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.
Tomorrow the Young, Younger, and Youngish Adults will start a new, four-week video study of “Resurrection” by N. T. Wright. I’m dubbing it “Everlasting Life Without an Immortal Soul.” Hope to see you there.
Cindy Rempe will again be offering the Financial Peace University here at First United Methodist Church. This nine week series of classes will begin Tuesday, September 30, 2014. Each class meeting will last from 6:30 to 8 pm. The cost is $93, but scholarships are available (just contact me at 620-252-9622 or firstname.lastname@example.org). You can learn more by speaking Cindy or someone who took last week’s class or online here. I would highly recommend this course to just about everyone.
A friendly reminder to our Young, Younger, and Youngish Adults that the new Sunday School class starts tomorrow at 9:15 am. We’ll begin with introductions, housekeeping matters, and then move to sharing what parts of the Bible we’ve had questions about or difficulty with in the past.
That discussion will serve as a prelude to our first book study: Making Sense of the Bible: Rediscovering the Power of Scripture Today by Adam Hamilton. The book isn’t required reading for the class, but it’s a solid introduction to biblical interpretation and I think you’ll find it extremely helpful. Copies will be available with a suggested donation of $16.
The new “young, younger, and youngish adult” Sunday school class that will be starting September 7, 2014. We will be studying Making Sense of the Bible: Rediscovering the Power of Scripture Today by Adam Hamilton. Reading the book is recommended, but not required. If you like to read electronically you can purchase a digital copy online. If you prefer to read your the old fashioned way the church office has copies available. They were $15.39 each (it’s a hardback book), but a donation of $16 would help simplify the accounting. If the cost is a problem, please speak with Jenny or me in private, we have some funds available to help out.