ANGER -- January/February
Due date: 5/15/00
We live in an age of road rage, hate crimes, and
threats to "make my day." Anger is a basic human
emotion, yet it is frequently expressed
inappropriately. When turned outward, it can
result in violent acts that hurt others. When
turned inward, it can manifest itself as
depression or self-destructive behaviors. How
can we use anger as a tool rather than a weapon?
In what ways have you attempted to resolve
anger-your own or others'? How did Jesus use his
anger? respond to angry opponents? How do you
understand God's anger?
FASTING (LENT/EASTER) -- March/April
Due date: 7/15/00
Traditionally, the spiritual discipline of
fasting has served as an act of repentance and
has freed those who practiced it to receive
other gifts. While fasting from food may be
deeply meaningful for some, others may find it
impossible for health reasons. But there are
ways to fast other than abstaining from food.
Isaiah 58 records God's preference for a fast
from injustice and hypocrisy. Rueben Job and
Marjorie Thompson suggest in Together in Christ
that the most meaningful fasts are ones in which
we abstain from those things that fill our lives
to the point of crowding out God. What has
threatened to crowd God out of your life? How
has a fast opened you to the grace of God? In
this Lenten issue, we will explore Jesus' fast
in the wilderness, the tradition of fasting
during Lent, and the joy of breaking a fast at
AVAILABILITY (PENTECOST) -- May/June
Due date: 9/15/00
For people of faith in the Bible and throughout
the history of the Church, availability is a
primary characteristic. Availability involves
opening ourselves to God's guidance and
attempting to follow God's direction in our
lives. As Christians, we are also called to make
ourselves available to others. In this issue, we
will look at the ways the first Christians made
themselves available to God following Pentecost.
How do you seek to make yourself available? How
do you struggle with competing claims on your
availability? Where have you gained wisdom about
living as a Christian who is available to God
WORSHIP -- July/August
Due date: 11/15/00
The Westminster Shorter Catechism states that
the chief end of humankind is to glorify God and
enjoy God forever. In this issue we will explore
how we glorify God through the movements of the
worship service: preparation and gathering,
praise and prayer, confession and pardon,
proclamation and response, sacraments, and
sending forth. When have you experienced the
power of these acts? In what ways do they
glorify God? How do the movements of worship
shape us as people of faith? How do they provide
a structure for living all our lives to the
glory of God?
MONEY -- September/October
Due date: 1/15/00
"Money makes the world go around," sing the
characters in the musical Cabaret. While we
might argue the truth of this claim, money or a
means of exchange is a basic prerequisite on
which a society is built. As Christians, do we
view money as sinful, a necessary evil, a
blessing from God, or a means toward doing good?
How do you struggle with the way you earn, save,
spend, or give away money? How do you keep from
becoming obsessed with money, possessions, and
other people having more than you do? What
witness is the Church called to offer in the
midst of society that appears to believe that
money makes the world go around? Is there such a
thing as Christian economics?
PREPARE THE WAY (ADVENT/CHRISTMAS) -- November/December
Due date: 3/15/00
"Prepare the way of the Lord," proclaims John
the Baptist, echoing the words of Isaiah 40.
Advent is a time to prepare for Christ's birth
anew in our lives, yet often this preparation is
overtaken by the busyness of holiday activities.
What does it mean to prepare the way and how
does this relate to hope, peace, joy, and love?
In what ways do you seek to prepare yourself?
How does this manifest itself in acts of love
and justice in the world? What would the world
look like if it were truly ready for the
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