When I moved up to McVille, I was warned that there was a strong core group of people who value their weekly Bible study. The past couple months have been focused on reading our way through the book of Genesis. It is a long book (50 chapters), but it has been fascinating to take our time and read it together. We read the stories and share whatever thoughts or reflections we’ve had about the text, the locations or the history.
We are to the story of Jacob (he has just fled for his life and has ended up at his uncle Laban’s where he just met Rachel). We read about the fallout that Jacob and Esau had, and how their parents Isaac and Rebekah had picked their favorites from those twins. Taking the time to read the stories is enough to try patience at times, but is worth it. Some stories are easier to connect with than others. With the recent story of Jacob and Esau, the people who show up are unsettled to read how two brothers act around each other, but even more shocking is how the parents act. Each person reading the story finds something that fascinates or appalls.
Everyone one of us enters into the story of Genesis because we have different understandings of what life looks like, of how people ought to behave, of what we expect God to say and do. But when we read Genesis, we find that people are just people. We may want to disconnect ourselves since they lived in a very different time/place, but in reality they are much like us today. They are not perfect (far from it, as a matter of fact). We cannot shy away from the fact that we’ve read stories of murder, incest, lies and deceit. Each character in Genesis has tough lessons learned through constant mistakes. People are tested and usually fall short. But God is a God of promise who is faithful to the people he chose to create and bless.
We are taking next week off, but we will be resuming Jan 4 with Genesis 29:15. If you can’t get to McVille at 9 am, at least you know where we are in the story of a broken people who find that God is faithful.
One of the great advantages of Christmas is the opportunity to be able to clean and decorate and invite and visit and eat…
This past week I (aka Pastor Kara) hosted two events at my house.
1. Youth Xmas Party
2. Open House
I love being around people, especially when there is fun conversation and food and friendship.
So I opened up my home for those who wanted to see where their pastor spends her free time (and of course, some time is working on sermons or Bible studies).
I cleaned up the house, even the bedrooms so people could see what I mean when I say that I have more than enough space in my 4-bedroom, 1 1/2 bath home.
I hope that everyone who came enjoyed the afternoon.
Here are some pictures from the day:
...cause who doesn't like an inflatable nativity?
best location for parties...the kitchen!
Some of the confirmation students and TCM adults trekked out to visit Dakotah Oyate, the ELCA congregation where Pastor Larry cares for members of the Spirit Lake Nation.
We drove around to tour the area, seeing some of the history of important buildings and the sacred locations (like where they celebrate the Sundance ceremony, partake in sweat lodge, and travel for a vision quest).
In the afternoon, Larry and his wife Darla shared stories with us: how the Dakota people came to be in this part of the country (since they originated in the Wisconsin area), what were some significant events in history that shaped their culture today, how they walk between two worlds as they try to remember who they are as Dakota and yet also as Christians, and what are some common myths that lead to a lot of fear and misunderstanding.
The following video is a compilation of 1.5 hrs of lecture and storytelling that I edited down to 25 min. The edit pulls together the themes of what was discussed to help give our confirmation students who missed the trip a chance to hear at least some of what we learned.
Disclaimer – It’s not the best quality for two main reasons: the background noise is the air conditioner running and I’m not good at holding a camcorder for that long of time, so there are times when I didn’t realize what I was filming…