CENTER FOR SPIRITUAL ENRICHMENT

FALL-WINTER SESSION 

PRAYER AND MEDITATION/MINDFULNESS

Thursdays  10:00AM—2:00PM

12 weeks: September 28  – December 21    (No meeting Thursday Nov. 23 Thanksgiving Day)

10:00 – 11:30 am: Morning Module

The Great Courses Video Series: The Old Testament w/ Prof. Amy Jill Levine Ph.D

Amy Roller Library; Facilitated by Bob Watkins

As Professor Amy-Jill Levine observes: “The Old Testament is endlessly fascinating because it offers everything to explore: myth, saga, and history; tragedy, comedy, and farce; economics and politics; literature and poetry of surpassing beauty; court intrigue and prophetic morality; heavenly miracles and sometimes heavenly silence; questions of theodicy; answers that satisfy and answers that may not; destruction and rebuilding; despair and hope.”

Lively and Learned Commentary on the Old Testament. Professor Levine’s commentary thoughtfully explores selected passages from the texts called the Old Testament, the Hebrew Bible, and the Tanakh. She provides clear examples of how various approaches to biblical research and interpretation can enrich your understanding of this inexhaustibly fruitful and powerful text.  “Levine is dynamic, exciting to listen to, and her knowledge of her subject is well organized and conveyed.” “Wonderful course. Interestingly taught. Thought provoking, stimulating. Wow!”

 12:00 NOON   LUNCH $4.00   Sponsler Hall   

12:30 – 2:00 pm: Afternoon Module

Our afternoon sessions will be a combination of Mindfulness and Prayer practice in the church sanctuary followed by a United Church of Christ  Justice & Witness Bible Discussion.

12:30 -1:15 pm:  Holy Ground  – Seeking Justice: Mindfulness and Prayer (Sanctuary)

Come spend time in silence and song, with scripture and centering prayers as we weave some of the techniques we learned about mindfulness and Christian prayer in our Summer modules. Scripture selections will come from our justice resources.

1:20 pm – 2:00 pm: Doing Justice/Overcoming Violence (in Sponsler Hall)

“What does the Lord require of you?” We all know that the answer to that question is to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God. It is important to note that answer follows the word “but.” In other words, all that God requires of us is to do justice . Doing justice, seeking peace and building community are central to the identity of the United Church of Christ.  Understanding our call to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God requires continual work and self-reflection. These Bible Studies, released by Justice and Witness Ministries between 2001-2007, can be utilized as a starting point for personal or small group study.  Every local church can do something to end violence. Together we can be a strong voice for change, a powerful network of prayer for peace, a strong example of doing justice in our world today

Bernice Powell Jackson; Former UCC Executive Minister, Justice and Witness Ministries

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PRAYER: Prayer has been an essential part of Christianity since its earliest days. Prayer is an integral element of the Christian faith and permeates all forms of Christian worship. Prayer in Christianity is the tradition of communicating with God. During the Middle Ages, the monastic traditions of both Western and Eastern Christianity moved beyond vocal prayer to Christian meditation; a form of prayer in which a structured attempt is made to become aware of and reflect upon the revelations of God.  Christian meditation is the process of deliberately focusing on specific thoughts (such as a bible passage) and reflecting on their meaning in the context of the love of God.

 MEDITATION/MINDFULNESS: For thousands of years, human beings have practiced refined techniques of mental focusing, designed to change the habitual conditioning of the mind. Central to many spiritual and philosophical traditions and known in English as “Meditation”, or  “Mindfulness” these practices are considered a major means for enhanced awareness

 

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SPRING SESSION 2017

SHORT STORY THEOLOGY: CHECK OUT SOME OF OUR STORIES WE READ 

The Displaced Person by Flannery O’Connor                               

TO READ SHORT STORY CLICK ON LINK BELOW

Displaced-Person by Flannery O’Connor

VIDEO: From the PBS program “The American Short Story” starring Irene Worth, John Houseman, Robert Earl Jones, Samuel L. Jackson, Lane Smith & Shirley Stoler. Click on link below 

DISPLACED PERSON VIDEO

Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin

Sonny’s Blues”  (1957) is the story of a young jazz musician (Sonny). Set in Harlem, like many of Baldwin’s other work, “Sonny’s Blues” is a constant struggle between light and darkness, failure and redemption.

The Guest  by Albert Camus

 “The Guest”  (1957) Camus employs this short tale to reflect upon issues raised by the political situation in French North Africa. In particular, he explores the problem of refusing to take sides in the colonial conflict in Algeria, something that mirrors Camus’ own non-aligned stance which he had set out in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech.

Read “The Guest”: the guest by albert camus

 

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