1. Help People Hear God’s Story Again
Our theme for the year is “The Meeting Place” where God meets us in scripture and we meet Old Testament ancestors, Jesus and the early apostles. We are using a modified Narrative Lectionary, with all Old Testament stories fall, 2011, the Gospel of Mark January-Easter, 2012 and stories from the Book of Acts from Easter to Pentecost. During Faith Formation, we invite conversation around the biblical story of the day and how God is speaking in daily life.
In the fall, every family received a weekly reading guide to complement and supplement the preaching text from Sunday-readings and questions to ponder. This is the basis for the Sunday morning conversation following worship.
When we begin with the Gospel stories in January, we will have a 5 week Bible study/conversation using The Greatest Story: Jesus (Augsburg Fortress). This will once again be offered Tuesday evenings/Wednesday mornings.
Our Lenten series will be Water Marks for Wednesday evenings (from Augsburg Fortress).
As each “season” ends, we’ll invite people to reflect on the stories that seemed to be most meaningful; where they experienced God’s presence; what new or different insights they gained; did these last few weeks help them to “meet God” in their daily lives?
2. Engage Scripture across the Generations
The children’s Sunday school sessions follow the narrative lectionary-what is heard in worship is reinforced with Sunday school. Each family receives Faith in the Home Spark devotionals to encourage home devotions and Bible engagement. (These are given quarterly).
We are also instituting four monthly Family Faith Practices Nights (October, November, January and February), focusing on the following practices: blessing, living in joy, prayer and hospitality. Scripture is woven into each theme.
We have designed three special intergenerational worship events: Exodus (just completed), Transfiguration and Pentecost (fall, winter and spring).
3. Lift up the Mystery and Power of the Holy Spirit
Sunday worship will focus on the Book of Acts from Easter to Pentecost. There will be a Bible reading plan focusing on the Holy Spirit with time for reflection, journaling, prayer and perhaps a weekend retreat. Time will be spent on the fruits of the Spirit and where we hope to nurture those fruits in our daily lives.