Opportunities for Christian Growth

Our goal is to push back the frontiers of our understanding, admitting that there is always more to learn about what we believe and what Jesus is leading us to do in our witness to him in a rapidly changing world.

Current & Upcoming Studies

Women’s Bible Study meets each Monday at 4:30 p.m. Different topics or books are discussed dealing with biblical subjects.

Wednesday Study Series meet periodically to consider faith questions. Past subjects included “Lost Christianities – the Books that Never Made it into the Bible” and “New Understandings of Jesus.” In addition we have sought to increase our knowledge of the other Abrahamic faiths – Judaism and Islam, by holding 18 week courses on each of these religious traditions.

Small Groups are convened at times for fellowship and discussion. Recently, we have had groups dealing with end of life questions, and grief.

Past Studies

A Study of the Book of Revelation

The study features taped introductions by Professor Bruce Metzger of Princeton Seminary, followed by discussion.  The participants’ manual, Breaking the Code by Dr. Metzger, is available from amazon.com for $10.49.  Used copies through book sellers are 35 to 40 cents, with $3.00 postage, also through Amazon.   The last book of the Bible is filled with mysterious symbols and language that with the right key can fuel energetic zeal and faith in God’s plan for the world.  Or, it can just plain scare people!

The study convenes on the first and third Friday mornings at Pastor Steve’s residence, 1320 Seacoast Dr., Imperial Beach.  If you need directions, call Pastor Steve at 619-437-8757.

Go the Extra Mile – Jesus on Nonviolence and Forgiveness

A new study begins Tuesday, Sept. 29 that looks at the core of Jesus’ teachings. Often misunderstood (or perhaps understood too well!) we speak of them as “an impossible ethic.”  Let us think again.  We will be reading Jesus and Nonviolence – A Third Way, by Walter Wink and The Book of Forgiving – the Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World, by Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu.

Join us and let out our spiritual belts with a good breakfast.  We meet at El Tapatio Restaurant, 260 Palm Ave., in Imperial Beach at 9 a.m., on Sept. 29.  Subsequent meetings will be at participants’ homes.  Call Pastor Steve for this week’s location, 619-437-8757.

By the Book – Opportunities to Expand Our Faith

“I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice –not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother’s death, but because he is reason I believe in God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany.” So begins John Irving’s provocative novel, A Prayer for Owen Meany.

How do we discern God’s activity in our lives, and how do we sense that God has appointed instruments of His love in our midst that can easily be overlooked? This is John Irving at his most comic, and theological, inviting us to laugh and cry our way to new understanding of God’s ways.

This group, with others, attempts to connect literary themes with the message of the gospel.

In addition, a second book, The Underground Church, has been the subject of past discussion. Robin Meyers, a pastor in Oklahoma and professor of rhetoric, looks at the rapid changes the Christian movement is undergoing.

As Christianity loses its dominant place and can no longer set the cultural tone in the Western world, we find ourselves more at home in the New Testament, where few Christians held positions of power and the values of Jesus and his followers went against the cultural grain.

Meyers believes the church lost its compass when it became the official religion of the Roman Empire in the fourth century. What made Christianity so attractive that it could replace all the ancient cults in people’s hearts in the years after Jesus? Come and find out.

The Future of Christianity – Where We Came from, and Where We’re Headed 

Christians are divided. The unity in the Spirit that Jesus prayed for seems distant from the life of the church.  This is an opportunity to see how the Christian movement began and what were its chief characteristics.  If it was an entity that broke down walls and trusted the way of Jesus, what happened?  A thought worth pondering.