Posted on: August 19, 2019
Adult and Youth Faith Formation resumes Sunday, September 15 at 9am in the Fireside Room.
February Faith Forum Series: Is that really traditional? Presentations of “traditional Christianity” and the deeper tradition that challenges them presented by Dr. Mark McInroy and Judy Stack.
The idea of “traditional Christianity” is not as simple as it seems. In some cases, beliefs presented as traditional have in fact been developed relatively recently, and a more ancient stratum of Christian tradition challenges them. This series, led by Mark McInroy and Dr. Judy Stack, examines three such cases: (1) belief in a six-day creation, (2) insistence on exclusively male language for God, and (3) the idea that God saves only some and not all. In these instances, a deeper tradition destabilizes beliefs that have enjoyed dominance for some time, and scripture and traditional Christianity unexpectedly provide resources to support non-literal understandings of creation, the use of female imagery for God, and universal salvation.
February 9: Is Creationism Traditional?
The belief that God created the world in six 24-hour periods is often upheld as a traditional Christian view. This session, however, demonstrates that creationism is in fact a modern idea that follows from a literalist interpretation of scripture—which is itself a modern approach to the Bible. The session additionally explores the views of creation found among ancient Christian theologians and in various parts of scripture, and in so doing establishes that support for non-literalist understandings of creation can be found in traditional Christianity.
February 16: Is Male Language for God Traditional?
The use of exclusively male language for God is frequently viewed as the traditional practice of the Christian church. This session, however, demonstrates that ancient Christian tradition and scripture itself invoke female and non-gender-binary imagery for God in a number of unexpected and intriguing ways.
February 23: Is an Exclusivist View of Salvation Traditional?
The belief that God saves only some people, and not all, is often perceived as the traditional view of the Christian church. This session, however, presents the profound disdain for exclusivism found among some ancient Christian theologians, and it examines the belief in universal salvation they uphold as an alternative with scriptural support.
Our March faith forums will focus on “The Bible and Lenten Spiritual Practices.”
March 1: “Fasting” presented by Dr. Judy Stack
One of the practices most associated with Lent is fasting or “giving something up” for this season. What does scripture say about the practice of fasting–its purpose and when and why God calls God’s people to fast? We will look at texts and stories illuminating this call to “let go” and “refocus.”
March 8: “Integrity” presented by Dr. Judy Stack
What are your most deeply held convictions and ideals? Repentance is a key theme of Lent. It can sound unpleasant or too focused on our failings, but in the biblical tradition, it is a call to living with integrity and choosing what is life-giving and affirming. Come and explore the positive side of repentance!
March 15: “Witness” presented by Dr. Judy Stack
What difference does Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit make in the world? How do we articulate that in a religiously pluralistic environment in a way that is respectful and faithful? How do we speak in a way that challenges systems and powers in light of God’s kingdom and invites people into a deeper relationship with God? The early Christians understood these challenges and we can gain wisdom from their example.
March 22: “The Daily Office” presented by Jayan Koshy
March 29: “Contemplative Prayer” presented by Dr. Christine Luna Munger