is complaining about two men who are not in "the tent" yet are prophesying back in the camp. Moses puts him in his place by responding "Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord's people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!"

How many times have each of us judged wrongly, like Joshua, because of jealousy? How many times have we excluded or ignored someone because they are not part of our group?

In the reading from the Gospel of Mark, Jesus confronts a similar situation when his disciple John tells the Lord he tried to stop a man who was casting out demons in Jesus' name, because, after all, "he is not following us"...... he is not part of our group. Jesus responds "Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us."

Why do we as believers try to limit and define who we think God can use? Throughout the bible and our lives as believers we have seen God use some very "unlikely" characters to profess his good news. We should try to remember daily that God chooses, not us!

In the book of James we receive instruction regarding prayer, how it builds our personal relationship with God and intensifies our relationships with one another when we pray together. "Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed."

From the enrichment section of our study guide, two parts that really spoke to our hearts:

“Little Elegy” by Betsy Sholl 

A moment of silence at Soup Kitchen 
for our saint of the quick grip, faking 
a side stitch to hide the bottle under his coat, 
for his taped shoes and worm-eaten watch cap, 
that clarifying fish pier scent, raw-grained 
and terrifying smell of the skids, 
how little it takes to wake up over a grate, 
half-dissolved in shadow and mist — 
half-dissolved, but still blissed out, bantering 
with buddies, flailing on icy streets, 
then catching hold of a lamppost and nodding 
to it, to the sky, the glittery walk, 
to a passing taillight, an old belief, 
foolish or fearless, that everything’s sacred, 
and now he’s gone. 

Reflection from "Living the Good News"

“Unlimited possibilities” is a phrase that might express the theme of today’s readings. Moses has the breadth of vision to say, “Would that all God’s people were prophets!” He cannot bring himself to refuse anyone’s gifts or deride any good that people might do—even if they’re not perfect. His tone echoes the inscription over a welcoming gate at the entrance to a Rumi shrine in Turkey: “Come, come, whoever you are...come even though you have broken your vows a thousand times... Ours is not a caravan of despair.” 
Jesus’ vision is even broader, including even a glass of water given in his name. He sees the holiness in all human deeds, whether or not they occur in church, whether or not they are labeled “religious.” 
If we returned to our roots and took Moses and Jesus seriously, what a difference it might make. We might end the arbitrary distinctions between “secular” and “sacred,” instead seeing all of life as holy and whole. We might better answer the criticism of young people that the churches are so bent on internal bickering that they have neglected the needs of the larger world. We might forget our silly distinctions between “religious” and “lay” and get on with the important business of bringing water to the thirsty, food to the hungry, attention to the lonely. We might realize with the poet Betsy Sholl that “everything’s sacred.” 

Next Sunday, October 6th, 2012

Title: God's Plan for Companionship

Genesis 2: 18-24;  Psalm 8;  Hebrews 1: 1-4, 2: 5-12;  Mark 10: 2-16

Hope you can join us!

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