Engaging in ministry . . .

Evangelical & Reformed United Church of Christ is a vital community of faith that extends its mission to the world beyond its walls. I find great encouragement in the transformation that happens through our Mission Partners in the community. Over the last two Sundays, we have had Mission Moments in worship that shared the stories of two of those partners, Project WisHope, and The Women’s Center, proving yet again that because of you, our church changes lives.

While I am inspired by the generous financial support we are able to offer various community Mission Partners, I find motivation in those who give of their time and talent to benefit others. The quilts we sent to The Women’s Center are one example. Those who, when able to operate, staff our Sunday school, serve up meals at the Hope Center, or trek out to Delafield to support Family Promise are just three more examples.

As we engage in these partnerships, we are living out our mission to foster the spiritual growth of a community of devoted followers of Christ.

Where do we find the impetus to engage in such ministry? In worship, in our personal devotions and group studies. Spiritual growth happens both when we engage in ministry and when we engage in prayer and study.

This fall we are offering two opportunities for enhancing spiritual growth. The first is our traditional Bible Study, offered in a slightly less traditional format, and the second is a small group topical study.

Bible Study

The Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7, contains some of Jesus’ most profound and most memorable teachings. What might these teachings have meant to his disciples and to the others who first heard them? How do they enhance our reading of the rest of the Gospel of Matthew, and how do they speak across the centuries to listeners today? How, if we pay careful attention to his words, does Jesus provide us a road map to living as God would have us live?

In Sermon on the Mount: A Beginner's Guide to the Kingdom of Heaven, Dr. Amy-Jill Levine introduces the major topics in the Sermon on the Mount, explains historical and theological contexts, and shows how the words of Jesus echo his Jewish tradition and speak forward to reach hearts and minds today.

This six-week study provides a rich and challenging learning experience. It includes a Participant’s Resource book, a Daily Readings book, and a DVD of the author that will be watched at each session by the group together. It will be offered at 1 PM on Wednesdays, in person at the church, masks required. If there is expressed interest, a Zoom option will be established. If you’re interested, please contact Brigette at EandRoffice@gmail.com, or Pastor Bob at revbobgross@gmail.com.

Small Group Study

Celebrating the communion of science and faith,

Painting the Stars explores the promise of evolutionary Christian spirituality. Featuring over a dozen leading theologians and progressive thinkers, the seven-session program includes a downloadable participant reader (written by evolutionary theologian Bruce Sanguin) and a facilitator guide with discussion questions. The basic format for each 1 – 1 ½ hour session includes conversation around the readings, a 20-minute video presentation and guided discussion.

This study will be offered on Zoom. If you’re interested, email revbobgross@gmail.com, and let Pastor Bob know of your interest and availability.

In times like these, small group conversation can be “just what the doctor ordered.”  I encourage you to participate in one, or both, of these opportunities for spiritual growth. You may be surprised at the beauty that lies beyond the transformation.