This Summer Book Series will meet once each month in June, July, and August, for a book review and dinner. You will need to read the book before attending. Books can be purchased through your local bookstore or online.
June 1 - August 31
Book selections by month:
The June book selection is “Finding Chika” by Mitch Albom
The July book selection is “Educated” by Tara Westover
The August book selection is “If You Can Keep It: The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty” by Eric Metaxas
Contact Laura Beagles or Amy Gutmann for more information about the book selections as well as the date and location for each month.
Monday, June 01, 2020, 6:30 PM - Monday, August 31, 2020, 8:30 PM
“When action and contemplation are united, we always have beauty, symmetry and transformation, lives and actions that inherently sparkle and heal, we are dancing standing still.” Richard Rohr
In this small book, Rohr shows us how to develop a contemplative stance toward life that is steady, centered, poised, and rooted. As much as we cherish and honestly worship our sense of "knowing things," we live in a time wherein humility we know that we do not know. Rohr shows us how that tension between knowing and not knowing becomes our center for action and contemplation.
You will need to purchase your own copy of the book prior to the start of class.
Mondays, July 6 - August 10 10:00 – 11:30 am Led by: Allen Stone
Ever wonder about the books that are in some bibles but not in ours? These books are known as the Apocrypha. The term "apocrypha" comes from the Greek word meaning "hidden" or "secret". Originally, the term was applied to sacred books whose contents were too exalted to be made available to the general public. This 10-week study will explore what the Apocrypha is, how these books came to be scripture, and why they were removed. Each week we will review the books and their content.
Mondays, June 8 – August 10 7:00 pm, Taught live using Zoom link Led by Rev. Walt Marcum and Richard Stanford
This ongoing men’s group seeks to support spiritual growth, fellowship, and community service among men, helping them to mature as disciples of Christ, primarily through Bible study. A study on the Book of Acts will end on June 9, and the new study on Thessalonians will begin June 23. New members are welcome at any time.
When you suffer, do you wonder if God has forgotten you? Would you like to be sure that your life is pleasing to God? At times, every Christian feels anxious or insecure about life — and about faith. The Thessalonians asked many of the questions you ask today, and Paul's letters helped them find assurance.
This 10-week class covers the background to the world of Jesus known as the Second Temple Period or the period between the testaments. This is intended to help participants better understand the world of the New Testament and of Jesus. It is also the perfect preparation for the N.T. Wright class, “The New Testament in It’s World,” which will begin in September.
This time period covers the end of Israel in 598 B.C.E., the Babylonian exile, the return from the exile, the Greek and Maccabean period, and the Hasmonean and Roman period. We will explore how this period fundamentally changed Israel’s faith, its self-identity, its understanding of God, its understanding of hope, and its worship practices. We’ll learn how the Sadducees, Pharisees, Essenes, and other groups came into being, as well as how the beliefs that shaped the world of Jesus came to be.
Our live streaming class sessions will include a PowerPoint presentation followed by time for questions and discussion. Participants will also be able to download the PowerPoint presentations for further study.
Thursdays, July 9 – September 10 7:00 pm, Taught live using Zoom link Led by Rev. Walt Marcum and Richard Stanford
This ongoing men’s group seeks to support spiritual growth, fellowship, and community service among men, helping them to mature as disciples of Christ, primarily through Bible study. New members are welcome at any time.
A new study on the book of Matthew begins September 8.
If you were to be discipled by Jesus himself, think of what you could learn. What would he teach you about relationships, priorities, wealth, and his coming kingdom? What would you learn from his actions? Matthew's gospel brings you face to face with Jesus as he calls, teaches, and prepares his disciples.
We’re all searching, but our questions are complicated and truth can be hard to find. In this study, Adam Hamilton finds powerful answers contained in the Apostles’ Creed, an early statement of foundational Christian beliefs. In this book, Hamilton considers important questions of life, reality, and truth. He explores not only what Christians believe, but also why they believe it and why it matters.
Register by Monday, September 7 Led by Rev. Jeff Hall, Cochran Chapel UMC
This book by Richard Rohr challenges people to move beyond the comfort of a settled life toward an understanding of themselves that is rooted in their connection to God. Only when they rest in God can they find the certainty and the freedom to become all that they can be. Contemplation has its place at the heart of Christianity, a place that allows people to experience how “everything belongs.”
Cost: No charge, but you will need to purchase your own copy of “Everything Belongs”
Register by Friday, September 11 Led by Allen Stone
Want to know more about Jesus, his life, and his ministry? Join us for this journey through the story of Jesus, and learn how each of the gospels are unique and distinctive in their approach.
This class uses a study manual which lays out the four gospels side by side. You will not only be able to go through the life, ministry, and teaching of Jesus but also see how each gospel relays these stories and events.
This study will have reading and study assignments followed by the class session. During class, you will watch a short video and then participate in discussions and questions.
You will need to pick up your materials from the church prior to the start of class.
Register by Friday, September 11 Led by Rev. Walt Marcum
12 Women of the Bible: Life Changing Stories for Women Today
There is something fresh and wonderful about authentic people, about women who have nothing to hide. In this study, taught by six acclaimed Bible teachers, you will meet a group of amazing women in the Bible who are absolutely real. Their raw and revealing stories of frailties, struggles, sins, and brokenness are a real gift to women today. As you hear their stories, you will learn biblical lessons that can help you navigate the successes and failures of your own life. The lessons you learn from each of these women will help you persevere through the circumstances you are facing.
Tuesday, September 8
7:00 am – We will meet at La Madeleine (the corner of Mockingbird and Bush Ave.) to receive our books and for fellowship.
“The Preaching Life” is Barbara Brown Taylor’s reflection on her call to serve as a priest in the Episcopal Church. In this rich meeting of memoir, theology, and sermon, she weaves together reflections on her vocation with the struggles of the Church to hear, respond, and remain faithful to its mission of holy love. Taylor explores Christian meanings and histories in order to hear and speak, in the present, for God. This book on the calling to preach is itself a call to reawaken to the activating presence of God.
“The New Testament in Its World,” a new study by N.T. Wright is your passageway from the twenty-first century to the era of Jesus and the first Christians. The book places the entire New Testament and early Christianity in its original context and addresses many difficult questions faced by those studying early Christianity.
This study will open your eyes to the larger world of the New Testament. It captures the excitement of the early Christians, helping today’s readers to think like a first-century believer while reading the text responsibly for today.
The purchase of study materials is optional and not required to participate in this class. The study offers both a book and a workbook for those who are interested.
Cost: No charge, you may purchase either the book and/or the workbook online Register by Wednesday, September 16
Recent events have brought us a number of important lessons. One is that our hopes to plan and progress are subject to outside events that require adaptability as a critical component of our leadership models. Indeed, leadership might best be characterized under recent circumstances as the creation of an environment in which committed people are encouraged to gather, think provocatively, and to create transformative solutions. We no longer need leadership lessons that define steps; rather, these times call for ways of thinking that arm us to respond with hope, confidence, and mutual respect.
It should come as no surprise that Jesus had this all figured out 21 centuries ago. This fall, we will study his recipe for adaptability. We will start with eight weeks of breaking down the Beatitudes — not as biblical platitudes, but as a description of the kind of characteristics, we need to reach out, reach up, and reach toward our full potential.
No Cost Register by Tuesday, September 29 Led by Chip Robertson
“The Cloud of Unknowing” describes how we enter into the divine love of God's presence through the practice of contemplative prayer. Having stood the test of time, “The Cloud of Unknowing” feels quite contemporary, yet cuts through superficial spirituality to provide a robust connection with God and tradition. This book is for Christians who are living an “active life,” one prayerfully dedicated to cultivating a love for God and service to all people.
No cost, but you will need to purchase your own copy of “The Cloud of Unknowing,” translated by Carmen Acevedo Butcher, 2009, Shambhala Publications.
Register by Tuesday, October 6 Led by Dr. Jana Rentzel
Everyone loves Christmas — the carols and cookies, the decorations and favorite films, the warmth and generosity of the season. But Christmas is also the time of year that people will wonder about the baby born in the manger, the baby who became the King on the cross. Christmas proclaims the truth of Easter to come.
This book by Max Lucado features stories both insightful and whimsical. On every page, Lucado’s words will encourage, captivate, and inspire you, but most importantly, they’ll point you towards the One worth celebrating.
Thursdays, November 19, December 3, 10, & 17 Register by Wednesday, November 18 Led by Rev. Susan Robb