Pastor's Ponderings

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Pastor's Ponderings June 12, 2017

Pathway to Discipleship-Learning and study

A few weeks ago, I mentioned here that Christian faith often progresses along five different pathways.  I call them the "Discipleship Pathways."  Two of these pathways I have talked about previously.  Now I'd like to lift up a third pathway of learning and study.

Faith often grows as we read and study the Bible along with other believers.  The Bible is the record of God's actions and words to humanity over time.  Christian have long held that reading and studying the Bible can bring us into a growing relationship with the author and subject of scripture.

        16 All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17  so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work." -2 Timonthy 3:16-17(NRSV)

The fuller meaning of the Bible gets unpacked when we read it with others in a community of faith.  Disciple Bible Study, Covenant Bible Study and other longer study courses have been helpful for many.  These groups help people engage with other people as well as the Biblical texts.  But there are many other opportunities also.  Joyce Dixon's Tuesday morning Bible Study has helped many individuals here at Calvary have a deeper understanding and a more vibrant faith.  Sunday School classes, UMW circles, and youth fellowship are available to help us take the next step.  When we open and read the Bible along with other people, telling our names and learning the stories of others, when we share our questions, our concerns, and our understanding with others, faith grows in us.

We really can't make much use of the Bible by ourselves in isolation. When we participate in a small group where others come to know us and we know others, faith can take root and grow.

Questions to consider:

  • Where do others know you well?  What does it mean to be known by others?
  • How might you find ways to read the Bible and feed your spiritual growth?

See you in Church!

Pastor Steve

Pastor's Ponderings June 7, 2017

What a joy it was to receive 19 new persons into the life of Calvary United Methodist Church.  This is an unusually large number for a confirmation class.  I am grateful for the way in which so many mentors offered their time over the past several months.  they shared their faith through listening and sharing some of their own story in meaningful conversation with each of these students.  I hope that this time will continue to bear fruit in the months and years that come for both mentors and confirmands.  I am grateful for Katy Mossburg and Jeff Zalatoris who taught the classes over 15 sessions and an overnight retreat.  We are grateful for parents who kept the vows that they made when bringing their children to be baptized and raising their child in a home where they learned about God's love and care and the hope that Jesus Christ has to give.

The church is enlarged in many ways by the life and witnesses that was on display last Sunday.  As I said that day, confirmation is not the end of a journey, but a landmark on a larger adventure that continues on and on with Christ.  We are all reminded of our baptism and place in the church, and the need to be part of a community of love and forgiveness and prayer.

See you in church,

Pastor Steve

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