Recently my Facebook feed has been littered with two kinds of advertisements: formal dresses (did I mention my oldest daughter, Abby, and I have been shopping for her wedding dress?) and for something called Commit 30 (this is not an advertisement for it!). It appeared to be a priority setting tool and I was interested. I clicked on it once out of curiosity and they are just not going to let it go until I buy something, it seems. That’s how advertising works. I have shown interest and they want to close the sale. Who can blame them!
On Monday I found time to have what I call “balcony time.” That’s time to get up on the balcony and survey everything that’s going on and see what needs to happen, where changes need to be made and how I can help move things forward. In other words, it is one of my priority setting tools. I have been longing for such time. There were dreams and priorities living in the recesses of my soul, blocked by the urgent and even sometimes by the necessary things of ministry. Monday, through prayerful discernment and a discerning conversation, those things rose to the surface. I am grateful. You’ll be hearing about what rose to the surface as time goes on.
One of those balcony dreams and visions is about the spiritual formation of the older youth and adults in our community of faith. For a while I have been hearing about a hunger for Bible study, a hunger for a deeper biblical grounding to our progressive faith, and a hunger to study together to learn more and build relationships. As I let God work in me, this is one of the goals that rose to the surface: In 2020 100+ members and friends of Eden Prairie United Methodist Church will join in one session of a 4-week study lead by Pastor Becky Jo called Making Sense of the Bible. The purpose of the small group study is to provide a biblical foundation to our progressive faith, to understand the divine and human nature of the Bible, to wrestle with tough passages in the bible, to develop a fuller sense of how scripture informs our faith, and to build relationships among the people of Eden Prairie United Methodist Church. I want you to know this is where my heart is at. I love making the scripture come alive for others and for the Bible to become more relevant in people’s lives. We need tools and conversation to make that happen. I hope you will consider being one of the 100+ among us that will join in the study sometime in 2020.
The first session of Making Sense of the Bible is scheduled for Tuesday evenings at 6:30 pm for January 28, February 4, 11, (skip the 18th) and 25. If you are interested, email or call the church office or sign up on the commitment card in your worship folder on Sunday. I anticipate about 7 more sessions throughout 2020, all taught on different days and different times to make it accessible for everyone. If you have a preferred date and time and are interested, let me know, and I’ll make it happen!
If you are interested in learning about the future of the United Methodist Church, if you want to make sense of the headlines that falsely say we have already split, if you have questions or just want to hear the answers to other people’s questions, plan to join me in the Sanctuary this Sunday (January 19th) at about 11:15 for an informal conversation.
If you are in town this weekend (and the flu hasn’t hit you like it has others), I’ll see you in worship!
Pastor Becky Jo Messenbrink