Beginning Sunday, February 9, at 9:30AM we will gather weekly for 6 weeks to talk about prayer using the book To Pray and to Love by Roberta Bondi as a guide. In order to prepare, it is important to know how many folks will be joining us. Please let Pastor James know if you’ll be joining the conversation.
Starting Sunday, February 9, we will begin offering short Sunday morning seminars on a variety of topics.
- February 9- March 16 (6 weeks). Prayer. (Read the article) There is a book involved that we read chapter by chapter.
- March 30- April 13 (3 weeks). What Do I Believe?
- April 27- May 18 (4 weeks). Forgiveness Seminar.
Anyone is welcome to join these conversations. We are open to variety of perspectives and respect each person’s viewpoint.
It has been awhile since I have made the time to edit the audio recordings of the Sunday messages. Is this something that is worth making the time to do? Are there folks out there who wish they could take a listen during the week in the podcast/audio format?
The last year has been a wonderful experiment and opportunity in gathering together for conversation around what any given Bible passage means for us; that conversation and communion have been the center of Sundays at 9:30.
Sundays are in transition now. We will offer a series of short term topical studies/conversations at the 9:30 time slot. What are the upcoming topics? Prayer (beginning February 9 for six weeks), What Do I Believe (beginning March 30 for three weeks), and Forgiveness (beginning April 27 for four weeks) are just the start of many chances to commit between 3 and 6 weeks to thinking together about matters of importance to our faith.
John 4:1-42. The story of Jesus and his encounter with a woman at a well in Samaria is a great story. He asks for water and she’s surprised. He offers water and she’s surprised. Just who is really thirsty in this story? What are we thirsty for and can Jesus quench that thirst for us?
This Sunday, January 12, we begin the Forgiveness Series with a look at what forgiveness is and is not. There are many misconceptions about what it means to forgive. This Sunday we’ll start with a wide brush and talk about what I think forgiveness is and hope I’ll dispel some myths about forgiveness as well. Come and listen, bring a friend, or join us online. We’ll get this conversation started…
This year we are inviting folks to take time regularly to pray. (More about that in another article, http://sjumc.net/?p=7) Some folks have indicated a wish to know more about how to pray and what prayer is. We are offering two classes: one on Wednesday nights at 7:30PM beginning January 15 at Panera Bread on Edsall Road and the other on Sunday mornings at 9:30AM beginning February 9.
The required reading material for the class is a book by Roberta Bondi entitled To Pray and To Love.
In 2013, Bishop Young Jin Cho challenged the Virginia Annual Conference (the larger United Methodist grouping of which we’re a part) to enter more deeply into a life of spiritual discipline, especially into the discipline of prayer. I considered the challenge and took it up in my daily life. By the end of 2013 I found myself losing myself in my time of prayer daily; I also found that prayer was no longer something I ought to do but indeed was something I must do. My life and sense of God-connection has been deeply enriched, my sense of personal peace even in times of chaos has been heightened.
As 2014 begins, I challenge all of our Saint James folks to the life of prayer. Many folks initial response is about how busy their lives are and how challenging it is to find time to pray in the midst of already jam-packed schedules. I agree it is a challenge; it is not an insurmountable one. Begin with just a few minutes a day. Close your eyes on the Metro for a few stops while listening for and talking to God. My friend Tony told me some years ago that he let every stop sign and stop light be a reminder to pray.
Prayer is a life changer. Let prayer become part of your everyday life. I triple-dog dare you to give it a try. We will be offering several prayer learning opportunities in the coming months. Look for more information soon about those classes/groups.