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The spiritual growth study is a book written annually for United Methodist Women which provides the entire United Methodist Church and other Christian churches with a resource on diverse topics related to our journey following Jesus the Christ.
Spiritual growth is a combination of inspiration, knowledge, inner reflection and outward action. Vast knowledge is available to us through centuries of Christian scholarship. Prayer and worship are integral to spiritual growth and are woven into the accompanying study guide. God has special messages for each of us when we pause to listen. And, when we listen, God usually sends us into the world to serve "the least of these" as if they were Christ.
Conflict and Community in the Corinthian Church (English: #2869; Spanish #2870; Korean #2871). J. Shannon Clarkson, Editor. Study Guide (included in book) by J. Shannon Clarkson and Libuseng Ketshabile. Order this book from the Service Center $4.50.
Using 2 Corinthians 5:16-17 as an underlying theme, Editor J. Shannon Clarkson provides introductory and background material to place in context and connect five articles written by women biblical scholars. The study is organized into two parts.
Each chapter is introduced with suggested scripture readings, brief commentary, and a contemporary issue illustrated by example. Questions for reflection and discussion preceed each chapter's article. In each chapter, an author examines selected passages from Paul's two letters that highlight issues of concern for women and what it means to be part of the New Creation and the Christian faith community.
Part I looks at the theme "Suffering and Consolation in Christian Community" in chapters by Jouette M. Bassler, who gives an overview of 2 Corinthians that places Paul's remarks in the context of the Corinthian church, and by Barbara Holmes and Susan Holmes Winfield. In chapter 2, they remind us through reflection on their own experience that Christian communities provide us with both conflict and consolation and that shared suffering brings consolation when Christ is present.
Part II lifts up the theme "Contested Issues in Christian Community" in an overview of 1 Corinthians by Jouette Bassler, who focuses on questions of sex, marriage, divorce, celibacy, the role of women in worship, and the issue of headcoverings for women in church. Antoinette Clark Wire looks at the role of women prophets who disagree with Paul and revisits the headcovering issue and its implications. Cynthia Briggs Kittredge concludes the text by delving into the institutions of marriage and slavery as portrayed in Paul's letters, encouraging us to sort out when Paul uses them as metaphor to describe relationships with God and when he expresses opinions about these first-century realities.
A study guide written by J. Shannon Clarkson and Libuseng Ketshabile encourages readers to engage the full biblical texts and the content of each chapter's biblical analysis through activities that relate Paul's letters to personal and contemporary experiences of God, and conflict and consolation in Christian community.
Streetwise in Corinth: Paul's Letters to an Urban Congregation. (#2874) By Harriette D. Cross. A new resource for youth, this guide is intended for middle school and senior high United Methodists. It offers a look at the ancient cities of Jerusalem, Rome, and the port of Corinth to raise issues of urban life and faith and see parallels for our time. There are activities and stories which draw young people into thoughtful discussion concerning the ethical issues raised by Paul in his letters to the church in Corinth. Order this resource from the Service Center. $3.50
Topics range from a book of the Bible to an important spiritual issue such as suffering, historical church figures such as John Wesley or themes such as women in the New Testament. In all cases scripture is foundational for each study although we do not use a verse by verse approach as the only model.
The process for selecting a theme, authors for the book and study guide as well as publishing takes about seven years. Directors of the Women's Division of the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church make the final decision about each theme. Staff then work to select an author, give them direction and feedback as they write and then edit the final book.
All of our online studies will be updated in 2000. Each study theme also has a study book, leader's guide, and other printed and audiovisual resources that can be ordered from the Service Center. The study books are printed in English, Spanish, and Korean.
Paul's Letters to the Corinthians
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