Scripture Study

Scripture Study

Paul’s 2nd Letter to the Corinthians

We gathered this past Wednesday to explore Paul’s 2nd Letter to the Corinthians as part of our exploration of the Early Church Writings. We explored such topics as 1) affliction and consolation, 2) power in weakness, 3) the gospel being the treasure in clay pots (we’re the clay pots), 4) the development of the notion of a judgment day and the role of the resurrected Christ at that time, and 5) Paul’s emphasis on mercy and compassion. We always study…

Youth confirmation class

Our youth at St Andrew’s Episcopal Church are growing in knowledge and understanding of the Holy Scriptures as they study together and take time to ask many valuable questions. We did an 8 minute youtube romp through all the books of the Bible, spoke of the timeline, origins, the different languages.  Their pre-class work was to take a  virtual tour of the Bible Museum in Washington DC prior to class.  We discovered that there are many Bible translations.  Stay tuned to…

Early Church Writings Exploration

This past Wednesday, we gathered by Zoom to explore the writings of Paul, especially focusing on his letter to the Thessalonians. In this short letter, he sets the stage for the structure and dynamics of the early church, with an emphasis on his “new family” imagery, his use of his famous triad, “faith, hope, and love”, and his charge for “simple and unobtrusive” living. We learned some about the person of Paul, looked at the historical context of this letter,…

Palm Sunday

We celebrated Palm Sunday in a very different way, but it was not a “less than” experience, and in many ways, it became a “more than” experience. Some of the responses I heard to the Palm Sunday pre-recorded service were, “I felt like I was with my whole parish family”, “It was wonderful!”, “BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL. Hearing you say the Palm Sunday service is the woods was wonderful. I felt like I was there with you”, “It brought tears to my…

Where did Jesus walk? Why does it matter to us?

This past Wednesday we gathered together, enjoyed a meal together, and then engaged in a presentation that wove together Mother Barbara’s experiences and photographs of her Holy Land trip with scriptural references to the locations where Jesus traveled and all set within the cultural and political context of Jesus’ time. There was an opportunity to hear Mother Barbara’s spiritual insights from each of the locations as well as quiet time to reflect upon our own insights gleaned from the images…

Approaching the Gospels Together

On the first Sunday of the month we gather to explore the gospels together, using a Contemplative Dialogue approach which encourages everyone’s participation and which understands that wisdom is found in the hearts of everyone gathered. Today was no exception. We compared the texts of Mark, Matthew, and Luke and many unsettling topics settled into our hearts. Sometimes the path toward knowledge and truth lead us into difficult places first. We traveled a bit into what unclean spirits mean to…

Approaching the Gospels Together

This morning a group of us gathered with an ease of being together, with a shared sense of wanting to learn from each other, and with a desire to look closely at our scriptures. We read the text of Jesus’ baptism in the three synoptic gospels (seeing with one view or eye): Mark, Matthew, and Luke. We begin by reading the text in Mark (the first of the synoptic gospels written) and then read the same story from Matthew and…

The Work of the People: The Ridiculous Journey of Following Jesus

A number of us gathered on Wednesday evening for a time of sharing a meal, hearing new ideas, and sharing our thoughts in a safe and caring space. We began our 6-week program on following Jesus through the use of videos by a number of theologians. We began our study by reading scripture connected with the evening’s topic, since we as Episcopalians are people rooted in scripture. We listened to and engaged with the story of the Good Samaritan. We…

The essential paradox: Christ the King on the cross

This Sunday we celebrate the Feast Day of Christ the King. We end this liturgical year hearing the story of Jesus’ crucifixion. This has got to be the greatest paradox in all of our Christian faith and narrative. Have you ever wondered how the words “crucifixion of Jesus” are connected to “Christ the King”? What about this association could possibly make sense? In the gospel of Luke, a simple statement announces this dramatic act: Jesus is crucified, set between two…

On the move with Jesus.

We were on the move with Jesus these past few days! The evening before, when we saw the 1st century grotto where Jesus must have spent time, either because it was his family’s home or his relatives, something shifted inside of me. I could see it. I could see the reality of what we spoke of in seminary as “the historical Jesus”. This was the real person who played and prayed, who visited relatives, met new people, created his own…

Disorientation … a path toward Reinorientation

I could easily describe my experience of the past 48 hours in one phrase: “twilight zone”. It was a disconcerting and frustrating time of waiting, delays, lines, and ultimately confusion and frustration. On Wednesday evening, our plane from Newark to Israel was delayed and ultimately cancelled. From the very beginning, our pilgrimage has taken unexpected turns. Already I have found myself surrounded by people speaking a foreign language to each other and to me, with an expectation of my comprehension.…
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