Are you new to Our Saviour’s and interested in membership, baptism, or otherwise deepening your relationship with this congregation?  Are you a member already, but longing for conversations about faith and life? Living Questions is for you.   

Here’s what Living Questions is: during the season of Lent, newcomers and oldcomers alike will gather to share experiences, questions, and faith with one another, building community as the body of Christ and digging deep into the central teachings of the Christian faith. We will gather on Sunday nights from 5-7 pm on these dates: March 10, 17, 24, 31, and April 7, 14. Dinner and childcare are provided. If you have questions or would like to participate, please contact Pastor Martha: .

Over the season of Lent for Adult Fait Formation and for Living Questions, we will be making use of Signs of Belonging: Luther’s Marks of the Church and the Christian Life by Mary Hinkle Shore.   If you would like a copy, please sign up on the clipboard in the narthex by February 27. Books are $12. Please make a check out to Our Saviour’s with “Signs of Belonging” in the memo line, and place it in the offering plate on Sunday or in Pastor Martha’s mailbox in the office. If you cannot afford it but would still like a copy, please let Pastor Martha know.
 

A Little Background...

In 2014, we hosted a workshop led by Paul Hoffman. Pastor Hoffman had started a process called “The Way” at Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church in Seattle. His ministry inspired us to launch “Living Questions”. We used his book, Faith Forming Faith, as we discerned the shape of our ministry.

In October of 2014, our first Living Questions group drew 29 newcomers. It culminated at Easter Vigil, the time of year when traditionally we invite newcomers to become members by receiving baptism or affirming their earlier baptism. Since then, we have continued to offer "Living Questions" sessions once or twice a year.

We believe that baptism – the moment when we are washed into promises of mercy and life, joined to Christ’s death and resurrection, and declared beloved child of God in community – is the source of our membership and our unity as the body of Christ.

 

Creating a Vital Congregation

We embrace three central practices from Scripture and tradition for creating a vital faith-forming congregation:

  1. The practice of hospitality. During his life, Jesus was a guest in many homes. He continues to be present as the stranger in our midst (Matthew 25:35).  We are called to welcome this stranger.  Driven by the Spirit who breaks down all boundaries and creates community, we challenge ourselves to offer Christ’s welcome to all, particularly those who are not “like us.”
  2. The practice of celebration. We celebrate the creative and redemptive activity of God in the midst of the realities of human need, struggle and pain. In celebrations like our Easter Vigil,  we anticipate, prepare, participate and reflect on these qualities, rooting ourselves in the living, transforming presence of God.
  3. The practice of living our questions and convictions. Young people, old people, questions, stories—with our conversation we honor the experience and insight, testimonies about God, laments, and thanksgivings that each person offers for our development and understanding. Together, we seek to discern how God is calling each and all of us in our lives at work, home, school, church, and beyond.  

 --Inspired by From Generation to Generation by Charles R. Foster

 

Living Questions: Welcoming Newcomers

New members are welcomed to our community.

Questions? Interested in participating? Please contact Pastor Martha Schwehn Bardwell: , 612-871-2967.

At Our Saviour’s, we welcome newcomers through a process we call “Living Questions.”

This ministry is not only for newcomers; it is a faith-forming experience for our whole congregation. Newcomers, with the fresh questions and experiences they bring to us, give us an opportunity to explore our faith, deepen our life-long commitment, and grow in our understanding of what we mean by “faith”. Most important, we make this journey together as a community.

How Living Questions works:  Each newcomer is paired with a sponsor from the congregation who has been around for a while. Sponsors journey alongside newcomers, sharing their questions and insights and listening for how God is calling them in their lives today.

These sponsor-newcomer pairs are placed in small groups led by a facilitator. In a typical session, we

  • Meet all together to share a meal at 5:00pm.
  • Break out into small groups for conversation. We will talk about our spiritual journeys and discuss our questions about Baptism, Communion, the Ten Commandments, the Apostle’s Creed, the Lord’s Prayer and other questions about faith, church, and life.

We will gather on Sunday nights from 5-7 pm on March 10, 17, 24, 31, and April 7, 14. Dinner and childcare are provided. If you have questions or would like to participate, please contact Pastor Martha: .  (SEE SIDE BAR FOR BOOK USED IN DISCUSSION)

 

 

 


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