We expect our children to grow and learn all the time. And it’s quite amazing to me how much and how quickly they change. But what about growing and changing as an adult? We don’t expect it so much, and we don’t do it so much. But I believe we should be life-long learners in our spiritual lives as well as in our general education. So what are you doing to be a life-long learner in your spiritual life?
I hope that one of your ways of learning, growing and being challenged in the faith is by coming to worship and listening to sermons. As I have often said, I don’t expect you to agree with everything I say, but I certainly hope that you will feel challenged and go away thinking about the sermon. If so, I have achieved my goal.
But there are other important ways of growing as well. I highly recommend our two adult Sunday School classes. The Possibilities class always has a stimulating discussion going, and, currently, they are studying the book of Romans. Tom Huckleberry’s class, the Gentry Martin Class, has a very faithful and engaging group. Tom is an excellent teacher and always well-prepared. This class is studying the normal Sunday School literature which covers a wide variety of Biblical texts.
We currently have one book study going through the Connections group. They are studying Significant - A Study of Women in Jesus’ Genealogy: Six Ordinary Women, One Extraordinary God. The next meeting covering the second chapter will be after church on May 29. Bring a sack lunch.
There are also other ways that I try to grow including watching worship services from other churches. Since the pandemic, it seems that almost every church is posting their worship online. I like checking in to see what some of my pastor friends are preaching. And I have enjoyed checking out some of the worship services from National City Christian Church and Riverside Church in New York City. One of my favorite preachers there is Rev. Lynn Casteel Harper, their Minister to Older Adults.
I also like to watch sermons posted at the website called “A Sermon for Every Sunday'' at asermonforeverysunday.com. This site was “founded in 2014 by Jim Somerville, Pastor of Richmond's First Baptist Church, and David Powers, President of Belltower Pictures, as a way to help churches that didn't have, or couldn't afford, a regular preacher. The sermons are free of charge and are being used by small churches, house churches, Bible studies, small groups, Sunday school classes, and for individual viewing on laptops, tablets, and smartphones.”
Recently, I have been enjoying the weekly emails from Diana Butler Bass. Her website is called “The Cottage” at dianabutlerbass.com/the-cottage/, and she says it is a “place to explore faith and spirituality especially for those who feel dissatisfied, discomforted, or uncertain about religion — and who need a different angle, a new view of things of the spirit.”
I also like the Compassionate Christianity website (I love the title) at compassionatechristianity.org. They say that their “objective is to provide you with compassionate Christian ideas, nourishment, resources, and community. We seek to provide inclusive, welcoming, and affirming ideas and resources, reflecting the compassion Jesus modeled for us.”
I also subscribe to Christian Century magazine, which aspires to be “open-minded” and “think critically and live out the Christian faith creatively in our time,” and Sojourners magazine which claims “to inspire hope and action by articulating the biblical call to racial and social justice, life and peace, and environmental stewardship.”
Oh! There are so many options. There’s just no excuse to be ‘stuck in a rut’ spiritually.
Dr. Mickey Anders
Interim Sr. Minister
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