Common Ground – Fall 2023

Common Ground – Fall 2023

Join friends for a casual dinner, devotions, and an early evening of learning and growing in fellowship and faith!   Get details and register below.

Wednesday Evenings
September 20 – November 8

Dinner at 6:00 pm
Informal Praise & Prayer at 6:35 pm
Groups & Classes Begin at 6:45 pm
Closing on “Common Ground” at 7:45 pm

A. Special Guest! Jeffrey Kloha, Chief Curator at Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC
As Chief Curator Jeff Kloha is responsible for the management of Education, Scholars Initiative, Exhibits, Curatorial, and Collections at Museum of the Bible. An author and frequent presenter at conferences and in the media, Jeff joined MOTB in 2017.  Previously, he served as professor of New Testament and Provost/Chief Academic Officer at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis.  We are delighted to welcome Jeff to kick off Fall Common Ground as the sole presenter on September 20.  He will enlighten us on Martin Luther’s New Testament, including its development, content, printing, sales, and its impact on the culture of that time and on the history of the Christian faith.  Also included will be a preview of MOB’s upcoming exhibit on the earliest discovered church building. (1 session-September 20)

B. Christ in Film: Ben Hur
Inspired by the life of Christ and based on a book of the same title, the 1959 film Ben Hur is one of the epic religious movies of all time.  Join David LaCour for a 4-week movie review, study, and discussion of the story in all of its twists and turns, along with its lessons and applications for our lives today. (4 sessions, September 27-October 18)

C. Lessons from the Life of Jeremiah
Pastor Ron Friedrich returns to Common Ground for a 6-week Bible study on lessons from the life of the prophet Jeremiah.  Prepare to encounter outrageous prayers, unusual answers, and powerful stories of reluctance, rebellion, and grace all wrapped up in the life and ministry of one of the Old Testament’s major prophets. (6 sessions, September 27-November 1)

 D. Vicarage Highlights
Join Vicar Mengesha Gella for a 2-week review of his experience as St. Andrew’s pastoral intern.  Mengesha will share highlights of his seminary course work, including topics like pastoral counseling and biblical research, as well as the requirements of his vicarage ministry including his meetings with Pastor Hricko, who serves as his vicarage supervisor and mentor.  Be ready gain insights into the preparation of a future pastor and learn some new things about our dynamic outreach ministry. (2 sessions, September 27-October 4)

 E. God of the Hebrews
In Exodus, God is announced to the Pharaoh as “YHWH, God of the Hebrews.”  Hebrew here probably isn’t referring to a nation.  Israelite would be the word for that.  So, what does it mean? Luke Schoppert will lead us as we explore what this word can tell us about the philosophy of ancient Israel, and learn why a God of the Hebrews is just the sort of God who would die on a cross between two thieves. (2 sessions, October 11-18)

F. The Church According to Bonhoeffer
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German Lutheran pastor, martyr, and spy at the end of World War II. In this two week session, Glen Harvell will focus on Bonhoeffer’s view of what the Church is in the context of his ministry in Germany and how it relates to challenges in today’s world.  In Bonhoeffer’s words, “The movement upward [toward God] cannot be separated from the movement toward our neighbor.  Both belong together.  Standing under God’s rule means living in community with God and with the church.” (2 sessions, October 25-November 1)

G. End Times
There are multiple Protestant interpretations of the visions of the Prophet Daniel and of St. John concerning the final judgement and return of Christ.  How are we to understand the “End Times” in the context of Lutheran theology? Come to learn more and don’t be Left Behind! This 2-week study will be led by Dave Van Norstrand. (2 sessions, October 25-November 1)

H. Special Guest!  Pastor Bill Harmon, President, Southeastern District LCMS
Pastor Bill Harmon serves as president of our denomination’s Southeastern District, which includes more than 200 individual ministries across geography from York, Pennsylvania to Hilton Head, South Carolina.  Prior to the beginning of his first term as SED President, he served as Senior Pastor of King of Glory Lutheran Church in Williamsburg, Virginia.  Pastor Harmon will conclude our Fall Common Ground season with a session about our district’s vision for witness and wellness in light of the challenges and opportunities facing the church today. (1 session, November 8)

 Childcare is available with a reservation – 48 hours notice, please!
Register today!