introduction LESSION (Covenant History)
FLC Small Groups APRIL 29-MAY 3
GATHER (10 min)
Thank everyone for coming. Introduce yourselves to each other with an icebreaker. What is one of your favorite summer time activities you are looking forward to?
CHECK-IN (10 min)
Go around the room and invite participants share a high and/or low this week in their family.
EXPLAIN THE STUDY (2 min)
Explain the format that each time we meet we will read the same scriptures that our read in worship the weekend before. Our discussion will draw upon the scriptures we read together and the past weekend’s sermon for those who watched it live, on YouTube or listened to the podcast.
After today’s meeting everyone is encouraged to begin reading through the Bible using either the green and white Books of the Bible: Covenant History or a standard Bible of your own. For those who chose to read through the Bible, you can bring insights into next week’s discuss of Genesis. You can find a reading plan on First Lutheran’s website: firstlutherancr.org. However, no outside reading or prep is ever required to attend our small group and participate.
READ SCRIPTURE (4 min)
Ask two different volunteers to read aloud the following two scriptures:
Have Volunteer 1 read the following: Genesis 1. God creates the world including human beings
Pr. Craig’s Thoughts: The Bible is not a scientific book of all things. It is the story of humankind from our beginnings as a people, to our failings, to God's unending quest to set things right. The first chunk of the Bible we will read and preach on in the days ahead outlines the history of God's promise, or covenant, to ultimately unite all creatures on earth back to God.
Genesis 1:1-5, 26-28, 31
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
Have Volunteer 2 read the following: Revelation 21. God creates a new heaven and a new earth
Pr. Craig’s Thoughts: In today's readings we hear the same message from the first book of the Bible and the last. God is God and we are God's beloved creation. The Bible is not the story of all things that ever were. It the story of humankind, our place in existence, and God's unending love affair with his most beloved creation.
21 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.
OPTIONAL: WATCH SERMON ON YOUTUBE OR LISTEN TO SERMON PODCAST (10 min)
You may want to watch the previous week’s sermon together on the YouTube app of your TV or listen to the brand new audio podcast on your phone available on FLC’s website.
REFLECT ON THE PREVIOUS WEEK (15-30 min)
Have a conversation with your group about what you just read, or anything from the past week’s sermon that grabbed any group members’ attention. Questions to consider…
To get the most out of next week’s sermon and discussion, and for those who chose to do the nightly reading for the coming week, you may watch the video of Bible teacher John Walton explaining the themes and relevance of Genesis.
CLOSE (5 min)
Thank your participants for coming. Remind them of the next meeting time and make plans for who will be responsible for snacks/kids/etc.
Are you ready?! There are 210 First Lutheran friends signed up for our Get Together, Stay Together Small Groups that begin April 27-28! Please skim through the following info and let me know if you have any questions. Here is your one-stop-shop for everything: Get Together Small Groups
Please reply to this email today if you need a copy of the green-and-white Books of Bible: Covenant History. I will place an order Tuesday. The cost is just $5. You do not need to buy this book to be a part of the study. You can use your own Bible, or just read the scriptures each week from the free study guide.
I am still creating these. I will upload the latest lesson onto our blog page on our website and email it out to you each week. Paper copies will also be available at church office during the week at Westminster Presbyterian (where we will worship) on the weekend.
WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO PREPARE?
Nothing. Our first class is an introductory session. But you won’t want to skip it because there is some content to it too. We will read aloud the same scriptures that our read in worship the weekend before. Our discussion will draw upon the scriptures we read together and the past weekend’s sermon for those who watched it live, on YouTube or listened to the podcast. This goes for all 8 weeks. You never have to prepare or do any homework to participate.
One component of the study is a challenge to join Pr. Craig is reading through the entire Bible (it’s his first time too!). You can find a reading plan here. We will begin reading on Sunday, April 28 and continue through Christmas. You can use either the green and white Books of the Bible: Covenant History or a standard Bible of your own. For those who chose to read through the Bible, you can bring your insights and wonderings to the next week’s class. Again, however, no outside reading or prep is ever required to attend our small group and participate.
WHEN/WHERE DOES MY CLASS MEET?
I will be emailing each small group your time and location in another email so you have all your fellow participants’ contacts.
This should be fun! We will worship at Westminster Presbyterian Church during the study. Think of it as a field trip! We’ll have free daycare for the kids and the same great traditional worship in their gorgeous sanctuary at 5 p.m. Sat. & 9 a.m. Sun. and our lively contemporary worship in their Family Life Center (coffee anyone?) at 11:15 a.m. Sunday. The live sermon will “kick-off” the lesson each week.
LET’S GET STARTED!
It all begins this coming weekend, April 27-28 at Westminster Presbyterian Church. Everyone is welcome to park in Westminster’s parking lot. If you are physically able, we encourage you to be a good neighbor and use the dentist’s lot across the street, the free health clinic’s lot half a block away or PCI’s lot (our normal parking) two blocks away. Here is a funny video to put you in the right mood.