12 Scriptures Project

April 18, 2012

Last week’s Musing was ‘A Holy Experiment,’ about Bible study groups contributing to sermon formation.  This could be called ‘A Holy Experiment II.’

If you had to choose 12 Scriptures that you hold as core to your faith, what would they be?  If Cincinnati Mennonite would choose 12 Scriptures that are core to our congregational identity, what would they be?  Why not try and find out?  This spring and summer we’re going to undertake a 12 Scriptures Project and see what we come up with.

The idea comes from our Mennonite Church USA denominational leadership as they are suggesting different ways that congregations can explore a deepening emphasis on Christian Formation, one of the seven priorities agreed upon by delegates at the Pittsburgh gathering last summer. For a brief video description of the idea, click HERE.

We plan to do this through some collaborative effort between Christian Education and Worship Committee folks.  For the next 3-4 weeks, Keith Lehman will be leading the Adult Forum class, and presenting a way for individuals and/or households to create their own list of twelve core scriptures.  We also hope to include the youth and jr. youth in this process, and parents are welcome to develop a family list at home.  We will then use these collections of Scriptures to discern which twelve rise to the top for us collectively.

Our summer worship series will consist of focusing on these twelve scriptures, one per week, for twelve weeks.  Along with worship themes and sermons, we hope to invite one person per week for whom that particular scripture was one of their 12 Scriptures, to share why the passage is significant for them.  The hope is that this can be a way for us to engage the Bible together, and come to a better understanding of what we hold as most valuable.  And who knows what else might come out of it.

We’d like to invite as wide of participation as possible, including those who can’t or don’t attend Adult Forum.  It’s a fairly simple exercise and, as mentioned above, can be done alone, among the household, or with a small group.  The task is this: Come up with 12 Scriptures that form your understanding of faith and under each scripture write a sentence or two about why you have chosen that particular passage.  The Why? piece is important because it goes deeper into the value that the passage holds for us.  One “scripture” can be a verse, a story, or a whole chapter, etc.  So Micah 6:8 would be one scripture, as would The Parable of the Good Samaritan, as would Psalm 23, etc.  Hey, already a quarter of the way done…..  And don’t get hung up on the number 12.  If you can only come up with 6 or 10 or 3, we’ll go with that.  If you can only come up with 1….ummmm…..read through Isaiah and the Gospel of Luke and see what else you can find.  Which brings up the point of including both Old and New Testaments – hey, a lot of the good stuff in the New Testament is just riffing off what is already there in the Hebrew scriptures.

If you can’t be in Adult Forum, work on the list and email it to Keith Lehman by May 10.

I’m looking forward to what comes from this, and a summer of exploring Cincinnati Mennonite’s 12 Scriptures.

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