Christian Education

Lent 2021

Posted by on Mar 26, 2021 in Christian Education | Comments Off on Lent 2021

Week One: Powerless with Rev. Carrie Fraser Week Two: Surrender with Rev. Katie Jo Suddaby Week Three: Confession with Rev. David Hansen Week Four: Amends with Tripp Hudgins Week Five: Awakening with Rene Florendo In the last year, this pandemic halted life as we knew it, and we are SO READY for us to all get our vaccines and “return to normal” but when we’re honest, we need to admit something too: there’s this feeling of dread. This pandemic has caused us to ask a lot of questions about what our lives were like, and what we want them to be when we re-emerge. We could slowly emerge from this pandemic and let life just return to normal, and miss the opportunity it presents because this pandemic has taught us so much about ourselves and what’s important to us. The season of Lent is a time where we seek to do the inner work of our souls and emerge with an understanding of new life and a new world. No one is saying that by Easter Sunday the pandemic will be over, but this vaccine has put a window on some work we have to do before this pandemic ends. Over this past year, many questions have been asked. Questions like: What about my life before did I love? What didn’t serve me but I did anyway? Where did I put my priorities, and were they in the right place? When life in public resumes, what do I want to do differently and how do I go about doing those things? How have my relationships with some people or institutions in my life changed during this time? How do I want them to be different? This Lenten series is here to help us answer some of these questions. As we seek to see what a new future will look like, we will use a very accessible discernment process used to change millions of lives. The 12 steps that are used in recovery can help us to the other side of this pandemic, because if this pandemic has taught us anything it’s living one day at a time. This is not about alcohol or addiction, it is about recognizing that we all have dependencies (working too much, putting others before our family, not creating boundaries, finding self-worth dependent on what we produce or contribute, just to name a few). In these 5 weeks we will walk through the 12 steps and the themes: Powerless, Surrender, Confession, Amends, and Awakening. We have a slate of amazing people to engage in conversations with Pastor Shannon on each of these topics. We have an opportunity to change our lives like never before. Join us during this Lenten Season and help us make a better tomorrow post pandemic. Please join us for weekly worship, posted each Sunday morning or by listening to the longer conversations either through video or podcast. Links will be posted each...

Read More

Week Five: Awakening

Posted by on Mar 17, 2021 in Christian Education | Comments Off on Week Five: Awakening

Rene Florendo is an Elder at Ashland Presbyterian Church in Hunt Valley, MD. He is a drummer and singer, loving father, husband, and son to Filipino immigrant parents. Rene is a spiritual leader in every sense and anyone who meets him sees the face of compassion and kindness. If you would like to catch up on the previous week’s conversations please click here. Spiritual Practice this week: Jesus says, “I am the bread of life.” The spiritual awakening that happens as a result of these steps truly has brought life to millions of people. It has hopefully brought us a new vision of how life can improve on the other side of this pandemic. But awakening isn’t just inward, this week is about service and accompanying others. Follow this recipe and watch the dough “awaken.” After you’ve made the dough you may bake the flatbread or wrap it in saran wrap and put it in your fridge. If you store it, take it out on Maundy Thursday and bake it then. Eat it with a simple meal of soup or if you wish, you could also share the meal (safely) with a neighbor by bringing them some soup and bread as...

Read More

Week Four: Amends

Posted by on Mar 10, 2021 in Christian Education | Comments Off on Week Four: Amends

Tripp Hudgins is a scholar, musician, minister, father, and husband. His field of research is liturgical music and emerging Christian communities and traditions. This means he pays attention to banjos as well as choral evensong and the internet. He is a Doctoral Candidate at Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA. He and his wife, Patricia, have a five-year-old son named Elias, and two cats. They live in Richmond, VA. He can be found on Twitter @tripphudgins  and Instagram: @biscuitsandbanjos  If you would like to catch up on the previous week’s conversations please click here. Spiritual Practice this week: This week has the easiest instruction but the hardest actions. You will need multiple sheets of paper and three envelopes. Go back to the dependencies you named in week one. How have they affected other people? Make a list of the person harmed by your shortcomings. Pick up two people to write letters to. If it is possible, and it would not injure them, send them the letter when you are ready. The third letter is to yourself.  Write a letter to yourself and forgive yourself as well. This may be the hardest part, and you may not be ready to send the letters yet but pray on step ten until you are able to do...

Read More

Week Three: Confession

Posted by on Mar 1, 2021 in Christian Education | Comments Off on Week Three: Confession

Rev. David Hansen is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He pastors the Spirit of Joy! congregation outside of Houston Texas as well as serving as the Director of Communications and Innovation at LEAD (Living Everyday As Disciples) for the ELCA. For the last decade, David has been helping congregations and leaders to share the Good News in new ways – using digital tools to help us both share the message of the Gospel and build stronger communities. Video Conversation Podcast Conversation What do you need to confess because you tried spent too much time trying to maintain control and not seek the wisdom of God? Do you believe God knows every part of you, even your deepest darkest confessions? And loves you still? Think about your fears of letting go of control and spend some time thinking of a time when you allowed God to change you. Then, meditate on these words from Psalm 139: O Lord, you have searched me and known me.You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away.Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely.Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence?For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. Spend some time writing a prayer of confession to God, be completely honest in this confession and ask God to remove your shortcomings. If you feel comfortable call your pastor or a trusted friend and make your confession to another person. When finished, pray this prayer. “I turn from sin in sorrow, I turn to God in hope, this is God’s Word of grace: I am accepted, I am forgiven, I am loved. This is my gift from God. Thanks be to God. Amen.” For Previous week’s conversations click...

Read More

Week Two: Surrender

Posted by on Feb 22, 2021 in Christian Education | Comments Off on Week Two: Surrender

Rev. Katie Jo Suddaby is the Executive Director of the South Wedge Food Program in Rochester, NY. She is an ordained pastor in the American Baptist Church and a multi-media artist. Katie Jo specializes in sand art and its lessons in letting go and meditation. You can find her work at sandbykatiejo.com or donate to her food program here. Click here for the Week Two: Surrender Podcast. Weekly Activity: Lectio Divina (altered) Read “Birthing a New Way” by Kelly Ann Hall each a day this week meditating on the following questions. You may need to read the poem multiple times. Monday: What words or phrases stand out to me? What does the text say that everyone should understand? Tuesday: What does this text say to me, today about surrender or “birth a new way”? Wednesday: What do I want to say to God in response? What questions do I have? Thursday: What is God trying to tell me? What word do I feel God is writing on my heart? Friday: What needs to change in my life to surrender or “birth a new way”? What actions can I take to become more interdependent with God? Birthing_A_New_Way-1Download For other weeks in the series, go to...

Read More