Believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth
act of creation was an extension of God’s nature and love which is fulfilled in
our love and sharing in creation.
Purpose: To focus
on the nature of God as loving and creative.
1:1-5, 31 God created the heavens
earth, Let there be light, and all was good.
1:1-5 In the beginning was the Word
and the Word was with God.
Why did God create the heavens and the earth? What
about the Big Bang? How was God created? (who is God’s mom?) What is heaven? In what ways do we see God’s
nature as being loving and caring through creation? What does it mean that God
created everything good? What difference does it make that the manner of
creation is through the Word of God? How do we relate to that Word of God? What
is our role in taking part in God’s creation? How do we understand that God’s
work of creation separates what is good out of chaos?
Believe in Jesus Christ, God’s Begotten Son.
believe in Jesus as God’s gift of love to share with us relationship with God.
congregation will appreciate the love of God for humanity in Christ.
1:26-38 Jesus is born to the virgin
3:16-21 God sent the son into the world
to save the world.
What is “begotten?” Is there a
“c”gotten? When did Jesus know that he was “special?” When
was Jesus actually born (was he around before he was born)? What does it mean
that Jesus is uniquely begotten of God? What is our relationship with God
through Jesus? What does it mean that God sent Jesus to the world out of love?
How do we relate to the story of the virgin Mary? Does it matter whether we
believe in the virgin birth of Jesus?
Believe in the Holy Spirit
open our hearts and minds to participating with God’s work through God’s
presence within our hearts and minds, inspiring and leading us.
congregation will expand their perception of the Holy Spirit as a constant
presence in our lives.
2:1-4, 16-21 The Holy Spirit
fulfills the prophecy of the prophet Joel.
20:19-23 Jesus breathes upon the disciples
and gives them the Holy Spirit.
Is he a friendly ghost? What’s up with all of the
“speaking in tongues” stuff? Why can’t the Holy Spirit be more direct
with us? What difference the Holy Spirit make in our lives in practical ways?
How do we relate to God being present within us? How does the Holy Spirit
empower us with spiritual gifts? How can we allow the Holy Spirit to inspire
Believe in the Historical Jesus
we affirm Jesus’ and experiences we are more open to our own humanity and needs
as we grow closer to God.
congregation will consider their own humanity as a gift from God.
4:8-12, 23-31 Peter and John speak
before the Council speaking of the historical fact of Jesus’ death and
Corinthians 15:1-11 Paul gives testimony
to the historical experience of Christ Jesus.
What is the real proof that Jesus did exist? Is
there any proof that the bible is legit? Does the history really matter or is
it just about the story? Where is Jesus now? How does a historical Jesus affect
our perceptions of God acting in the world today? How do we understand the
“reality” of God’s intervention today, because of the way God acted in the
birth of Jesus in the world? How do we deal with the areas where we are less
certain in Jesus’ history?
Believe in the resurrection and Judgment.
believe in God’s justice and that our choices whether to follow Christ’s love
or our own selfish ego determines whether we experience grace or an absence of
help the congregation understand judgment and responsibility as a part of our
relationship with God and the world around us.
14:1-5, 25-27 Jesus offers peace to
the disciples through the promise of the resurrection.
Thessalonians 4:13-18 We do not
grieve as those who have no hope.
Is there really a Hell? Will Jesus really send
people to hell or is it like threatening to send us to bed without dinner? Does
he judge us? Are there bigger sins than others? When we ask for forgiveness is
our slate clean? Is there a way to hack
in and see our score cards? What does it mean for us that we believe that some
people are judged? Can we believe in righteousness and justice if we don’t
believe in hell? How are people responsible for their own judgment? What does
it mean to us that “hell” is the absence of the presence of God’s love?
Believe in the Church
has called us to be part of the community of believers in order that we may
make God’s presence and love known to the world.
will affirm that together we are representatives of God’s love and covenant.
10:19-25 Let us provoke one another
to Good Works and to not neglect the fellowship.
16:13-26 Jesus gives the “Keys
to the kingdom” to the church, any who want to follow need to take up
Why would I believe in a building? Is the church a building? Do really need it?
Why do so few people attend Church? What’s going to happen to people who don’t?
What actually is the Church? How do we develop our ability to be part of God’s
presence in the world? What do we need to do in order to accurately reflect
God’s intention for the Church on earth? How can we create a space where people
experience God’s presence with truth and healing grace?
Believe in Forgiveness
are the people who live and practice a message of forgiveness that flows from
God through all people who are willing to participate in God’s grace and
congregation will explore the process and work of forgiveness.
24:42-52 Jesus commissions the disciples
to forgive sins and proclaim God’s love.
3:1-4, 12-17 If you have been
raised with Christ, seek what is above. Practice forgiveness.
Does forgiveness mean I have to like someone who
wronged me? I believe in forgiveness but I’m still angry? What if I keep forgiving someone for the same
thing? How many times do I have to do that? Is there a time limit or can we
wait twenty years or so? What does it mean for us to retain the sins of
someone? How do we practice forgiveness in a way that enables us to be healthy
and joyful? What do we do when we are struggling to let go of hurt and pain?
What causes us to have difficulties in forgiving?
Believe in Eternal Life
rejoice in a relationship with God that puts our whole life span in a context
of love and grace, rather than focusing on physical limitations and loss.
congregation will explore what it means to be more than a body.
Corinthians 15:12-20 The
resurrection is the source of our hope.
20:27-38 The Sadducees question Jesus
about the resurrection, Jesus affirms that the resurrection will be the gift of
Do I really have to learn to play the harp? Is it
just going to be like worship or do we get to do something fun? Is my back
still going to hurt? Do I have to spend eternity with that person I can’t
forgive? Or will it matter? If I die in an embarrassing way are people going to
laugh at me the whole time? Will we be reunited with our loved ones? Will we be
at peace? How do we come to see ourselves as more than a body? What difference
does it make to us to believe in a resurrection? What can we do to believe in
what we can neither prove or disprove?