Spring Formation 2016: Eyes Upward, Lives Outward

Church of the Holy Communion has released its spring 2016 schedule of classes and special events - 11x17-inch flyers are available at the church offices starting Sunday, January 3. PDFs of the flyer can be downloaded here.

Old Testament scholar Dr. Walter Brueggemann (pictured above), Commercial Appeal columnist David Waters and Virginia Theological Seminary professor the Reverend Dr. Kathy Grieb will be among our guest speakers (March 3, February 7 and April 22-24, respectively). All spring formation courses are gathered under the arch of "Eyes Upward, Lives Outward" - looking at the ways we can engage with our community.

The Reverend Ben Badgett writes:

Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent, the Church began its new liturgical year. And with that new church year comes a new series of lectionary texts for us to read, learn, mark and inwardly digest. This is liturgical Year C, a year in which we spend a great deal of time studying Luke’s gospel. Perhaps one of the best known parables unique to Luke’s gospel is the parable of the Good Samaritan.  

As an introduction to this parable, a lawyer accurately describes the summary of the law: to love God with all your heart and all your soul and all your strength and all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself. But this lawyer goes a step further to “justify” himself (and presumably the way he lives) and asks Jesus, “who is my neighbor?”  

Jesus has a very clear answer in the parable of the Good Samaritan as to who the lawyer’s neighbor is. The answer is that our neighbors are not just the ones we choose, but the ones we meet wherever we are. In essence, our neighbors are everyone we encounter.  

This semester in Christian formation, we will put the question to ourselves: who is our neighbor? Who are the people we encounter and engage with in our life and ministry at the Church of the Holy Communion in Memphis, Tennessee? Who are our neighbors and how might we love them as we love ourselves?

As we look at the question of neighborliness and community engagement we will do so through a number of learning opportunities, including Sunday morning plenary classes with Father Sandy, the Commercial Appeal’s David Waters, Bishop Don Johnson and the Reverend Dr. Kathy Grieb. Sunday morning Bible study will focus on the Epistle of James and the Acts of the Apostles; classes on faithful living will explore reconciliation and community partnerships and include guest panels and speakers. Contemporary Theological Issues is adopting a semester-long class, “Church: A Community Called for the Future.”

We’ll be featuring two intergenerational Sunday morning offerings, and our small group studies are back, reading books on the topic of community engagement from the perspectives of faith communities.  

Scholar Walter Brueggemann will be here on March 3, and April 22-24 we will hold Faith at Work: An Urban Pilgrimage with Emmanuel Center, guided by theologian and New Testament scholar Dr. Kathy Grieb.

The goal for our Christian formation this semester is to propel our intrinsic faith life into our extrinsic relationships. We will seek to know and love our neighbors as we grow to know and love ourselves in the richness of a life of faith in the Incarnate Word of God, Jesus the Christ – the One who has shared in our human life and knows and loves us.   to know and love ourselves in the richness of a life of faith in the Incarnate Word of God, Jesus the Christ- the One who has shared in our human life and knows and loves us.

Below: David Waters, Dr. Kathy Grieb

Posted by Cara Modisett at 8:00 AM
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