Faith4Life This Fall

“I don’t know much about the Bible so I don’t feel comfortable coming to Faith4Life classes”

Sometimes someone will say something like that to me. Does this describe you? Guess what? You’re not alone. We call this program Faith4Life because our faith journey is lifelong.

One of my favorite quotes about reading the Bible comes from Frederick Buechner. (You can read his whole quote ) He provides several suggestions on “how to read the Bible without tears.” Here’s his first suggestion:

DON’T START AT the beginning and try to plow your way straight through to the end. At least not without help. If you do, you’re almost sure to bog down somewhere around the twenty-fifth chapter of Exodus. Concentrate on the high points at first. There is much to reward you in the valleys too, but at the outset keep to the upper elevations. There are quite a few.

There is the vivid, eyewitness account of the reign of King David, for instance (2 Samuel plus the first two chapters of 1 Kings), especially the remarkable chapters that deal with his last years when the crimes and blunders of his youth have begun to catch up with him.

Or the Joseph stories (Genesis 39-50). Or the Book of Job. Or the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). Or the seventh chapter of Paul’s letter to the Romans, which states as lucidly as it has ever been stated the basic moral dilemma of man and then leads into the eighth chapter, which contains the classic expression of Christianity’s basic hope.

Consider joining our community of learners as we struggle together to “read the Bible without tears.”

Beginning Wednesday, September 6, from 10:30 AM until noon and continuing on the first Wednesday of each month, Tami will lead the Women’s Circle from Luke through Acts, following the Presbyterian Women’s curriculum Sacred Encounters: The Power and Presence of Jesus Christ in Luke-Acts. We’ll meet in the library and on Zoom.

Many of our other programs will begin the week of September 17th. Beginning that Sunday, from 9:15 AM until 10:15, we’ll be reading Belonging by Karoline M. Lewis. The book is described this way: “Karoline Lewis structures it around the story of the Samaritan woman and guides the reader to discover deep connection with biblical characters who lead to self-discovery. Questions for reflection throughout the book evoke deep insights about self, theology, and discipleship.” Connie will lead the six-week discussion.

Beginning Thursday, September 21st at 10 AM we’ll begin our program year in the library and on Zoom. We’ll be discussing Bible Stories for Grown Ups, led on video by Josh Scott.

Books will be available but it’s fine to join without reading the book. Join us for one session, a few sessions, or all the sessions.

On Sunday evenings beginning October 1, we’ll read Life Worth Living: A Guide to What Matters Most, by Miroslav Volf, Matthew Croasmun, and Ryan McAnnally-Linz. The book is an outgrowth of a very popular undergraduate course at Yale University. You can learn more about Miroslav Volf here Chip and Tami will lead our discussions.

On Wednesday evenings beginning October 11, Chip will lead us in a study of Reading John for Dear Life: A Spiritual Walk with the Fourth Gospel by Jamie Clark-Soles. We’ll read two chapters each week for approximately eight weeks.

Tami will lead a discussion of Brian McLaren’s book, Do I Stay Christian? on Tuesday mornings at 10:00 AM beginning on October 3.

We hope to see you at one or more of these sessions, so that you, too, can “read the Bible without tears.”
~Submitted by Connie Knapp for the Faith4Life Planning Team