One Day I Wrote Back: Interacting with Scripture through Creative Writing by Jane Herring
Sundays, Sept. 24-Oct. 29; 9:15am – 10:15
Herring leads you to talk back to those scripture passages you don’t understand. Ask questions, explore your life, plead, praise and ponder. She provides reflection questions and simple practical exercises to encourage writing.
Sundays in November 9:15 am
We will kick off this observation by learning about the Papal Bull Romanus Pontifix, of 1452 that declared war on the non-Christian world and gave Spain and Portugal rights to conquest.
We’ll watch a 45-minute video for this first session. We will explore our denominational teaching about Christianity and Native Americans the next three weeks by reading United Methodist Resolutions 6025, 3321 and 3334.
Wednesdays, Nov. 29- Dec.20; 10 am- 11am Sundays, December 3-24; 9:15 am -10:15 am
With the help of Bishop Willimon, we will explore the Incarnation of Jesus with his new book, Heaven and Earth.
“It’s not within our own power to make afresh start. If we’re to have a future different from the past, it must come as a gift, something not of our devising. What we need is a God who refuses to be trapped in eternity, a God who not only cares about us but is willing to show up among us and do something with us, here, now.”
Over 15 people gathered in Wesley Hall to participate in the Northern Illinois Conference’s Second Quarter Film Series highlighting Asian American and Pacific Islander History and Culture. Participants watched Pew Research Center’s Being Asian in America.
We gathered over a meal catered by Ming Chef and heard a brief history of AAPI in North America by Dr. Dr. WOOHEE ANNE JOH. She also facilitated four panelists reflecting on their experiences of living in the United States and the church. You may watch this presentation by clicking this link.
The next film series is
PRIVILEGE, POWER AND RACE PRESENTATION AND DISCUSSION
Thursday, September 21, 6:00 – 8:00 pm Different locations across the conference
What is it? How is it affecting us? Human technology offers opportunities to enhance the created order and destroy it. When the newspaper was introduced in the 1600s, many feared it would stop all human social interactions. It didn’t. AI does not have to be feared, only understood.
Join Pastor Joe for this two-part series that will explore these questions and look at how our spiritual practices can help us navigate these waters.
During the weekend the youth will serve at DuPage Habitat for Humanity, The Northern Illinois Food Bank, and The Night Ministry in Chicago. In addition, we will travel to the DuSable Museum of African American History to see the virtual reality exhibit “Step Into History, The March”.
For fun, we will go to an escape room and will have a lock-in at the church on Saturday, June 3.
Cost for the retreat is $25 each for Friday or Saturday, $50 if attending both days. All food, supplies, and admissions are included in the cost.
Peace with Justice Sunday is a faithful expression of shalom in the Bible. It calls the church to strengthen its capacity to advocate publicly in communities and nations throughout the world. The offering is administered by the General Board of Church and Society and benefits peace with justice ministries in the annual conferences and around the world. Half of our gifts stay with local ministries in this conference and half support the work of Church and Society globally.
Peace with Justice Sunday is June 4th this year. In preparation for this offering, Pastor Joe will lead a 6-week Peace with Justice Study. The study will explore what the Bible says, what the church says, what the facts say and “what do you say”. The topics are: Peacebuiliding, Multilateralism, Non-proliferation and Disarmament, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Gun Violence, & Peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Study will have two in person sessions Sundays at 9:15 am and Wednesdays at 10 am. Begins April 23 and 26. Sign up in Narthex or complete the form.
On Sunday, March 19, Elena Aronson led over twenty people in a workshop exploring the origens and expressions of Christian Nationalism. Christian Nationalism claims that Christianity should have a privileged position in the public square.
Aronson provided a worksheet that helped participants counter the features of Christian Nationalism with civically-engaged Christian responses. For example: “America was founded as a Christian nation” is countered with “America was founded as a place of religious freedom.“
Articles a. What is Christian Nationalism? – Christianity Today i. https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2021/february-web-only/what-is-christ ian-nationalism.html b. Views of the U.S. as a ‘Christian nation’ and opinions about ‘Christian nationalism’ – Pew Research Center i. https://www.pewresearch.org/religion/2022/10/27/views-of-the-u-s-as-a-ch ristian-nation-and-opinions-about-christian-nationalism/ c. Black, Evangelical and Torn – New York Times i. https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/14/magazine/black-evangelicals.html d. White Christian Nationalists Want More Than Just Political Power – Atlantic i. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/01/white-evangelicals-fixa tion-on-washington-dc/617690/ e. What Does ‘White Christian Nationalism’ Even Mean, Anyway? – Sojourners i. https://sojo.net/articles/what-does-white-christian-nationalism-even-meananyway
Books a. Taking America Back for God: Christian Nationalism in the United States – Andrew L. Whitehead & Samuel L. Perry b. Postcards from Babylon: The Church in American Exile – Brian Zahnd c. Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation – Kristin Kobes Du Mez d. American Idolatry: How Christian Nationalism Betrays the Gospel and Threatens the Church – Andrew L. Whitehead e. Unsettling Truths: The Ongoing, Dehumanizing Legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery – Mark Charles & Soong-Chan Rah
Organizations a. Christians Against Christian Nationalism i. https://www.christiansagainstchristiannationalism.org/ ii. Instagram: @endchristiannationalism
In conjunction with the Salt Creek Cluster of United Methodist Churches, First Church will explore the Lenten season with common objects found in the scriptures: dust, bread, cross, coins, shoes and oil. This series is inspired by Jill Duffield who reminds us that God works through the ordinary and goes to great lengths to communicate with us about Jesus Christ, salvation, grace, and reconciliation.
Drawing from the Christian contemplative tradition, Duffield reminds us that it is often in “hindsight that God’s providence becomes recognizable.” Throughout his teaching, Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is near and in our midst. Each week through these objects you will be asked to consider the possibility, the promise, that God is present, speaking, seeking to be in relationship with you.
Finally, the churches in the cluster will participate in a pulpit exchange. First Church will be welcoming Reverend Hong-kien Jeremiah Lee of Addison: Good Samaritan Church and the Reverend Juyeon Jeon of Bensenville: First UMC. Pastor Joe will be preaching at Addison: Good Samaritan and Elmhurst: Christ and Villa Park: Calvary.