Good Book Club - Sample
In 2018 Forma, in partnership with Forward Movement's Good Book Club, is thrilled to offer a weekly Faith-at-Home for families of all types. Please review the sample offering and check back before Lent of 2018 to see our whole offering:
We are especially thankful to Mrs. Jerusalem Jackson Greer for her leadership of this project:
The Good Book Club Deep Dive: Reflections and Activities for Families of all Sizes
Brought to you by Forma
Episcopalians around the world are reading the Gospel according to Luke during Lent and the Book of Acts during Eastertide in 2018 in a project called The Good Book Club.
Below are four separate reflections and prompts to help you and your family (however that is defined for you!) to go deeper as you dive into scriptures from this week's Good Book Club reading schedule. Each of the four reflections was written with a specific pairing in mind - Adult to Small Child, Adult to Elementary Age Child, Adult to Teen and Young Adult, and Adult to Adult, - in order that families of all make-ups and sizes can dive deeper into the scriptures together. Each week will feature one unifying question that reaches across all four reflections. Our hope is that through these deep dive experiences you and yours will find a greater connection to the Good Book Club project and the books of Luke and Acts, discovering sacred connections between the scriptures and your homelife as you travel through Lent and Eastertide.
Peace and Grace
- Jerusalem Jackson Greer, Project Evangelist
Places and times to use these Deep Dives:
At the dinner table
In the car on the way to school or work
During bedtime devotions or prayer
At a coffee shop with a friend
In a Sunday School class or other small group
During a picnic
Things to have handy:
A Bible or access to Biblegateway.com
Week 1 - Ash Wednesday through Lent 1
Question to ponder: “God calls all of us to live lives of meaning and purpose.” What does this statement mean to you? How does it challenge you?
Adult to Small Child
Read: Scripture Focus: Luke 3:21-22
Reflect: God called Jesus at the beginning of his ministry with simple words of affirmation and blessing. In the same way, we can begin our journey with our children with a reminder that we too are beloved. We too are called and blessed by God. As we begin our journey together, may we never lose sight of the blessing it is to be God’s own child.
Respond: Remember your child’s baptism. Dip your finger in a small amount of water and make the sign of the cross on the palm your child’s hand. As you do, say these words: [Name], you are beloved by God and by me. May you know the love of God all of your days. In the name of the triune God I pray, Amen. If your child is old enough to dip his or her fingers in the water and make the sign of the cross on your hand, give that a try, too!
- Rev. Traci Smith
Adult to Elementary Child
Read: Luke 1:46-55
Reflect: Mary’s song might be my favorite passage in the entire Bible. In it she describes what the world will be like when the kingdom of God is fully here, when the Messiah, God’s chosen one, turns the world upside-down: “He has pulled the powerful down from their thrones and lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty-handed.” Mary reminds us that what God is doing in Jesus changes everything. Some people have called it a freedom song, a song of revolution, and I love to imagine it being sung by this young woman who had never been to school, who was poor and unmarried and about to have a baby. A girl who could say yes to becoming the mother of God’s child couldn’t have been meek and mild; Mary was strong, brave and bold. Her song is called the Magnificat in Latin; it begins, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
Respond: Take a magnifying glass outside. Take a close look at a leaf, some grains of sand, a drop of water. When they are magnified, the simplest, most ordinary things become wondrous. It’s surprising, not at all what you expected! That’s when you know God is at work.
- Wendy Barrie
Adult to Teen and Young Adult
Read: Luke 1:46-55
Reflect: In Luke 1:46-55, Mary sings a song known as the Magnificat. It’s a song of praise and thanksgiving, and Mary is celebrated as a faithful servant of God for her willingness to answer God’s call. But there’s no way Mary was singing praises as soon as Gabriel shared the news with her (there’s a reason the angel started with “Do not be afraid …”).
Respond: Write a script together of how the conversation between Mary and Gabriel might really have gone from Gabriel’s announcement to Mary’s Magnificat.
Then, talk about a time you got news that really changed your life. How did you respond? What brought you from an initially dramatic response to acceptance, and even excitement, over the changes that were coming? How might your Magnificat read once you realized God was moving in your life?
- Rev. Melissa Cooper
Adult to Adult
Read: Luke 1
The Book of Luke opens with the intertwined stories of two related couples: Zechariah and Elizabeth, and Mary and Joseph. Zechariah did not believe the angel Gabriel when he prophesied that he and Elizabeth would have a son. As a result of Zechariah’s doubt, the Lord struck him mute. Mary worried over the fact that she was an unmarried virgin when the angel Gabriel prophesied that she and Joseph would also have a son. The Lord extended favor to her, and Gabriel explained how it was possible. When the Lord sends angels to reveal a promise, let us not be struck mute. Instead, praise the One in whom we have found favor.
“O, favored one, the Lord is with you” (ESV, Luke 1:21).
Despite their doubts, God’s will was carried out on both accounts. When in doubt, let our praise be greater than our fear.
Respond: This week find time to swap stories with your partner or a friend about a fear you are currently struggling with. How can you encourage each other to be people of praise in the face of this fear?
- Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros
About our of Contributors
Traci Smith is pastor of Northwood Presbyterian Church in San Antonio, TX and the author of Faithful Families: Creating Sacred Moments at Home. She is mama to four littles and lives with them and her husband, Elias Cabarcas, in their bilingual/bicultural home in San Antonio, TX.You can connect with her at www.traci-smith.com.
Wendy Claire Barrie is a Christian educator who has served seven Episcopal parishes on both coasts since 1989. She is the author of Faith at Home: A Handbook for Cautiously Christian Parents (Church Publishing 2016). She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband Phil Fox Rose, her son Peter, and works and worships at Trinity Church Wall Street in Lower Manhattan.
Rev. Melissa Cooper is an ordained Deacon in the United Methodist Church. She is an Associate with Vibrant Faith, providing ministry coaching services in the area of intergenerational ministry, cross-generational communication and camp & retreat ministry. Melissa also writes curriculum for children and youth. Melissa lives in central Florida with her husband Will, and they are the parents to the cutest poodle you’ll ever meet. You can find her online at: http://www.revmelissacooper.com
Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros is a poet, writer, and blogger at CisnerosCafe.org. Her work explores the intersection of Latinidad and faith and can be found in The Acentos Review, Rock & Sling: a journal of witness, among others. She is an advocate of marginalized voices in publishing and is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild, Christian Women Communicators of Color, Red Couch, and other writing groups.
Jerusalem Jackson Greer is a writer, minister, speaker and farm-gal novice. She lives with her husband and two teenage sons in rural Arkansas and is the author of At Home in this Life: Finding Peace at the Crossroads of Unraveled Dreams and Beautiful Surprises, and A Homemade Year: The Blessings of Cooking, Crafting and Coming Together. As a family they are attempting to live a slower version of the modern life. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't She writes about all of this and more at jerusalemgreer.com