In the United Church of Christ, we understand faith formation to be “an engaged process of learning and practice integrated throughout all aspects of congregational and daily life.” This definition highlights the initiative and action we must take in our own faith formation. In essence, we become clay so that we are formed and transformed by the Holy and by one another. But throughout all of our doing and being, we are reminded that God’s “hands” are continually present in our efforts to gain both “head” knowledge found in education and learning and “heart” wisdom discovered through prayer, ritual, and practice.
We invite you to ‘feed your spirit’ with inspirational UCC Daily Devotionals. You can view the most current Daily Devotional as well as past Devotionals on the RSS feed HERE. If you would like to routinely receive the most up to date UCC Daily Devotionals via text or email? You can do that by subscribing HERE.
Advent Adult Faith Formation
Tuesdays, November 30th, December 7th & December 14th
In-Person and on Zoom, 6:45pm – 8:00 pm
Practicing Patience with All Your Heart, Soul, Strength, and Mind
**All materials will be provided free of charge**
In a culture that glorifies immediate gratification, learning to wait is counter-cultural. This
makes Practicing Patience a perfect theme for 2021 Advent reflections. The emphasis on
immediate gratification increases tenfold as we rush full speed ahead into the Christmas season. We are encouraged to give in to the barrage of invitations to eat more, do more,
drink more, and buy more this time of year. The season of Advent—along with these reflections—provides us with the support we need to slow down in order to make countercultural choices, choices that will help prepare us for the true meaning of Christmas.
BOOK STUDY – EXPLORING THE BIBLE: THE DICKINSON SERIES
We are excited to periodically offer a series of three courses on the Bible designed for small groups, each course is presented in 6-8, 90-minute sessions. Both the student texts and leader’s guides are written by Rev. Anne Robertson and published by the Massachusetts Bible Society. The series is named for its benefactor, Dr. Charles C. Dickinson, III.
The first course of The Dickinson Series: Exploring the Bible; What is the Bible? gives students a broad overview of the entire Bible, including chapters on how to select a Bible suitable for your needs, how the Bible is organized, how the collection of books that comprise the Bible were chosen, different ways that people approach the text, and what archaeology has to tell us about the text and its stories. This six-week course in basic biblical literacy assumes no prior knowledge of the Bible and is not biased toward any particular Christian tradition.
This second course in The Dickinson Series: Exploring the Bible; Introducing the Old Testament will help you better understand the Old Testament in the context of the world in which it was written. Use it as designed in small-group study or work with it on your own. Either way, you will come to a new appreciation for this amazing collection of ancient texts and the faith that they represent.
In the third course of The Dickinson Series: Exploring the Bible; Introducing the New Testament, students will read, think, dialogue, and learn what Nazareth was like in the first century, see what scholars know and don’t know about Jesus as a historical figure, and decide for yourself whether Paul deserves either the stature or the censure that he so often receives from Christians. And who is the Antichrist anyway?
BOOK & FILM DISCUSSIONS
In addition to The Dickinson Series: Exploring the Bible series, we offer book discussions for adults a well. Some past discussions that could be revisited include:
- The Shack: The New York Times Best Seller by WM. Paul Young
- The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) by Don Miguel Ruiz
- Glorify: Reclaiming the Heart of Progressive Christianity by Emily C. Heath
Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint: Now a New York Times bestseller, Nadia Bolz-Weber takes no prisoners as she reclaims the term “pastrix”(pronounced “pas-triks,” a term used by some Christians who refuse to recognize female pastors) in her messy, beautiful, prayer-and-profanity laden narrative about an unconventional life of faith.
- Rob Bell’s NOOMA Film Series: This is a series of short films promoting spiritual reflections on individual life experiences.
Up coming offerings include:
- Crazy Christians: An invigorating view of faith from the first African American Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.
- An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith, follow-up to her acclaimed memoir Leaving Church, noted preacher and teacher Barbara Brown Taylor promises to make you see the world in a new way—finding grace in even the smallest detail, helping to bring conscious awareness to your everyday. Learn how the practice of blessings will help you give thoughtful prayer to those you love and even some you will never meet.
- TED Talks: Influential videos from expert speakers on education, business, science, tech and creativity. Our line up of TED talks will inspire thought and discussion. From serious to humorous, these talks explore a wide variety of faith-based topics. These talks are sure to encourage, inspire, and stretch your own thoughts on religion. Even if you don’t agree with everything that these speakers have to offer, your own thoughts and beliefs will be challenged by these TED Talks.
Some considerations for future discussions:
- The Pilgrim’s Progress: by John Bunyan
- Brené Brown’s works: Brené Brownis an American scholar, author, and public speaker, who is currently a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. Over the last fifteen years she has been involved in research on a range of topics, including vulnerability, courage, shame, and empathy. She is the author of three #1 New York Times bestsellers: The Gifts of Imperfection (2010), Daring Greatly (2012), and Rising Strong (2015). She and her work have been featured on PBS, NPR, TED, and CNN.