Pastor's Bible Study
Every Wednesday morning during the school year, Dr. Furr teaches adults on a wide variety of topics with discussion – often a book of the Bible or some aspect of the Christian life or doctrine. All you need is a Bible and an inquisitive mind! Occasionally, a particular book is ordered for everyone who wants to purchase a copy. This group meets on Wednesday mornings from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Adult Seminar Room across from the Library. Find current topics under Latest News. Please join in.
Perhaps, like me, you love the season of Advent when we focus on the coming of Christ to the earth and also on a time of spiritual reflection. Last Sunday our Children’s building was filled with activity and with learning about Christmas and its meaning. Our Hanging of the Green service got us into the spirit for the journey!This coming Sunday is one of my favorite days of this part of the year. Our choir and musicians present “With One Accord” in the sanctuary at 10:00 a.m. It promises to be a wonderful and inspiring morning. I ask only two things of our members: one, come if you are able, to fill the sanctuary and to support our choir and players; two, help us spread the word. If you are on Facebook, take a moment to “share” this event on your page, on Twitter, on other social media. Invite someone who is alone this Christmas to come with you. Post it, like it, email it. “Go tell it on the mountain.” Help us overflow our space and lift hearts. Can you help us spread the word?
New Year Renewal
In my sermon Sunday, and in my thoughts in recent months, I have been thinking about spiritual renewal — mine, my church, my community and my nation. It was inspired during our summer vacation experience. Vickie and I went on a Rhodes Scholar trip to the homes of President and Mrs. Roosevelt and to related sites in New York. We went to West Point and to the site of George Washington’s headquarters on the Hudson River at the end of the American Revolution. We studied the 1930s and ’40s when our country faced so many challenges—the Dust Bowl, the Great Depression, world war—when the challenges exceeded those of the present moment.
The death of President George H.W. Bush has been a moment of reminder of that time. When George W. Bush accepted the Republican nomination in 2000, he said, “My father was the last president of a great generation.” His biographer, Jon Meacham, said of him that “his life was spent in the service of his nation, and his spirit of conciliation, common sense and love of country will stand him in strong stead through the ebbs and flows of posterity’s judgment.”
I have been asking, “What is our present moment asking of us?” We are too prone to hold ourselves back from one another and to speak of what others have or haven’t done. But where is that request from our moment of testing, the inspiration to sacrifice for the greater good of all? What can unite us and renew us?
I certainly am not in a position to know this for our nation, but I can ask it of myself. What am I willing to give, to offer, to dedicate that moves past my own selfishness, my temptations to wring my hands and to complain? What great and transforming idea can ask something great of me? I have given much of my life to the church in the belief that Christ’s church, however imperfect, is an instrument of such a possibility. Through its life I can be part of something larger than us all—God’s healing vision for creation (Romans 8).
I am seeking in the New Year ahead for spiritual renewal to be at the top of my list. In January, we will begin with a special emphasis together called “Bring the Book.” For those four weeks, even if you normally bring the Bible on your phone or iPad, I ask you to “bring the book,” a visible symbol of our rededication to the scriptures. On those four Sundays, leading up to our church-wide retreat, we will look at and preach from the four gospels. The Jesus story is the foundation of the church. It is our greatest gift to the rest of humanity.