Join us on Thursday evenings at Chapel on The Ave as we meet to discuss current events, articles and ideas with local faculty friends and pastors of GCF.
In the summer, GCF reads! Beginning in July and going through mid-September, there will be several ongoing book groups with regular, weekly or bi-weekly meetings. If you want to join a book group, let us know soon.
Here are the groups you can join:
You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit, by James K.A. Smith
Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart, by Christina Cleveland
Discernment: Reading the Signs of Daily Life by Henri Nouwen
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
Five Views on the Church and Politics , by various authors
By looking at some of the “bad guys” in the Bible and their most besetting sins, we hope to learn together what vices God would have us avoid…and correspondingly, what virtues God would have us seek. Join us on Thursdays this quarter as we consider what we sadly have in common with the Bible’s nastiest villains and how God wants to make us look less like them and more like Jesus.
Let’s talk about what it looks like (and what it takes!) to flourish, spiritually and otherwise, during the unique season of life that is grad school. Our times together will be a combination of pastor-led, large group Bible study and student-led small group discussion. If you are a relatively new student just beginning to navigate grad school or a seasoned veteran who’s got everything figured out, please come be part of the conversation!
Who is this Jesus? That is the central question in the Gospel of Mark. It’s a question that Jesus’ disciples grapple with, often getting it wrong in one way or another. And it’s still the central question put to those of us who claim to follow him. Who is this Jesus? Join us this Fall quarter as we explore Mark’s Gospel and get to know better the suffering Messiah who defied everyone’s expectations and continues to do so today. Thursdays at 6. Bring a friend.
In the summer we read books together. It’s a well-loved GCF tradition.
We spend the whole academic year gaining knowledge about our particular areas of study. And so it seems only right that we’d spend time doing the same–gaining knowledge–with regard to our faith. And reading and discussing thoughtful books most certainly helps us toward that goal.
So, check out the books we’re reading together this summer. AND join in a small group.
Night, by Elie Wiesel. This is a famous and haunting autobiographical account of a teenage boy’s years spent in Nazi death camps. For the Christian reader, it will beg many questions about the goodness of God, the evil present in humanity and more. The book group will meet once at the end of summer.
How Not to Be Secular, by James K A Smith is a philosophical guide to Charles Taylor’s seminal work, A Secular Age. Along with asking questions about our culture and present age, we’ll think together about how to not be secular. It’s not a novel concept. But it seems like it might be a novel (and worthwhile) discussion for our own commuinty. This book group will meet twice during the month of July.
Strong and Weak; Embracing a Life of Love, Risk and True Flourishing, by Andy Crouch makes the argument that, to live the Christian life well, we must pursue both strength and weakness. We must be willing to stand for what is true and suffer when necessary. True leaders, argues Crouch, are those who use their privilege and authority to lift up those who don’t share those things. This book group will meet twice during the month of August.
Teach Us To Pray, by Gordon T. Smith. This little book traces the movements of thanksgiving, confession and discernment as it describes the ways in which authentic prayer shapes us into people who truly desire to see God’s kingdom come and his will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. This book group will meet twice during the month of September.
The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church from Western Cultural Captivity, by Soong-Chan Rah, examines the ways that the largely white, Western church has succumbed to the cultural traps of materialism and individualism. This has compromised the the witness of American Evangelicals. Rah looks to thriving immigrant, ethnic and multiethnic churches as he paints a picture of where the church needs to go to survive and thrive in the 21st century. This group will meet once monthly during July, August and September.
GCF’s Psalm of Praise
We praise God
because God is faithful
because God has infinite love for us
because God forgives.
We praise God because God is faithful
because God will not let go of us.
because death could not hold him down
because God is king.
Because God rescued us from despair.
We praise God because God is sovereign,
because God is love that never leaves
because God saved.
Because in God there is truth.
We praise God because God is trustworthy.
We praise God because God has provided.
We praise God because God always cares,
is always gracious, always there,
We praise God because God protects, is never-changing, and trustworthy.
We praise God because God is actually for us when others are against us.
We praise God because God has given us hope and a future.
We praise God because God is love and
because God accepts us.
We praise because God is worthy, always there, trustworthy, and faithful.
We praise because God has created us and redeemed us.
Because God offers hope and a home.
We praise because God sacrificed his very self
to save us.
Because God protects us like a hen
protects her chicks.
Because God’s love
is deeper than the sea.
We praise because God is just
and because God is merciful.
We praise God because God doesn’t suck,
because God isn’t fake,
because God deals with our shit.
We praise God because God sees us.
Because God takes down the walls we build around ourselves
because God delights in us, is for us.
We praise because the sun shined today
and God made that.
We praise because mystery exists.
Because God has blessed.
Because we don’t live with sea monsters.
We praise because God rescues, all of us, all the time, every day.
We praise because even when we don’t praise, God is still God and we’re not.
We praise because music exists and God made that.
We praise because God isn’t going to let it all go to hell in a handbag.
Because God creates and sustains.
We praise God because God is the maker of each of us,
crazy, broken and beloved people.
Because God is good.
And God is God.
Over the course of Lent, morning prayers will included texts and prayers from the Revised Common Lectionary.
Our primary prayer is that God would guide us through the season of Lent in such a way that we might become ever more aware of our constant need for Easter.
Join us on Mondays at 8:30 at Chapel on the Ave.
“Look on me and answer, Lord my God.” That’s the prayer of the psalmist, singing out to God, the “maker of heaven and earth, “our refuge and strength.”
The psalms. Though they’re ancient words it’s not hard to find a word in them that speaks what’s on our own minds today–be it praise, thanksgiving, the rawest of lament or even an expression of anger at the God who knows all and upholds all yet sometimes seems so unfortunately silent.
Why do these old prayers and songs still speak to our hearts and minds?
Join us this spring quarter as we seek to answer that question through the lens of music and theology.
[from Psalm 25]
In you, Lord my God,
I put my trust.
I trust in you;
Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name;
Thy kingdom come;
Thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil. Amen.
[Hymn by Charles Wesley]
And can it be that I should gain
An int’rest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be?
That Thou, my God, should die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be?
That Thou, my God, should die for me!
Gospel: Mark 1:9-15
[from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers]
God of wilderness and water,
your Son was baptized and tempted as we are.
Guide us through this season,
that we may not avoid struggle,
but open ourselves to blessing,
through the cleansing depths of repentance
and the heaven-rending words of the Spirit. Amen.
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you,
wherever he may send you.
May he guide you through the wilderness,
protect you through the storm.
May he bring you home rejoicing
at the wonders he has shown you.
May he bring you home rejoicing