New Study Series beginning January 6

How Fiction by Jesus Became Fiction about Jesus

The world’s foremost Jesus scholar John Dominic Crossan shows us how the New Testament parables not only reveal what Jesus wanted to teach but also provide the key for explaining how the Gospel writers sought to explain Jesus to the world. In this meaningful exploration of the stories told by Jesus and the Gospel writers, Crossan combines the biblical expertise of his The Greatest Prayer with an historical and social analysis that harkens closely to his Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, creating an illuminating and nuanced exploration of the Scripture.  (From Google Books)

In 1969, I was teaching at two seminaries in the Chicago area. One of my courses was on the parables by Jesus and the other was on the resurrection stories about Jesus. I had observed that the parabolic stories by Jesus seemed remarkably similar to the resurrection stories about Jesus.

Were the latter intended as parables just as much as the former? Had we been reading parable, presuming history, and misunderstanding both?
—from The Power of Parable

So begins the quest of renowned Jesus scholar John Dominic Crossan as he unlocks the true meanings and purposes of parable in the Bible so that modern Christians can respond genuinely to Jesus’s call to fully participate in the kingdom of God.  In The Power of Parable, Crossan examines Jesus’s parables and identifies what he calls the “challenge parable” as Jesus’s chosen teaching tool for gently urging his followers to probe, question, and debate the ideological absolutes of religious faith and the presuppositions of social, political, and economic traditions.

Moving from parables by Jesus to parables about Jesus, Crossan then presents the four gospels as “megaparables.”  By revealing how the gospels are not reflections of the actual biography of Jesus but rather (mis)interpretations by the gospel writers themselves,  Crossan reaffirms the power of parables to challenge and enable us to co-create with God a world of justice, love, and peace.

Christianity’s Family Tree

Current Adult Education Series through October 14

Join Rev. Ron Graham for this Sunday Morning Session

9:15 am in the Aldersgate Room.What Other Christians Believe and Why

Adam Hamilton presents a welcoming, inspiring vision of eight Christian denominations and faith traditions. Comparing the Christian family to our own extended families, he contends that each denomination has a unique, valuable perspective to offer on the Christian faith.

The traditions he examines are:

  • Orthodoxy
  • Catholicism
  • Lutheranism
  • Presbyterianism
  • Anglicanism
  • Baptists
  • Pentecostalism
  • and Methodism.

For each group, Hamilton gives a brief history, outlines major beliefs, and describes some things we can learn from that particular tradition to strengthen our own Christian faith.

KICK-OFF the 2018-2019 Program Year**: GRACE GATHERING on August 19

FIRST CHURCH OPEN HOUSE  

COME ONE – COME ALL

9:15-10:15 am     All-Church Breakfast

Fun Activities for ALL Ages.  Please join us!  Newcomers are especially welcome.  Here’s a great opportunity to discover all the ways you can join in the First Church initiative to Strengthen & Grow:

Learning

Worshiping

Connecting

Serving

10:30-11:30 am     Sunday Morning Worship returns to Regular 10:30 Time!

Chancel Choir returns!

11:30-12:30 am     Fellowship in Wesley Hall

 

Regular Sunday Morning Schedule resumes August 26, 2018

  • Education Time for Adults, Children, & Youth from 9:15 to 10:15 am
  • Sunday Morning Worship from 10:30 to 11:30 am with Fellowship following the service

PLEASE NOTE:  ** First  Church Program Year has been changed to correspond with the Elmhurst Community District 205 School Calendar for 2018-2019.       https://www.elmhurst205.org/events_calendar

A Conversation on the Unity of the Methodist Church & Human Sexuality

Don’t Miss Final Session on July 29

 

Join Pastor Joe for the final discussion  to examine some of the documents that have been guiding the general church’s conversation on the Unity of the Church and Human Sexuality.   Also, the Council of Bishops final recommendation to the 2019 Special Session of General Conference regarding THE WAY FORWARD will be released in July. This will provide additional opportunity for conversation.

Gather in the Aldersgate Room before Worship.

TIME:  8:15-9:15 am

DATES: July 8, 15, 22, & 29.

 

 

Lenten Study for 2018

Adult Education for Lent led by Ed Miner

Sundays : February 18 – March 25 at 9:15am

Wednesdays: starting February 21 at 7:00pm

Aldersgate Room

Read & Discuss: America’s Original Sin by Jim Wallis

Wallis examines the historical context of racism in the United States during slavery, during Jim Crow reconstruction and also since Civil Rights in the 1960s.  Exposing the realities of racism to the teachings of Jesus, Wallis calls us to see our own racism and challenges Christians to stand against it.

Videos will be used to introduce each week’s class and offer an introduction to each discussion.  Reading the book is not necessary but encouraged.