Building Our Faith 

May 19, 2015

The past five Wednesday evenings, Plymouth U participants (nearly 40 signed up) were blessed to learn about and explore the writings and ideas of Dietrich Bonhoeffer with Seattle University’s Professor Dan Peterson.

Near the end of his life, Bonhoeffer was rethinking God, Christ and the Church in response to a “world come of age,” that is a world that gets along fine without God. We explored the strong parallels between Bonhoeffer’s world and ours, where greater and greater percentages of people are identifying as having no religious affiliation. 

Each week Professor Peterson talked to us about the theological subjects to be discussed that night, and then we broke into small groups to further explore the concepts and what they meant for our faith. Here is a taste of what we talked about:

  • Bonhoeffer moves away from a concept of God as a grand master who intervenes in our lives to a God who is vulnerable, who suffers alongside us. Is that how we see God? If so, what does that mean about how we pray?
  • Bonhoeffer writes about Jesus as the ultimate example of a man for others. Our call is to let parts of ourselves die to live as people for others. But what does that mean for us? How can we balance self-care so we are able to focus on being people for others? 
  • What does a “Church for Others” look like? What would it mean to take the Church out into the world, instead of waiting for the world to come to us?

The series provided a wonderful opportunity to explore and deepen our faith lives individually and together. I look forward to developing more of these kinds of experiences for our congregation with the help of the Adult Education Board. –Jennifer Castle, Director of Faith Formation  

Topics: Church Life



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