Christian Education

     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

The Last Week: What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus’s Final Days in Jerusalem, launches as our book study on March 4th. The authors, Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan, are familiar, as we have studied one of their books before. This quote from the preface introduces the study:

 

“’Passion’ is from the Latin noun passio, meaning ‘suffering.’ But in everyday English we use ‘passion’ for any consuming interest, dedicated enthusiasm, or concentrated commitment. In this sense, a person’s passion is what she or he is passionate about. In this book we are deliberately playing those two meanings against one an-other. The first passion of Jesus was the kingdom of God, namely, to incarnate the justice of God by demanding for all a fair share of a world belonging to and ruled by the covenantal God of Israel. It was that first passion for God’s distributive justice that led inevitably to the second passion of Pilates’s punitive justice. Before Jesus, after Jesus, and, for Christians, archetypically in Jesus, those who live for nonviolent justice die all too often from violent injustice. And so in this book we focus on ‘what Jesus was passionate about’ as a way of understanding why his life ended in the passion of Good Friday. To narrow the passion of Jesus to his last twelve hours—arrest, trial, torture, and crucifixion—is to ignore the connection between his life and his death.”


Book club meets on Thursdays from 5:30pm to 6:30pm. Here is our March schedule:
March 4: Chapter 1: Palm Sunday
March 11: Chapter 2: Monday
March 18: Chapter 3: Tuesday
March 25: Chapter 4: Wednesday

 

The study will continue in April, concluding on April 22nd

 

Join the Zoom Meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83595726192?pwd=cm9FTXkrVlhrQmkvalEwVitGZW9nZz09
Meeting ID: 835 9572 6192
Passcode: 377178d

 

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Morning Circle

 

    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.

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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.