A Leap of Faith and Learning

This week marks a return to school for many Madison area students. As I was stopped in a school crossing on my way to work Tuesday, I witnessed a wonderful "first-day" interaction. A daycare van pulled up to the curb of an elementary school and the kids tumbled out. I watched as one child from the van saw an adult he recognized from the school staff. He ran down the sidewalk, and leapt up into her arms for a big hug! It warmed my heart to think about what a special relationship one can have with learning - especially if there are strong relationships that support learning.
 
September also marks the beginning of a new season of learning in the church. We are offering a variety of opportunities to learn in ways that will enhance our knowledge and relationships, and strengthen our outreach. Learning through the church community is always intended to be "both/and." We feed our souls with learning so that we are encouraged and filled with faith not only for ourselves, but so that we are strengthened to move beyond ourselves and into the world with kindness, justice, and mercy.
 
As with any kind of learning, classes in the church are often structured around content, but it is the relationships that make the material matter and take on new meaning. Whether we are learning more about ourselves or our relationship to God or whether we are connecting with others by hearing their stories, it is the relationships that makes the material we are studying come alive with human meaning.
 
This might mean that you participate in walking our new Chapel prayer labyrinth on the first Sunday or third Wednesday of each month. This spiritual practice can give us quiet time to hear God speaking. In stepping onto the labyrinth, we join other pilgrims from centuries ago who walked a prayerful path. Men's Fellowship Group will take September 9 and 23 to examine the proposed Resolution by the Wisconsin Conference UCC, Repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery. In October, Adult Ed will offer a three session class on Moral Ethics. What informs us as we live in the world making moral decisions that impact us and others? You can join the Parents Group or Caregiver Support Group. Both groups meet once a month on Sundays and offer conversation and learning for specific stages in life. The Board of Stewardship is again hosting small groups for church members and friends to gather and get to know one another better in discussing our common love for this church and our hopes for the future.
 
There will be more specifics about these and other opportunities for learning, fellowship, and outreach - many more! If we could come to your house each week, sit on the porch, and share our love of all that is happening at First Cong, we would gladly do it, but we have to rely on you to check out the publicity. The best way to stay informed is to read the weekly e-Tower, read the bulletin announcements in the Sunday worship bulletin, check out the monitors in the main hallway or Sanctuary, and visit the back table in the Sanctuary where we keep sign-ups and handouts. May it be a meaningful fall as we engage with one another in learning at First Cong and continue to use our gifts as a community to impact the world.

~ Ann Beaty

Posted on September 11, 2018 at 12:09 pm in Featured Content.

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