Our Sunday formation hour for youth and adults, meets every Sunday at 9am in the Fireside Room.
Lenten Faith Formation
Our Lenten journey begins on Ash Wednesday with the words “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” During this Holy Season of “remembering” and “returning” join us on Sunday mornings at 9am in the Fireside Room for our Lenten Faith Forum series which focuses on how our Christian faith grounds us spiritually to fully embrace our mortality. Presenters will offer resources to help us with end-of-life advance healthcare directives; resources for making compassionate transitions when death approaches; finding unexpected joy in planning the liturgy for your celebration of life; and exploring the themes of lament and mortality in Holy Scripture. By fully embracing our mortality together during Lent, we will come to know the ineffable joy of eternal life in new ways this Eastertide.
March 10 – CANCELED. “Directing Your Own End-of-Life Care: Making a Healthcare Declaration,” presented by Mary E. Johnson is rescheduled for Saturday, March 16 at the “When Coming to the End of Life” workshop from 9am-4:30pm. Do you have a living will? Or perhaps you have identified a healthcare agent. Have you spoken to your loved ones about your goals and values at the end of life should you be unable to speak for yourself? Let’s talk.
March 17 – “Clear Intentions: Financial and Life Documents Everyone Should Have,” presented by Alice Lightner Johnson. Facing our mortality opens the door to preparing for what will happen after we die. Having your financial affairs in order is a key part of the legacy you will leave behind. Alice Lightner Johnson, owner of LifeShift Services, will walk us through the key documents everyone should have and present strategies to insure assets are distributed smoothly and according to your wishes.
March 24 – “Planning the Liturgy for a Celebration of Life,” presented by the Rev. Craig Lemming. What were their favorite hymns? Which passages of Scripture should we choose? Who will do readings and prayers? Who will offer a eulogy? Holy Eucharist? Incense? We can offer a pastoral gift to our loved ones by planning ahead and memorializing all of our liturgical wishes for our Celebration of Life. Planning our own funeral can be fun! It’s one of the most joyful spiritual exercises we can engage in, so join us for this conversation and workshop.
March 31 – “Praying for Death: Death Wishes in the Hebrew Bible,” presented by Hanne Loeland Levinson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Classical and Near Eastern Studies, University of Minnesota. “I was sitting on a rock . . . It was sunny, in winter. I just prayed to die, but it didn’t work.” So Robert Rijxman, a survivor of Bergen-Belsen, recalls: “Praying for death didn’t work.” In several narratives in the Hebrew Bible a character prays to die, or asks to be killed, or wishes their life would come to an end, revealing some of the darkest hours in humans’ lives. Moses, Elijah, Rachel, Job, to mention a few, all utter a wish to die. What triggers their death wishes? Do they all truly long for death, or are they trying to achieve something else with their death wishes? What might it mean for us today to have these narratives in the Bible?
April 7 – “Why, God? Voices of Protest in Biblical Lament,” presented by Elaine James, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Theology at St. Catherine University. More than any other type of poem, lament prevails in the Bible. The ancient writers were not afraid of voicing their fear, sickness, anguish, and suffering in both communal and individual lament. In the midst of this rich lament tradition, we find voices of protest, who seem to speak against the very possibility of faith. How can we understand these voices in the theological practices of worship and church community? What is the role of lament, and of protest, in our lives of faith today? How can the Psalms of lament model a mode of relating to one another, and to God, in the midst of hardship? This talk will offer an introduction to Psalms of lament and will consider the dignity of protest in light of trauma.
April 14 – “The Paradoxes of Palm Sunday,” presented by the Rev. Dr. Neil Elliott. The Holy Week begins with our liturgical reenactment of the crowds hailing Jesus as Messiah as they march into Jerusalem; then, speaking again as the crowds a few days later, we call for his death. What are we doing? How have the Gospels—and our liturgy—shaped our imaginations of the significance of Jesus’ death? And given the terrible history of Christian anti-Judaism, how do we enter into this liturgy more aware of its paradoxes and pitfalls?
April 21 – Easter Sunday, no Faith Forum.