How we think about the Church determines how we function as the Church. The Apostle Paul used multiple images throughout his letters to help the first Christians better understand who they were as believers in Jesus Christ and what it meant for them to be the Church. In this Groundwork series, we’ll study Paul’s descriptions of the Church as a body, a bride, a family, a house, and a living Temple and together we’ll unpack the complexity of our identity as the Church. We’ll gain wisdom about our purpose, our role, how we should behave, what our relationship is to each other and to God, and we’ll begin to see the manifold beauty of God’s people and grow in appreciation for what it means for us to be God’s Church.
It’s very tempting to think of our physical nature as separate from our spiritual nature. But the reality is, God created us as whole beings. Anything we face mentally, physically, or emotionally also impacts our faith. In this Groundwork series, we’ll consider four very painful, often debilitating mental and physical conditions that, sooner or later, we will all deal with inside our church communities and families. Together, we’ll seek comforting guidance from Scripture to help all of us cope when we or the people we love face the reality of living with conditions like dementia, depression, anxiety, and chronic pain or illness.
The shortest gospel of the New Testament, the Gospel of Mark contains an imperative, urgent message for its readers: Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Messiah. The writer, John Mark, employs unique literary structure, recurring themes, and dramatic style to drive our focus to recognize Jesus’ true identity and to correct our human understanding of what he came to do. In this Groundwork series, we’ll study the ministry and teaching of Jesus as told in the Gospel of Mark. Together we’ll explore its distinctive features to help us grasp the radical truth of Mark’s message and we’ll discuss the implications its abrupt and unexpected ending has for our lives.