Our next book for Reading Race Book Discussion Group is: Long Time Coming: Reckoning with Race in America by Michael Eric Dyson (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2020). We encourage our regular book discussion members and also new-comers to our group to order the book. We will begin with the Prelude and Chapter One on Tues., March 9. We meet on Zoom at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays. Contact Pastor Joanna – email@example.com or 910-457-6811 for the Zoom link.
Adult Education Class ~ 6:30 Wednesday Evenings (via Zoom), March 3, 10, and 17. If you want to learn more about the core issues of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, join us for our Lenten class, A Case for Easter. Lee Strobel, an investigative journalist, examines the medical “evidence” of Jesus’ death, the “evidence” of the missing body and the “evidence” of appearances of Jesus after his death.
Strobel interviewed many medical and biblical experts and began this study as an atheist and ended as a devoted Christian! A Study Guide will be provided for you in the Church Office. Please call Ilona in the office (457-6811, M – Th 9:00-2:00) to sign up. Facilitators: Kate de Barros and Jim Kessel.
Our study focuses on Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward. We are discussing the second half of the book. Contact Pastor Joanna via email for the Zoom Link. Newcomers are invited to join us on Tuesdays at 12:30 pm. Jesmyn Ward, two-time National Book Award winner and author of Sing, Unburied, Sing, delivers a gritty but tender novel about family and poverty in the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina.
Barrie Shepherd Advent Book
“I’d like you to know of my new collection of poems for Advent-Christmas 2020.
The title is, A Poetic Pandemic Christmas Pudding and I describe it as,
A plump and spicy concoction of words, phrases and images to evoke
the many flavors and aromas of the yuletide feast. A blessed Advent to one
and all”. ~Barrie Shepherd
Someone who has loved being connected to our ZOOM services and is acquainted with his work, has gifted us 30 copies of this book.
Please email or call Dorothy Gelb, firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-618-6266, to reserve your signed copy.
We are starting a new book, The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James Cone, a former professor at Union Theological Seminary and a Black Liberation Theologian. Newcomers are invited to join us via Zoom on Tuesdays at 12:30 pm starting with Chapter 1 on Nov. 24. Contact Pastor Joanna via email for the Zoom Link. email@example.com
The cross and the lynching tree are the two most emotionally charged symbols in the history of the African American community. In this powerful new work, theologian James H. Cone explores these symbols and their interconnection in the history and souls of black folk. Both the cross and the lynching tree represent the worst in human beings and at the same time a thirst for life that refuses to let the worst determine our final meaning. While the lynching tree symbolized white power and black death, the cross symbolizes divine power and black life God overcoming the power of sin and death. For African Americans, the image of Jesus, hung on a tree to die, powerfully grounded their faith that God was with them, even in the suffering of the lynching era.
The Adult Education ministry team met recently to plan our fall programs. Please note a change: the class on Paul’s letters has been moved to the new year, beginning January 2021. We have planned the following interesting opportunities for spiritual growth:
• What’s So Amazing About Grace This popular video series from Philip Yancy helps us move from an understanding of religion that is too often guilt-based to develop a faith full of grace, forgiveness and abundant love. It will meet 6:30-8:00 Wednesdays, Oct 21- Dec 16.
• The Case for Christmas Our Advent study is from a book by Lee Strobel, and poses an intriguing four week exploration of the Christmas story. The class will meet Sunday evenings Nov 29 – Dec 20.
• Adult Bible Study Until we are able to meet in the Ministry Center, we are uncertain when and how the Adult Bible class will meet. This class studies the scripture text of the Sunday sermon
The Reading Race group meets on Tuesdays from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. on Zoom. Call the church office for Zoom login information.
Tuesday, Sept. 15, at 12:30 p.m. on zoom Chapters 14 and 15 of How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram Kendi
Tuesday, Sept. 22, at 12:30 p.m. on zoom Chapters 16 and 17 of How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram Kendi
Tuesday, Sept. 29, at 12:30 p.m. on zoom Chapter 18 of How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram Kendi
On Tuesday, October 6 and October 13 — no Reading Race meeting
Please order our next book, the novel, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Please read the novel during our break.
Tuesday, Oct. 20, at 12:30 p.m. on zoom Discuss the novel Homegoing
Tuesday, Oct. 27, at 12:30 p.m. on zoom Discuss the novel Homegoing
One Small Step
It’s easy to get discouraged about change. I’m talking about the kind of change that we yearn for – change from the discord around us, change from the violence that frightens us, change from the hatreds so openly expressed, change from the negativism that hangs over our heads. We know these things are not of God and that God must be grieving the pervasive waywardness that we see every day.
It’s easy to be discouraged. I thought that race relations were improving. I thought that civil rights and integration would naturally bring us together as country, like I learned growing up, a “melting pot.” I thought that electing a Black president was a sign that America’s racial divisions were behind us. But now we know that’s not true. We have a lot of work to do, and prayer.
I know that some of us are tired of hearing about race, but the truth is, we have a lot of work to do, and prayer.
The Presbyterian Church (USA) has put together a helpful study guide for congregations to do this work. It is called Facing Racism: A Vision of Intercultural Community. Our Adult Education Ministry is offering this course. Pastor Joanna and I will lead the teaching sessions and members of the adult ed ministry team will facilitate the conversations. What we appreciate about this course is that it combines good biblical insight with excellent discussion questions. We learn from each other. This class is a safe place to share.
We begin with the Bible. We explore the Bible’s teachings about Creation and the Image of God, and what the Bible says about diversity and justice. Then we will think about what Jesus teaches us about being in community together. We will examine our own mission statement of SPC to hear what we have said about what kind of community we believe God wants us to be. What do the church’s confessions tell us about how the church addresses culture? As we face the daunting problem of race in America, what might we do as a community of faith? Could we, perhaps, take one small step for change?
I encourage you to participate. The class will meet from 6:30-8:00 on Wednesdays, Sept 9 – Oct 14. It is likely we will begin meeting through Zoom, and a link will be provided. To help us prepare, please sign up by contacting Ilona at the Church Office: 457-6811; firstname.lastname@example.org.
What does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8
Take care. Be kind. Walk humbly,
Wednesdays, 6:30 – 8:00 pm, Oct. 21 – Dec. 16
What’s So Amazing About Grace – This popular video series from Philip Yancy helps us move from an understanding of religion that is too often guilt-based to develop a faith full of grace, forgiveness and abundant love.
Sunday Evenings, Nov. 29 – Dec. 20
The Case for Christmas – Our Advent study is from a book by Lee Strobel, and poses an intriguing four week exploration of the Christmas story.
- Wednesdays, Oct. 21 – Dec. 16
- Facing Racism: A Vision of Intercultural Community – For this contemporary study, pastors,Ann Jahnes and Joanna Hipp will use scripture, church confessions and history, as well as current issues. The curriculum is produced by the Presbyterian Church (USA) to deepen congregational understanding and to foster candid conversation. It is likely we will begin meeting through Zoom, and a link will be provided.
Adult Bible Study Until we are able to meet in the Ministry Center, we are uncertain when and how the Adult Bible class will meet. This class studies the scripture text of the Sunday sermon.