Thoughts from the Pastor

Reading Scripture in Community

On the final Sunday in August, I shared during my Sunday sermon that I was becoming increasingly aware of the importance of reading scripture together in community. This was reinforced this past summer as I lead and participated in two different bible studies. While I have always appreciated the benefit of reading scripture and exploring faith together, this is one aspect of being the church that has been hard to establish during an ongoing pandemic.

While traditionally churches have offered Sunday school as the place where people of faith more intentionally wrestle with scripture and faith together there is also a benefit in an entire community undertaking a similar practice. In that spirit I am inviting you the congregation into a bible study of sorts with me during the month of September. Our youth have a head-start because the book I am inviting us to wrestle with together is the book of James.

As I said in my sermon on August 29th James wrote to a wide audience of believers instructing followers of Christ how faith should impact their daily living. My prayer is that James will speak to us in a similar way in this time and place. Starting in September I will be sending out a video every Friday with someone reading our scripture for that coming Sunday. You are invited to watch and listen as a family, to discuss the scripture passage, or you can simply pull out your bible and read the passage for yourself.

My hope is that you have engaged with the scripture passage before my Sunday morning sermon. I also encourage you to share any insights, thoughts, questions, etc. that arose as you wrestled with the passage. While not a traditional bible study my hope with this little experiment is to recapture a sense of communal worship; that we are a part of a shared journey. It will require more of you than simply showing up in-person or online – it will require engagement and commitment. But I believe that if we covenant to do this together our experience of worship will be richer. As we get into September, I will share more details about this invitation but certainly reach out to me in the meantime with questions.

Blessings, Pastor Nathan

Reading Schedule for September

5th: Read James 1 and 2 (Sermon will be on James 2: 1-10, 14-17)

12th: Read James 3 (Sermon will be on James 3: 1-12)

19th: Read James 3:13 – 4:17 (Sermon will be on James 3: 13-4:3, 7-8)

26th: Read James 5 (Sermon will be on James 5: 13-20)