Adults ~ Journeying together toward deeper faith, justice, and love for all
Journey of Faith
Our Journey of Faith program began in 2008 as part of the beginning of our congregation’s revitalization. This program combines adult Christian Education with opportunities to share our faith with others. Over the years we've provided sessions such as book studies, video studies, ecological concerns, and presentations by invited speakers and our own members. For a look at our past offerings, click here.
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER | Programs presented via Zoom
September 9 | Celebrating You, SPUCC, and Our Wider Church | We'll gather via Zoom to celebrate new beginnings, growths, and life-giving efforts engaged in while in the midst of this challenging time of pandemic, hearing personal examples from individual members of our congregation.
September 16 | The Time for Restoring All Things | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been described as the American religion par excellence, as a new branch in the tree of "Abrahamic" religions, and has generated more scholarly literature than any other religious movement in America except the Puritans. Our guest John Gustav-Wrathall will share his perspective on it as both a believer and a scholar, and as an active though excommunicated gay member.
John Gustav-Wrathall is a writer, scholar, and former professor of American Religious History. Shortly after serving a mission for the LDS church in France and Switzerland, he came out during his third year at Brigham Young University and was excommunicated. After 19 years away, he found his way back and has been active in his congregation for the past 15 years. For the past seven he has been involved in LGBTQ ministry in and adjacent to the church he loves.
September 23 | Faith & Our Multiracial Democracy, with a guest speaker from ISAIAH | People of faith have a particular role in ensuring that everyone is represented in the multiracial democracy that’s being created to provide humanity with agency, dignity, and the ability to thrive. Christians answer the call of building a beloved community of justice, love, and equity. A tangible way to do this is through voting and civic engagement with parishioners, family, and friends. Relational research and empirical testing have shown effective ways to encourage people to be voters, to be early voters, and to vote with the shared values of community, justice, and love in mind. We will discuss some of those findings and concrete ways to engage others. Minister JaNaé Bates is the communications director for ISAIAH and Faith in Minnesota – multiracial, multifaith, statewide vehicles dedicated to building a multiracial democracy by moving collectively and powerfully for racial and economic equity here in Minnesota. JaNaé specializes in integrating grassroots faith-based organizing and narrative strategy. She's been instrumental in implementating the Race Class Narrative framework both here and across the US. JaNaé is a womanist theologian and Fulbright scholar. She has over a decade of academic and professional experience in ministry, social justice, and communications.
September 30 & October 7 | Approaching the Bible with Heart and Mind: An introduction to Scripture for those who affirm that “God is Still Speaking” | David Weiss (active in our congregation) is a theologian, writer, poet, and hymnist, doing public theology around climate crisis, sexuality, justice, diversity, and peace. David’s Journey of Faith sessions are supported by a grant from the Steve & Christine Clemens Foundation for Social Justice.
September 30 | Heart & Mind #1 – First Things First | How do progressive Christians approach the Bible as a written text that bears witness to the God who is still speaking? David will use origami (Japanese paper-folding) as an image for the multitude of things we need to keep in mind and hold in our hearts. Our first “folds” include: Scripture as interpretative act, genres, sources, history, lenses, and why calling the Bible the Word of God says both too little and too much.
October 7 | Heart & Mind #2 – On Eagle’s Wings: A Bird’s Eye View of the Biblical Tale | The Narrative Sweep of the Biblical Story of the biblical tale from Genesis through Revelation | Buckle up for a whirlwind tour of the pathos and passion that mark this ancient journey of these people and this God … pathos and passion still at play today.
ARC Retreat Center | Action, Reflection, Celebration
The ARC Retreat Center is located in a beautiful white pine forest just an hour north of the Twin Cities. ARC is “a retreat center operated by a residential community, rooted in Christian tradition, emphasizing the values of simplicity, justice and healing, mercy and prayer, serving individuals and groups seeking time apart, rest and spiritual renewal." We often go on retreat during Lent, sometimes also in the fall. Recent retreat themes have included Sabbath, Forgiveness, Exploring the Mountain and Valley Experiences of Faith, and Security: Illusions and Imagination.
Interest Groups | Ongoing connections based in commonalities
The Women's Group includes women in their early 20s through 90s who are employed, underemployed, managing households, and retired. The group gathers for a 6 pm dinner at a local restaurant on the first Monday of each month and periodically sponsors a Sunday Morning Fair Trade Coffee Hour with a theme. They also provide Christmas gifts for our homebound members and were the original planters of the Peace Garden in front of the church. Contact the church office for more information (651-224-5809).