Posted on: May 28, 2020
St. John’s will be offering a formation series “June + July with Job” this summer. It will examine how the Book of Job helps us as followers of Jesus to make meaning of suffering, grief, loss, and unhelpful platitudes while trusting in God’s love. The series will consist of two sets of activities: one focusing on the theology of Job, the other exploring themes from Job as they show up in television and film.
Theology & the Book of Job
Sunday Faith Forums
9:00-9:50 a.m. Second and Fourth Sundays: June 14, June 28, July 12, July 26
A four-part video series on the Book of Job presented by Dr. Judy Stack, to be posted on YouTube and Facebook
Sunday Godly Play
Sunday, June 14 at 2:00 p.m.
Katie Madsen will post a pre-recorded Godly Play story of the Book of Job on Facebook
Thursday Bible Study
10:00-11:30 a.m. on June 18; July 2; July 16; July 30
Dr. Judy Stack will lead Bible Study sessions that explore other scriptural texts that echo the themes in the Book of Job that were discussed in Sunday’s Forum.
Session 1 (June 18): The idea that God will bless good, faithful people and will punish wicked, disobedient people is a common theme of many passages in the Old Testament. This session will focus on texts from Deuteronomy, Proverbs, and the Psalms.
Session 2 (July 2): What is the correlation between individual sin and individual suffering? We will look at the story of the man born blind (John 9) and the fall of the tower of Siloam (Luke 13) to explore Jesus’ response to those who would make such correlations.
Session 3 (July 16): Is anyone really innocent? In the Psalms and in the New Testament in Paul’s letters in the Gospel of John there are defenses of innocence similar to Job’s in the face of accusation.
Session 4 (July 30): In this session, we will look at a number of Psalms and parts of the letters of Paul where the author also suffers and questions, and like Job, though he receives no clear answer, moves to place of being reconciled to the mystery of suffering and finds ways to praise God.
The reading schedule
The two weeks between June 14th and 28th: Job 1-2
The two weeks between June 28th and July 12th: Job 3-37 or these selected passages: 3:1 – 5:17, 6:1 – 9:24, 11:1 – 12:4, 15:1-6, 16:1-5, 22:1 – 24:12, 27:1-6, 30:16 – 32:6, and 33:8-29
The two weeks between July 12th and 26th: Job 38-42
Film & the Book of Job
Films suited for adults
6:30-8:00 p.m. Second Wednesdays: June 17 and July 15
Please watch the films ahead of time and join facilitated Zoom webinar conversations.
June 17: “A Serious Man” with the Rev. Jered Weber-Johnson
A modern-day retelling of the story of Job set in the Minneapolis suburbs of the 1960s. Like the book of Job, this is a thoroughly Jewish story, set in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood, wrestling with issues of belief and faithfulness in the midst of tragedy and suffering through the lens of Jewish identity, culture, and religious practice. The story centers on Larry Gopnik, who, like Job, experiences a series of misfortunes and personal losses, and as he seeks to understand the perennial question of “why”. Larry, a rational and “serious man”, a scientist actually, is used to questions that can be solved and problems that can be answered. Here though, as his life unravels at home and at work, the questions linger and God remains silent. While “A Serious Man” is funny, the jokes it tells will make you wince, and like Job, wondering, if God is good, why faithful people suffer. This is a story that resists easy answers and simplistic responses to the problem of pain.
Click here to join the Zoom webinar discussion of “A Serious Man.”
July 15: “Philadelphia” with the Rev. Barbara Mraz
This award-winning film, the first to directly address the suffering of HIV/Aids, homosexuality and homophobia, will break your heart and lift you up. A good man, living a life of purpose (Tom Hanks) gets AIDS and is fired from his job as a lawyer. He sues and goes to court but only one lawyer will take his case (Denzel Washington). In the book of Job, the main character learns that only God knows the answer to the “why” of suffering; in “Philadelphia” the main character learns the same, but also that Love is the context in which all questions are asked – and answered.
Click here to join the Zoom webinar discussion of “Philadelphia.”
Films suited for All Ages
Wednesday afternoons: June 17, July 1, July 15, July 29
3:30-4:00 p.m. Children’s Conversation
4:00-4:30 p.m. All Ages’ Conversation
Discussions for parents, children, youth, and people of all ages about how these films engage themes of emotions, loss/suffering, true friendship, perseverance, and trust in God.
If you have concerns about the appropriateness of any of these movies for your children we suggest checking out www.commonsensemedia.org for family-friendly reviews.
June 17: “Inside Out”
A heartfelt story from Pixar about growing up and learning to handle your biggest emotions.
July 1: “Onward”
A Story about two elf brothers Ian and Barley, whose long-deceased father returns to life for a single day. But when only his bottom half appears, the brothers must go on a thrilling quest to complete the spell that brought him back.
July 15: “Toy Story 3”
The toys are mistakenly delivered to a day-care center instead of the attic right before Andy leaves for college, and it’s up to Woody to convince the other toys that they weren’t abandoned and to return home.
July 29: “Finding Nemo”
After his son is captured in the Great Barrier Reef and taken to Sydney, a timid clownfish sets out on a journey to bring him home.
Other Formation Offerings
Thursday Book Group will still meet at 10 am the first and third Thursdays of the month via Zoom. Click here to join the Zoom event. If you have any questions, please email the Rev. Craig Lemming at email@example.com.
Click here to view Habits of Grace with Presiding Bishop Curry. As we learn how to adjust our lives given the reality of the coronavirus and the request to do our part to slow its spread by practicing social distancing, Presiding Bishop Curry invites you to join him each week to take a moment to cultivate a ‘habit of grace.’
Forward Movement and the Episcopal Church Foundation offer daily lectionary based readings and reflections, including faithful parenting. Click here to view the latest Faith-at-Home Readings.
The Rev. Canon Katie Churchwell serves as a priest at the Cathedral Church of St. Peter. Click here to view her Pop-up Prayer. She welcomes seekers and doubters, spiritual and religious as we make our community together.
Click here to hear Bible stories and short bedtime prayers from “Tucked In: Bedtime Stories and Prayers with Episcopalians and Others.”
(image credit: https://www.artic.edu/artworks/87515/job)