Bible Study

  • Through the Lenten season, our Sunday morning Bible study group has been studying a few of the Minor Prophets. We’ve looked at Joel, Jonah, and Zephaniah. This week we’ll study Habakkuk. Next week is Haggai. These are all books of the Bible that don’t get a lot of attention. Most people know the story of Jonah from Sunday School, but we barely ever consider the other books. It’s more preparation time for me when we study a book I haven’t spent much time in, but it’s been a joy to dig into these books and discover what God says through these prophets of old.

    After Easter, we’ll start a new Bible study series that I plan to call: “Confirmation Verses in Context.” It is a tradition in many Lutheran churches to have a rite of confirmation for members when they’re between sixth and ninth grade. (Or for adults when they go through confirmation.)  These confirmands are assigned (or get to choose) a confirmation verse. This is often a verse that is worth memorizing and is meaningful to them in some way.

    Yet verses that are pulled from the Bible without context often lose meaning or have their meaning twisted without the proper context. I am planning this study in order to mine the depths of these meaningful, personal verses.

    So, if you have a confirmation verse, and would be so kind as to share what that is with me, I’d appreciate it.

    God’s blessings on your week!

    Pastor Andy

  • Over the past three weeks, I’ve offered some of the reasoning behind our proposed Sunday School change, where we will move Sunday School to after the service, coinciding with the Adult Bible Study. A lot of the questions that I have heard in relation to this change are about logistics. Where are the kids going to meet? How long is Sunday School going to last? What about cake Sundays?

    All of these are good questions that we’ll work through together. But I wanted to offer some ways in which I see opportunities in the logistics of our situation.

    Currently, I am not able to be involved in Sunday School because I’m leading worship and preaching while the kids are in Sunday School. In our proposed switch, I would be able to take a turn in teaching the Sunday School kids on occasion, leaving opportunity for another leader to facilitate Adult Bible Study.

    Currently, the Sunday School teachers rotate from week to week. The Adult Bible Study typically works through a study in a set number of weeks. We may have opportunity to use more of a block schedule. This will allow Sunday School teachers to be present for an entire Bible Study series, instead of missing a week here and a week there.

    Also, we have a growing group of Sunday School kids who will enter into Confirmation instruction in the Fall of 2020. Having the Sunday School, Bible Study, and Confirmation classes all at the same time will be far more convenient for families with children of multiple ages than trying to arrange schedules to meet on a weekday evening for Confirmation.

    Furthermore, the synchronized timing of our education hour may provide opportunity for us to coordinate what we are studying so that parents, confirmation students, and Sunday School kids can all be looking at similar material that is tailored to their age group.

    In my view, God has blessed us with an amazing problem: We have a growing number of children in our congregation. The change in Sunday School timing reflects a positive change in our congregation: we are growing and growing up together. As we follow Jesus, let us do so together, studying God’s Word as one, united church.

    God’s blessings on your week.

    Pastor Andy

  • Last week we began a new Sunday morning Bible study on the book of 1 Corinthians. It was wonderful to see some new faces join us. I hope you found it encouraging and edifying.

    For those of you who are not regular attenders of Sunday morning adult Bible study, but now find you’re not sure what to do with yourself as your kids or grandkids are in Sunday School, allow me to explain what you can expect in Bible study.

    Typically, we work through a section of the Bible together. Sometimes it’s just one chapter per session, sometimes a bit more than that. There is nothing you need to prepare beforehand. There’s no homework or pop quizzes. Our studies are often a series on a specific book of the Bible, but each session is self-contained. You don’t need to come every week to understand what’s happening. You won’t be lost if you miss a week. I give each person a handout with some questions to guide the conversation. Some of the questions are content questions to help us understand what is going on in the reading. Some of the questions are application questions, more related to life today.

    You are always welcome to ask questions. I may or may not know the answer, but I’ll do my best to find the answers.

    Ultimately, our time in Bible study is a time to see how God has spoken to His people of old and how God’s Word continues to speak to our lives. Sometimes I’ll have useful insights for the group. Sometimes you will have useful insights for the group. Each week we will walk together through the Bible with open ears, ready to listen to God’s words of promise and forgiveness.

    God’s blessings on your week.

    Pastor Andy

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LCMS logoFirst Evangelical Lutheran Church is a member of the California-Nevada-Hawaii District of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, a family of congregations focused on bringing Christ to the nations and sharing His unconditional saving Love within our community.

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