Monday, October 17, 2016

Spirituality Study Group notes

Though I'm not reading the 8:45am Sunday Spirituality Study Group's current book, I appreciate to occasionally drop in to check out the valuable exchange.  (YOU'RE WELCOME TO ALSO DROP IN.)  We're now discussing a book entitled Grateful Living (see URL at ).  More than 60 of the most enlightened and beloved articles by the late Rev. Dr. Dale Turner, Seattle Times columnist and Congregational minister.  Essays on love, gratitude, tolerance, acceptance, and more.

My two favorite quotes about coping-->
"God doesn't require us to succeed; he only requires that you try."  (Mother Teresa, recently anointed a saint by Pope Francis)
"Grief is our deepest most difficult emotion.  Integrate loss into your life."  (Sharon Wilbourn, Broadview UCC member)

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Adult Spirituality Group notes

For our first Sunday morning gathering to open and discover our new book, some of the five participants had read the Introduction and Chapter 1, entitled "From Atheism to Belief".  We thought through concepts of atheistic, agnostic, and belief/faith in a higher power/God.   (Please check out a related online article book review of "Agnostic: A Spirited Manifesto".)

The author synopsized his entry into faith:
"I had started this journey of intellectual exploration to confirm my atheism.  That now lay in ruins as the argument from the Moral Law "the law of right behavior" (and many other issues) forced me to admit the plausibility of the God hypothesis.  Agnosticism, which had seemed like a safe second-place haven, now loomed like the great cop-out it often is.  Faith now seemed more rational than disbelief."  
"It also became clear to me that science, despite its unquestioned powers in unraveling the mysteries of the natural world, would get me no further in resolving the question of God.  If God exists, than He must be outside the natural world, and therefore the tools of science are not the right ones to learn about Him.  Instead, as I was beginning to understand from looking into my own heart, the evidence of God's existence would have to come from other directions, and the ultimate decision would be based on faith, not proof.  Still beset by rolling uncertainties of what path I had started down, I had to admit that I had reached the threshold of accepting the possibility of a spiritual worldview, including the existence of God."
For next week:  Please read Chapter 2 (pp. 33-54) to discuss.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Adult Spirituality Group notes

It's a perfect time to join us next week!  We'll begin discussion of our new book, entitled The Language of God - A Scientist Presents Evidence For Belief (URL), by Francis S. Collins.

On the book is written the following:
     "Collins's argument that science and faith are compatible deserves a wide hearing.  It lets non-church goers consider spiritual questions without feeling awkward."  - The New York Times Book Review
     "The Language of God is a powerful confession of belief from one of the world's leading scientists.  Refuting the tired stereotypes of hostility between science and religion, Francis Collins challenges his readers to find a unity of knowledge that encompasses both faith and reason."  --Kenneth Miller, Brwon University, author of Finding Darwin's God
     "What an elegantly written book.  In it Francis Collins, the eminent scientist, tells why he is also a devout believer....A real godsend for those with questioning minds but who are also attracted to things spiritual."  --Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Dr. Francis Collins, head of the Human Genome Project, is one of the world's leading scientists.  He works at the cutting edge of the study of DNA, the code of life.  Yet he is also a man of unshakable faith in God and scripture.
Dr. Collins believes that faith in God and faith in science can coexist within a person and be harmonious.  In The Language of God, he makes his case for God and for science.  He has heard every argument against faith from scientists, and he can refute them.  He has also heard the needless rejection of scientific truths by some people of faith, and he can counter that, too.  He explains his own journey from atheism to faith, and then takes readers for a stunning tour of modern science to show that physics, chemistry, and biology can all fit together with belief in God and the Bible.  The Language of God is essential reading for anyone who wonders about the deepest questions of faith:  Why are we here?  How did we get here?  What does life mean?