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.

 

Pastor's Column

 

Lenten series begins march 13 on wednesday nights


 

Resources for a Steadfast Disciple

During January we emphasized the centrality of scripture in the church’s life. There are some things that does not mean. We cannot replicate living in the 8th century BC, nor should we.  The common mistake sometimes made by well-intentioned new Christians is, “All I have to do is read the Bible and do exactly what I read there.”  If you want to see a couple of sadly hilarious descriptions of what that looks like, take a reading excursion with A. J. Jacob’s book, The Year of Living Biblically or Ed Dobson’s more evangelical take in The Year of Living Like Jesus.

This also doesn’t mean simply knowing a world of facts about the Bible and its history. It helps, of course, but you can quote it, know the dates of history, who all the characters and still be disconnected from it. “Being biblical Christians” is something else. It is seeking to be, here and now in this moment, in my life in a way that the characters of scripture sought to be in their lives. It means to be listening to this story and these assertions about God. And it means to seek to know the Jesus whom we trust is known to us through its pages.  This is the entire passion of the New Testament: “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:10-11). 

It is not believing the right ideas so much as trusting in the God of scripture that matters. It is listening to scripture, praying with scripture, and thinking with the Bible in this moment.  I usually say it this way, as Leander Keck once did: “Taking the Bible seriously.” Soon you find the God of scripture, if you do not watch it, reading you!  Thanks to all for participating.  Now please feel free under the “resources” button on our webpage to enjoy some resources that I have placed there for your help. 

A Well-Deserved Celebration
Over this past eighteen months we have been in a time of continual, intentional transition. We have brought Marty and Karyn Watts and Duncan to us as Marty has come to carry our music and worship forward (and doing so in an outstanding way, I might add). Our Minister to Students Search Committee has been working since last summer and now is moving on toward a new Minister to Students. 

 The largest shift of all has been that we are about to celebrate a long and invaluable ministry among us by Dennis Anderson who, with Karen, have been a part of us not only as our minister but as friend and members. The transition to Mike McBrayer taking over that ministry has gone exceptionally well, and we will have the staff in place shortly for our ministry going forward.  But there remains for us one thing to do: say “Thank you.”

I hope you are marking your calendars. Many appreciations and acknowledgments are already happening informally, but as a church we will have a formal time of appreciation for Dennis’ ministry and for Dennis and Karen in March. I have always been struck by how often in the New Testament Paul says, “I thank my God every time I think of you.” As we work together, we are never perfect, but we are always able to be thankful. Being a people of faith together is full of messy challenges and all the ups and downs of human lives, but the joy of God working through people is the best of all.

I will have more to say personally when the time comes, but for now, don’t miss out on the celebration. Come and join us and say thank you.

Lenten Renewal Series:   “On the Journey With Jesus”  Four well-known Christians from a variety of backgrounds and stories share their faith journeys—how they came to Christian faith, how that has lived out, and the unexpected turns that have taken them to new places in their discipleship. 

March 13, 2019, Dr. Daniel Potts

March 20, 2019, Kate Campbell

April 3, 2019, Dr. Jenny Dyer

April 10, 2019, Dan Haseltine

This series will be open to the public as well, and you are encouraged to invite friends to come and hear an exciting series of presentations.

March 13: “The Faces That Change Us: A Neurologist’s Experience With Dementia”
Dr. Daniel Potts is a neurologist, author, educator and champion of those living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias and their care partners. Selected by the American Academy of Neurology as the 2008 Donald M. Palatucci Advocate of the Year, he also has been designated an Architect of Change by Maria Shriver. Inspired by his father’s transformation from saw miller to watercolor artist in the throes of dementia through person-centered care and the expressive arts, Dr. Potts seeks to make these therapies more widely available through his foundation, Cognitive Dynamics. Additionally, he is passionate about promoting self-preservation and dignity for all persons with cognitive impairment. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

March 20: “Wonders Along the Way”
Singer/Songwriter Kate Campbell has since put together a considerable body of work. Originally from the Mississippi Delta and the daughter of a Baptist preacher, Kate‘s formative years were spent in the very core of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, and the indelible experiences of those years have shaped her heart and her character as well as her songwriting. Her music and songs continue to inspire and excite a growing and engaged audience. A variety of artists have recorded Campbell‘s songs and she has performed widely, including at the prestigious Cambridge Folk Festival (England), Merlefest, Philadelphia Folk Festival, and on National Public Radio‘s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Live From Mountain Stage. Kate lives in Nashville with her husband, Ira, a minister and chaplain.

***Series breaks with no meeting on March 27, during our spring break.***

April 3: “Ending Hunger: A Redeemed Hope for Feeding the World”
Dr. Jenny Dyer is the Founder of The 2030 Collaborative. As such, she directs the Faith-Based Coalition for Healthy Mothers and Children Worldwide with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Faith-Based Coalition for Global Nutrition with support from the Eleanor Crook Foundation. Dyer teaches Global Health Politics and Policy as a Lecturer in the Department of Health Policy at Vanderbilt School of Medicine, and she has taught Religion and Global Health at Vanderbilt School of Divinity. Dyer formerly worked with Bono ‘s ONE Campaign, Bono ‘s organization, from 2003-2008 to promote awareness and advocacy for extreme poverty and global AIDS issues. She is an author and frequent contributor in the media. She lives in Franklin, Tennessee with her husband, John, and two boys, Rhys and Oliver.

April 10: “Closing the Distance”
Dan Haseltine is the Lead singer/Primary songwriter for the three-time GRAMMY™ winning band Jars of Clay. Dan has written 17 #1 radio singles, received multiple BMI Song of the Year Awards, and National Songwriting Association ‘s highest honors. He is a Producer, Film/Television composer, and Music Supervisor. Dan is the Founder of non-profit organization, Blood:Water, celebrating 15 years of supporting local solutions to the clean water and HIV/AIDS crises in Southern and Eastern Africa. Blood:Water has helped more than 1 million people gain access to clean water, sanitation, hygiene training and community health support. Dan lives in Franklin, TN with his wife, Katie and 2 sons, Noah(18), and Max(15) and two dogs Gracie and Coco. Dan is also a columnist, advocate, and thought leader surrounding the work of extreme poverty reduction, and international development.

We hope you will join us for Lenten Revival on Wednesday nights at 6:00! Please check our supper menu (serving begins at 4:30) and make a reservation.

Pastor’s Bible Study Class:  “The Prayers of the New Testament.”
Join in Pastor’s Bible Study weekly on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. Our current topic is “The Prayers of the New Testament.” We meet in the “seminar” classroom near the church library; class is open to anyone, and you don’t need any prior Bible expertise to feel comfortable. Coffee & water are provided. Join us!Take an early lunch hour and feed your soul.

                                  Gary