Meeting Times at 4th United Presbyterian Church

Cafe' Worship: 9:15 a.m. each Sunday in Gathering Hall (activities provided for children; coffee; snacks)
Adult Sunday School: 10 a.m.

Sunday Worship: 11 a.m.

Bible Study: each Thursday at 6 p.m.

Community Forum: last Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. with meal (no community forum in November, 2011)

About the 4th United Presbyterian Bible Blog

Posts on this blog are from me, Rev. George H. Waters, one of the two organizing co-pastors of 4th United Presbyterian Church. Our other organizing pastor was Rev. Sonya McAuley-Allen, who is now pastor of a church in Charlotte, N.C. Since June of 2011, Rev. Elizabeth Peterson has been our parish associate pastor for new church development. The earliest posts are sermon notes from the few I have typed the last two years. Then, there is a series of notes posted on the book of Romans. After that, it varies from week to week, sometimes church news, sometimes reflections on a happening, a passage of scripture, or even some pictures. This blog is meant to open the conversation we have going on in our church to others in our community.

The picture below is of our church's sanctuary, built in 1913.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Struggling Towards Understanding at Bible Study

We have been having evening Bible Study in our congregation for about the last 13 or 14 years. At first we had it on Tuesdays, and then we moved it to Mondays, and then we finally settled on Thursdays. The change was always because of my work schedule it seems. But, over the years, we have looked at all kinds of passages of scripture, and raised all sorts of issues in our discussions. But, one thing has happened consistently in our Bible Study - at some point, someone asks a question that really matters to them about how to life a faithful life in the middle of all the real challenges of life. And, the group joins in, starting to ask the same question or ask it out loud in a little bit of a different way. And, we share experiences: often funny, some sad, some with a touch of anger still, and some full of insight and hope. But, in contrast to almost every group discussion I have been a part of in my life, there is no competition involved. There is no one trying to "one-up" the last speaker. I have never seen or been a part of anything like it. And, time after time, when I have been about ready "to throw in the towel" in life, I come away from these Bible studies refreshed and ready to try again.

There is a level of honesty about the struggle to live in faith that just cuts right to my heart each time.

It is like we become one in this thinking out loud that we do, in this sharing of life through words and laughter and stories and questions and attempts at answers. And, we never know where the real helpful word will come from. But, it comes. Whereever two or three are gathered in this Spirit, the Word comes, the Word made flesh.

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