Summer Study Series
Join on the first and third Wednesday for conversation. There’s no preparation. Just come as you are. Each session meets in a different place so be sure to note where we’ll be.
CANON | MINING FOR THE WORD | ERIC ELNES
June 7, 6:30 pm, 607 Vernon Street, hosted by Wintlett Taylor-Browne
How did these 66 cultural history lessons, collections of poems, family genograms, allegorical stories, and community letters—all gathered from sources that stretch across time and place—become the Bible? Eric describes a process of canonization that is messier and more ongoing than we might imagine. As Eric looks into how to extract sacred “gold” from the many streams, we discover that the shifting and refining might not be complete.
HISTORY | PARCHMENT TO PIXEL | PHYLLIS TICKLE
June 21, 6:30 pm, 1305 Skyline Drive, hosted by Diane & Rich Halversen
Does the way we access the Bible change the way we interpret the Bible? Phyllis believes this question is paramount as technology makes it easier for us to access the bible quickly and perhaps out of context. By tracing the history of the Bible from its origins as oral stories passed down from community to community, to the days of the Bible being read in Latin, to our current open-source approach to the Bible, Phyllis suggests that access is everything.
TESTAMENTS | ONE STORY, TWO PARTS | RACHEL HELD EVANS
July 5, 6:30 pm, 404 Pleasant Hill Drive, hosted by Lorraine Borowski
What do we do with the Old Testament? That’s the question for Rachel. For a long time, she was troubled by the violence, laws, and treatment of women she found in the Old Testament. She’s not alone. So how can we make sense of the images of an angry God with the God of love? How do we find the sweet spot between the Law of Moses and the Grace of Jesus? And how do we not only make peace with the Old Testament but actually find its value ? Her suggestion might surprise you.
GOSPELS | UNEXPECTED GOOD NEWS | NADIA BOLZ-WEBER
July 19, 6:30 pm, 508 East Main Street, hosted by Elaine Grimes
We know the four Gospels tell the story of Jesus. But why do they tell different stories? Why does Matthew say one thing and John something else? What does it mean to say that the Gospels are “good news”? Nadia peels away our assumptions about the Gospels and reminds us that Jesus didn’t come to make us feel comfortable, but rather to upend our ideas about what “good news” really looks like.
GENRE | RHYTHM OF THE TEXT | JOSE MORALES
August 2, 6:30 pm, the Fellowship Room at Decorah UCC, hosted by Deb Edwards
Poetry, history, songs, letters, prophecies, even dreams—this is the stuff the Bible is made of. So why do we struggle to make sense of the various genres of biblical literature. Jose suggests there’s more to understanding genre than just knowing the difference between a psalm and an epistle. We have to know how to dance with all the rhythms we find in this sacred nightclub.
INTERPRETATION | SCRIPTURE READS US | WILL WILLIMON
August 16, 6:30 pm, 402 Center Street, hosted by Betty Ransom
There are the words on the page and then there are the words behind the words—the history, the context, the intention of the author. So is it easy to understand the Bible or not? Will gives us the tools to move beyond just reading the Bible to finding ways to make sense of what we find there. For Will, this is how we move from just knowing what the Bible says to allowing it to grab us, take hold in our hearts, and truly interpret us.