This year’s theme is From Whom No Secrets Are Hid, an engaging look at the power of the Psalms to meet God in ourselves and our lives and transmit to us a truth-telling, life-disclosing reality in the presence of God.
Stavkirke services begin July 3 at 7:30 PM. They continue through August 28. New this year, Maryjeanne and Pastor Alan invite you to the parsonage afterward for a Bible Study discussion on the Psalm of that night.
One Hebrew Scriptures scholar, Walter Bruggemann, sees the Psalms grouped according to Psalms of Orientation, Dis-Orientation, and New Orientation. Psalms of Orientation evoke gratitude for the constancy of God’s blessings. Psalms of Dis-orientation reflect those times and seasons of life involving hurt, alienation, grief, suffering, and death. Psalms of New Orientation describe those turns of surprise when we are overwhelmed with the new gifts of God, when joy breaks through our despair. We’ll look at three Psalms of each type through the nine weeks. Come as you are; leave changed by Jesus.
Several people have asked me for a simple Bible Study, so this summer, I have two offerings. I intend for these classes to be safe environments to learn and grow, open for beginners and those who want to learn more about how God uses the Bible to enter into our lives in meaningful, helpful ways. Both sets of classes will deal with the book of Psalms. The Psalms have often been called the prayer book of the Bible and the synagogue’s and church’s hymnal. As such, they deal with a variety of thoughts and feelings regarding God and life. In addition to your questions and insights, we’ll consider: How does God speak to you through the Psalms? What thoughts and feeling arise from the readings? What questions do you have that come to mind? Are there next steps for each or all of us to take, as a result of gathering together and sharing? Jesus said that the Comforter – God’s Holy Spirit – will teach us all things. What thing is Jesus teaching or prompting in you?
The first time will be after the Wednesday evening Stavkirke worship. We will gather at the parsonage for a discussion of the Psalm we heard in worship that night. That will be a good way to extend the worship in a time of reflection. That group will start on July 3 and continue through August 28. Since each session is self-contained, you can come as often or as infrequently as you are able.
Not everyone likes to go out at night, so the second time will be on Thursdays at 10AM in the Trinity library, starting on July 11. Again, we’ll look at one particular Psalm each time, so you can come as often or as infrequently as you are able.
Feel free to contact Pastor Alan with questions about these Bible opportunities. See you soon!