June 11th - Speaking of God...

Focus Texts:

2 Corinthians 13:11-13

Matthew 28:16-20

Getting Started:

  1. Outside of church, how often is the word "God" used in your daily conversation?
  2. Have you ever felt intimidated by “lingo” used by an organization?

Digging Deeper:

  1. Have you ever shared your personal faith story with another believer?
  2. How would sharing your faith story with a non-believer differ?
  3. In today’s multi-religious world, what does the call to make disciples of all nations mean?
  4. Name some of the obstacles which keep you from sharing your faith?
  5. What theological concepts or ideas are you still unsure of, and thus find difficult to share with others?
  6. How might the concept or image of God be meaningful to a secular humanist?
  7. What does it mean to you, to believe in something, or someone?  What are some of the obstacles you experience to believing in God?
  8. Do a word association with the term “God.”  What comes to mind?
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May 14 - Finding Nurture

Focus Texts

Isaiah 41:9b-10

Psalm 23

Questions for Discussion

  • When you had a bad day growing up, what helped you to feel better?  What helps you now?
  • What’s kinds of activities are rejuvenating and renewing to you? 
  • Are you the type that needs to have things “in place” to feel comfortable, or do you prefer “happy chaos?”
  •  Where do you draw strength from—people, places, things…or a combination thereof?  Describe the sources in your life.
  • What makes you feel safe, and what does this have to do with nurture?
  • Where, and with whom, did you experience “nurture” in your formative years?  Describe what was nurturing about it.
  • What attitude do we need to assume, in order to be nurtured?
  • What are the gifts that come from feeling nurtured, and what are the possible risks when one lacks a nurturing space?
  • For whom do you provide a nurturing, life-giving space?  How do you do that, and how has it changed over the years if it’s a long term relationship?
  • How can we find nurture from our relationship with God?
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April 9 - Can We Talk?

Focus Texts

Acts 10:9-16

Acts 10:28

Galatians 3:26-28

Getting Started

  1. Do you speak any other languages other than English? If so, what language(s) and to what extent are you fluent in that/those language(s)?
  2. Sometimes communication can get “lost in translation” even when two people are speaking the same language. Share an instance where effective communication was halted by misunderstanding.
  3. Share something interesting you have learned from someone who comes from a different culture than you do. How did you learn it?

Digging Deeper

  1. What obstacles or challenges make it hard to communicate with another person?
  2. Are there any topics that you think are “off-limits” to talk about?
  3. Have you ever had to have a discussion with someone about an uncomfortable topic? What made the conversation so difficult?
  4. What opportunities have you had working and collaborating in diverse, multicultural, and inclusive settings? How have they challenged you?
  5. What topics do you think should be discussed in churches that aren’t being discussed already? Are there any topics that should be avoided?

Divine Connection

  1. What do you think it means to be “clothed with Christ”?
  2. Paul tells us that we are given a new identity through baptism and that we are “one in Christ.” Does that mean that our differences no longer matter?
  3. How can our understanding of God’s word help inform how we engage in conversations with people who share different cultural, racial, religious, and political values?
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March 12 - Mindfulness and the Way of Comtemplative Christianity: The Art of Mindful Movement

You are invited to an evening with Rev. Dr. Tony Stultz, as he explores Christian contemplative traditions and teach breathing and movement techniques from the insights of yoga and Tai Chi to lead us in mindfulness exercises.  The practices can be integrated into daily life and enhance our experience of the Holy Spirit’s presence.  

The Rev. Dr. Anthony Stultz is an Episcopal priest with graduate degrees in both Christian and Buddhist Theology. He is a regular guest lecturer at Harvard and is the founder and director of the Center for Mindful Living. He was interfaith spiritual director to clergy at the World Congress of Religion in 2012 and was the 2013 recipient of the Torch of Global Enlightenment by the World Affairs Council.

Instead of a full meal this month, appetizers will be served.

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February 12 - Change is in the Wind

Focus Texts

Psalm 139:1-18

Jeremiah 31:31-34

Getting Started

  1. What are some of the things that have changed in the world around you, since you were a child? 
  2. How many times have you moved in your life…either cities/countries, or neighborhoods?
  3. How many times have you changed jobs…or careers?  Describe.

Digging Deeper

  1. What’s the most significant change you’ve experienced?
  2. Would you describe yourself as someone who likes change, or someone who prefers consistency and routine?  Explain. 
  3. Some changes happen due to circumstances outside our control.  When has a change been forced on you?
  4. Some changes we initiate.  Provide an example of this from your life.  What were the signs that told you it was time to make this change?
  5. Sometimes there are changes we need to make in external circumstances (where we live, our job, even eating habits).  Other times, there are changes we need to make on the inside.  What does it take to recognize that an inner change is called for—an attitude; a manner of being in relationship; a decision in the heart, the might result in other, more outward changes?

Connecting with God

  1. The word repentance in Greek is metanoia.  It means to change directions.  We typically associate repentance with sin.  That is to say, we’re heading in the wrong direction in some area of our lives, and God turns us toward the right direction.  When have you experienced God bringing to light a wrong choice, and calling you to make a right choice?  How did God’s call to change come to you?
  2. Not all choices are binary.  How can our relationship with God help to guide us to know when a change of any type is necessary?  
  3. What are the blessings of making changes in light of God’s presence?
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