We have two weekly study groups hosted by Pastor David Stabenfeldt, Thursday Soup & Study with potluck dinner at 6pm and study beginning at 7pm* (Note: during remodel of the kitchen, we will not be having potluck, and instead will not meet until 6:45pm); Sunday Study Group at 8:15 am.

Currently both groups are studying from, Reclaiming Jesus. Our services are also surrounding Reclaiming Jesus as well.

For more information on Reclaiming Jesus visit http://www.reclaimingjesus.org/

Reclaiming Jesus

Why are we using the series, “Reclaiming Jesus?”

The best way I know how to answer that question, is by using the introduction to the curriculum.

We are living through perilous and polarizing times as a nation, with a dangerous crisis of moral and political times as a nation, with a dangerous crisis of moral and political leadership at the highest levels of our government and in our churches. We believe the soul of the nation and the integrity of faith are now at stake. It is time to be followers of Jesus before anything else—nationality, political party, race, ethnicity, gender, geography—our identity in Christ precedes every other identity. We pray that our nation will see Jesus’ words in us. “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)

When politics undermines our theology, we must examine that politics. The church’s role is to change the world through the life and love of Jesus Christ. The government’s role is to serve the common good by protecting justice and peace, rewarding good behavior while restraining bad behavior (Romans 13). When that role is undermined by political leadership, faith leaders must stand up and speak out. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state.” It is often the duty of Christian leaders, especially elders, to speak the truth in love to our churches and to name and warn against temptations, racial and cultural captivates, false doctrines, and political idolatries—and even our complicity in them. We do so here with humility, prayer, and a deep dependency on the grace and Holy Spirit of God.

This letter comes from a retreat on Ash Wednesday, 2018. During Lent, we feel deep lamentations for the state of our nation, and our own hearts are filled with confession for the sins we feel called to address. The true meaning of the word repentance is to turn around. It is time to lament, confess, repent, and turn. In times of crisis, the church has historically learned to return to Jesus Christ.

After watching their introductory video, reading this statement and reviewing the curriculum, I found myself concurring with these leaders from across various traditions and denominations. It is my hope that you will engage the weekly written material and watch the linked videos over the course of the next two months. And if you find you have time, join one of the study groups.

So that the congregation members may follow along, the worship services over the course of the series will be guided by the scriptural basis for the topics. I look forward to engaging with you in meaningful dialogue during this time of peril, polarization and promise.

May God’s grace and peace be our way forward, Pastor Dave