As I mentioned during announcements yesterday, Jenny and I are looking to lead a book study on God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships, a book that sets out a biblical case for affirming gay and lesbian men and women. As we’ve stated before, we’re not trying to change anyone’s mind we only want to begin a discussion (as opposed to a debate) in anticipation of the special called session of General Conference coming up in February of 2019 and we believe it would be helpful if both sides knew the biblical arguments for an affirming position (our assumption is that you already know the biblical arguments for the traditional, non-affirming position). So far we’ve had about six people express an interest. Let us know if you would like to be added to that list. Please call our cell phones or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or email@example.com.
Addition: during the discussion of God and the Gay Christian we plan to be present the traditional counter-arguments (to the best of our ability) so that participants can hear both sides.
The breakfast club will be meeting this Saturday (May 19, 2018) at 8:30 a.m. in room 200. We’ll be discussing The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis. The book is short, so there’s still time to finish the reading (I plan on re-reading the book between now and then). Hope to see you there!
The next meeting of “The Breakfast Club” will be Saturday, May 19, 2018, at 8:30 a.m. in room 200. We’ll be discussing The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis. Here’s a description from the back of one edition of the book:
In The Great Divorce, C. S. Lewis again employs his formidable talent for fable and allegory. The writer finds himself in Hell boarding a bus bound for Heaven. The amazing opportunity is that anyone who wants to stay in Heaven, can. This is the starting point for an extraordinary meditation upon good and evil, grace and judgment. Lewis’s revolutionary idea is the discovery that the gates of Hell are locked from the inside. In Lewis’s own words, “If we insist on keeping Hell (or even earth) we shall not see Heaven: if we accept Heaven we shall not be able to retain even the smallest and most intimate souvenirs of Hell.”
You can download an electronic version at amazon.com or an audio version at audible.com. We’ll also have copies available in the narthex next week. Hope to see you on May 19.
Our Next Breakfast Club meeting will be Saturday, February 24, 2018, at 8:30 a.m. We’ll be discussing the first half of Eight Life-Enriching Practices of United Methodists by Hal Knight. This is a great book about how we can draw closer to God. (I had a layperson in this church read it—and she has confirmed this.) I can’t make any promises, but Jenny is talking about making crepes.
Copies of the book will be available in the Narthex (next to the table where we sign congregational cards).
The next meeting of “The Breakfast Club” will be Saturday, September 23, 2017, at 8:30 a.m at the Hitching Post Restaurant. We’ll be discussing the first 121 pages of The Story of Christianity by David Bentley Hart. Our discussion of this book will continue in October (pages 122-238) and November (pages 239-343). We only have one book left, but I’ve ordered more.
The Story of Christianity is a succinct, well-written account of Christian history. As Christians, this is our family history. Knowing where we’ve been helps us better understand where we are. But reading this book isn’t merely a utilitarian exercise. As Hart says “… the true story of Christianity—when told in something like its full breadth—is immeasurably fascinating. It is even, one might say, rather exotic.” 
Amazon has a kindle edition here: http://amzn.to/2xO3vjh
 David Bentley Hart, The Story of Christianity: A History of 2,000 Years of the Christian Faith (New York: Quercus, 2015), x.
Our next Breakfast Club gathering is planned for Saturday, August 26, 2017, at the Hitching Post Restaurant. We’re going in a somewhat different direction with a book, The Lord and His Prayer, by N. T. Wright. Paperback and Audio CD copies will be available in the Narthex (lobby) for a suggested donation of $10.00. It’s also available online in various electronic formats. If you’re new to the Breakfast Club, the basic idea is this, we read a book at home and then gather at the Hitching Post to discuss the book. You’re welcome and encouraged to come even if you don’t finish the entire book.
We had a lively, engaging discussion of Lillian Daniel’s When “Spiritual But Not Religious” Is Not Enough this morning at The Breakfast Club. Our next book will be N. T. Wright’s The Lord and His Prayer. We’ll have paperback and audio cd copies available in the narthex soon. It’s also available as an e-book and as an audible download. The next gathering of The Breakfast Club is scheduled for Saturday, August 26, 2017, at 8:30 a.m. at the Hitching Post Restaurant.
John and I have started a new kind of study. The Breakfast Club is an invitation to read a book and come together to discuss that book over breakfast one Saturday morning a month. All are welcome. If you have read the book all the way through, if you have just barely started the book, or even if you have not even picked up the book, but would like to sit in on the discussion, you are welcome. Our next book is: When ‘Spiritual But Not Religious’ Is Not Enough: Seeing God in Surprising Places, Even the Church by Lillian Daniel. Copies of the book are available in the narthex for a suggested donation of $10. Our next meeting will be on Saturday, July 29, at 8:30 a.m. at the Hitching Post. There is a sign-up sheet by the books in the church entry area. The sign up allows us to give the Hitching Post a rough estimate of how many people to expect, and it will allow us to give you a reminder before the meeting time. Hope to see you there!
Jenny and I will be hosting “The Breakfast Club” once a month this summer (and perhaps, if all goes well, into the fall). It will be a chance to gather for food and fellowship and the discussion of a (hopefully) good book. Our first meeting will be Saturday, June 17, 2017, at 8:30 at the Hitching Post Restaurant.* Our first book will be Tattoos On the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion by Greg Boyle. Copies will be available in the Narthex for $10.
Please Note: This book presents an accurate portrayal of Gregory Boyle’s experiences in ministry with gang members in East Los Angeles. As such in contains some vulgar language. You may want to consider skipping this book if that might offend you.
*Obviously if Abilene gets a new restaurant named “Tiffany’s” both the location and name of this gathering will be changed.
Beginning this fall, Jenny will be leading a class of Disciple II. This is open to anyone who has taken Disciple I, whether you took it last year or several years ago. “This 32 week study offers a deeper examination of Genesis, Exodus, Luke, and Acts, emphasizing the rhythm of coming to God and going for God . . . approaching all experiences of life as opportunities for faithful witness and service.” (Description from Cokesbury) The class will meet weekly for about an hour, and requires daily reading in preparation for the weekly meeting. If you are interested in being a part of this study, please let Jenny know by calling or texting her, or emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tomorrow (Wednesday, January 13, 2016), we’ll be having our first session of “Confirmation for Grown-Ups” after the Wonderful Wednesday meal. In this series, we’re going to attempt a Christian education program for adults that is as comprehensive as confirmation is for youth (but without a lock-in or the requirement that you attend all the sessions). The meal Wonderful Wednesday meal starts at 5:00 pm so the class will begin about 6:00 p.m. This first session we’ll be talking about one of the most central activities in the Christian life (perhaps the most central): worship.
This fall I am contemplating leading a Disciple I. Disciple is an in-depth, 34-week study that covers the entire Bible. I would like to try a new format for Disciple that covers the same material, but does so in a 1 hour weekly meeting instead of the usual 2 1/2 hour weekly meeting. The Disciple class would meet on Sunday evenings from 5-6 pm. Please let me know if you would be interested in being a part of this class by calling my cell phone, texting me, emailing me at email@example.com, or contacting the church office.