In the 12th chapter of the Gospel of Mark, Jesus is confronted by a scribe who asks, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus’ response is two-fold, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” [Mark 12: 29-31, NRSV]. Jesus’ response seems pretty straightforward: love God, love neighbor. Yet, there are those additional elements about loving God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.
One might ask “I can understand loving God with all my heart and soul, or even with all my strength, but what does it really mean to love God with all my mind?” This is a good question and one that has been central to the Reformed tradition we Presbyterians situate ourselves in. Loving God will all our mind means seriously taking serious the study of Scripture, theology, history, and tradition as it in turn deeply impacts our faith formation and life in Christ.
This Sunday, PCPC is launching Faith Seeking Understanding; a series that will help us better love God with our entire mind. Four introductory courses on Bible, Theology, Church History, and Worship and Sacraments will be offered through the series. These courses will equip participants with a thorough background, understanding, and basic skills in these areas. The introductory classes will also provide the foundation for a broader and deeper engagement and participation in Christian learning and practice.
Each class is 2 hours and the entire course topic will be discussed over two Sundays, Part I and II. This Sunday (September 25th) we’ll begin our Introduction to the Bible course, which will meet from 4pm to 6pm in the Fellowship Hall. The following Sunday (October 2nd) will be the second part of Introduction to the Bible course (Part II), at the same time from 4pm-6pm in Fellowship Hall.
Introduction to Theology will meet on November 6th and 13th. And the Introduction to Church History and Introduction to Worship and Sacraments courses will be coming Winter/Spring 2017.