Adult Education Series: The Way of Love
In the coming Sundays, we will make our way through Scott Gunn’s book ‘The Way of Love: A Practical Guide to Following Jesus.’ The book is set up around different ways we can practically engage in growing our spiritual life as followers of Jesus. Each week we will reflect on a different verb that sums up some aspect of following after Jesus. Each short chapter contains a reflection from Gunn, a shorter anecdote, and questions for reflection.
Jan 15th: This week are starting our journey with The Way of Love. We will begin with the Foreword by Bishop Curry and the Introduction to the book. Our goal at this meeting will be to get a handle on the book itself and to introduce the format we will be using for the upcoming weeks.
Jan 22nd: Our journey with The Way of Love begins in earnest this week with the first chapter. The chapter leads us to think about what it means to turn to Jesus and also to be ready to turn towards new things and away from former things. By thinking of making these new beginnings as ‘turning’ we can gain a fresh perspective on the more traditional language of repentance. What do we need to do in our lives to be ready to turn aside like Moses going after the burning bush? Please take some time to read the first chapter, think over the reflection questions, and ruminate over the Scripture readings in the back.
Jan 29th: The topic of our chapter this week is ‘Learn.’ Gunn focuses on how learn about, with, and through Scripture as Christians who are seeking to follow Jesus. The questions lead us to think not only about how we make time for studying Scripture but also about how we study Scripture. What do we expect when we come to read the Bible? What skills do we need to be effective students of Scripture? One of the clues we take to this question is a prayer from Thomas Cranmer:
Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Feb 5th: Our chapter this week takes up the topic of prayer. The chapter asks us to look to the Lord’s prayer as a model for our own prayer. As we come together to discuss the chapter, please take some time to reflect on those times and places where you find yourself able to pray regularly as well as those times when prayer may be more difficult.
Feb 12th: One of the things we are proudest of at Christ Church is our worship. This week our topic in The Way of Love is worship. While we may worship often, we don’t often think of what part we play in worship and what worship does to us. Our time will focus on asking about our own worship of God and how we can best participate in the corporate worship of God. We will also spend some time thinking through how the Book of Common Prayer works as a resource for worship in our own lives.
Feb 19th: Our topic this week from The Way of Love is ‘Bless.’ Bless is one of those words that brings to mind a whole range of meanings. Think of how many meanings you can get out of the phrase, “Bless your heart.” Our focus though will be on how we give and receive blessings ourselves. At the core of this chapter are questions about living out God’s words in Genesis 12:2, “I will bless you… so that you will be a blessing.” We will discuss how we bless others in overtly religious ways or otherwise as well as what joys and difficulties come when it is our time to receive blessings.
Feb 26th: Our topic this week is “Go.” Our book emphasizes that Jesus himself was often on the move and sent his own disciples out to go different places. When we go out from church what do we go out to do? Jesus gives the command to go and make disciples, but how often do we think that is what we go out to do? Jesus also goes into difficult places. What are the places we are afraid to go with our faith?
Mar 5th: Our topic this week is “Rest.” Up until now all of our chapters have been focused on various ways that we do things. This week, however, we take up the topic of Rest which is a little different from those previous action verbs. Rest, as The Way of Love reminds us, is something that we often say we would like but that we don’t often make time for these days. We have to be intentional about it as much as we are intentional about helping others and making time for worship. Where does our hesitance about resting come from? Our culture puts such a premium on being busy and seeing busyness as an accomplishment that choosing to rest can almost be subversive. What does rest mean to you? How do we pursue adequate rest?
Mar 12th: This week we begin our final chapter of The Way of Love that focuses on developing a rule of life. For many of us I think this will be the hardest chapter in the book to take on in our lives. The challenge of this chapter is to take those things we have been reflecting on in the past few weeks and then make plans to implement them in our own lives. We will be taking two weeks of Adult Education to do this since it is such a big task. We will start this week by taking time together to think about what a rule of life is and isn’t as well as how we can start to think about developing one for ourselves. Next week we will take some time to share about what changes we might want to make or what practices we may want to adopt.
Mar 19th: Our time with The Way of Love starts to draw to a close this week. We will be spending another week discussing the final chapter on developing a rule of life. Last week we discussed different ways to think about rule of life ranging from a brief set of practices to take up each day to ways of setting our intentions about how we respond to others.This week we will start to ask ourselves about certain things that we may want to put into our own rule of life so that we can grow closer to God and to each other. What are habits that we think draw us from God and what are habits that draw us closer to God? Where are the places in our spiritual life that we may need to be challenged?
Sunday mornings at 9:15, we meet in Fox Hall, or you can access our meeting online by any of the following methods:
1. Click here – https://zoom.us/j/91297837526
2. Go to Zoom.us, click “Join Meeting” & enter Meeting ID: 912 9783 7526
3. On your cell, call (312) 626-6799 and enter Meeting ID 912 9783 7526#