In the gospels, Jesus is shown calling disciples (students) and teaching them and the crowds that gathered around him as he challenged them to think differently regarding who God is and how to live authentically as children of God. We who seek to be followers, disciples of Jesus are destined for a lifetime of learning.
Prior to the pandemic, we offered two on-going opportunities for such study in the forms of a weekly Thursday evening book study and a monthly Wednesday "Morning Circle." Additionally, we were engaged in a monthly Tuesday evening study focused on religious diversity and a Sunday morning study focusing on our call to care for God's creation. Some of these opportunities are continuing to be offered virtually. Find out more below!
Thursday Evening Study
"His Truth is Marching On..." Study
Our next evening book study will be His Truth is Marching On: John Lewis and The Power of Hope by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham. Goodreads describes the book as “an intimate and inspiring portrait of civil rights icon and longtime U.S. congressman John Lewis, linking his life to the quest for justice in America from the 1950s to the present.” Ann Patchett, the author of 6 novels and 3 books of nonfiction and the Co-Owner of Parnassus Books in Nashville, says, “Seriously, . . [this] is so moving, so beautiful, and so important for our times. I think the very best Jon Meacham. Should have made the list,” (referring to the New York Times 110 Best Books of the Year list).
John Lewis himself wrote the Afterword. There are any number of quotable quotes in those three pages. Here is just one: “I have long be-lieved—I have long preached—that our nation’s moral compass comes from God. And God so loved the world that he gave us the countless men and women who lost their homes and their jobs for the right to vote. God gave us the children of free-dom who lost their lives in a bombing in Birmingham and the three young men who were killed in Mississippi. But above all else God gave us courage—the power to believe that what I call the Spirit of History behind us is stronger than the terror of hatred in front of us. That is what I believed then. And I believe it now.”
The first (Zoom) meeting will be Thursday, January 7, 2021, 5:30pm-6:30pm. That gives you plenty of time to secure your copy of the book. Ask for it for Christmas. Check with the library. If they don’t have it, ask them to purchase it. If it is checked out, put your name on the list. Talk to your friends to see if you can borrow a copy. (Target has it for $18)
Don’t be intimidated by the book’s 354 pages. The final 100 pages are the appendix, source notes, bibliography, illustration list and credits, and index. The actual reading is only 254 pages!
Here is the book club schedule:
January 7: Overture: The Last March & Chapter 1: A Hard Life,
A Serious Life
January 14: Chapter 2: The Spirit of History
January 21: Chapter 3: Soul Force
January 28: Chapter 4: In the Image of God and Democracy
February 4: Chapter 5: We are Going to Make You Wish You was Dead
February 11: Chapter 6: I’m Going to Die Here
February 18: Chapter 7: This Country Don’t Run on Love
February 25: Epilogue: Against the Rulers of Darkness & Afterword by John Lewis
Join the Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 835 9572 6192
This group meets in the Parish House on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 9:30am (no meetings in July or December). During each gathering, we enjoy opening fellowship with refreshments, share in a time of devotions, and engage in a book study.
In August, the group will begin studying "Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants" by Robin Wall Kimmerer. The reading schedule is soon to be announced. All are welcome to join us as we come together for fellowship, devotions, and study seeking to follow more closely in the way of Jesus.
Morning Circle is on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Exploring Religion and Faith
Our series of monthly educational opportunities to learn more about a diversity of religious traditions is on hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic. You are encouraged to continue your own explorations of various faiths as you continue to grow in understanding our diverse neighbors (both near and far) and be empowered to love them more fully.
Iowa's Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund
On Sunday, February 23rd, we continued our series of educational opportunities to address the great moral challenge of the ecological crisis.
During this session, State Representative Wes Breckenridge, representing Iowa House District 29, and Steve Falck, Senior Policy Advocate for the Environmental Law and Policy Center, spoke about Iowa's Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund. In 2010, 63% of Iowans voted to create the Trust Fund, which is a permanent and protected funding source. However, the fund remains empty to this day because it requires a state sales tax increase of 3/8ths of a cent for funding. Breckenridge and Falck shared about what initiatives the Trust Fund is set up to provide and address its connections to the state house.
If you weren't able to join us, you can check out their presentation below.
This series is on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.