We invite you to join us At the Intersection of Faith and Life,
a bi-monthly series of presentations/conversations, creating a grace space for exploring topics important to people today, including some challenging topics that the church sometimes avoids. We will consider what our faith has to say about these topics, to provide individuals with useful tools and resources, and to consider possible applications for our life and ministry together.
On November 12th (6:30 – 8:00 pm), Nate Cox, the principal of Lily Lake Elementary School, will be with us to share about what’s happening at our neighborhood elementary school. Nate will share about the current demographics, challenges and opportunities of elementary education at Lily Lake. We pray that this conversation will strengthen our ability to meaningfully care for the children and families of our community through our church-school partnership with Lily Lake.
Mr. Cox spent the first seven years of his career as a classroom teacher with students in grades 3 through 6, then served as an administrator for 10 years in Willmar, MN. Serving as principal of both Lily Lake and Oak Park Heights Elementary Schools in the Stillwater district, he is now the full-time Principal at Lily Lake Elementary School. Mr. Cox and his family live in Stillwater.
Later in the year we hope to have a session on Bullying.
More about At the Intersection of Faith and Life:
Our first session, Mental Illness and Mental Health, was held on February 19th and was led by Abigail Ozanne, M.Div. In this first conversation we learned about mental illness and how it affects lives. There was time for small-group Bible study and discussion of the statements of our United Methodist Church on mental illness and suicide. Large group discussion explored what this means for us as a community of Christians. All left with helpful resources, hopeful scriptures, and ideas for how to support individuals struggling with mental illness and the communities that surround them.
The second session, Hopeful Earthkeepers, was held on April 23rd and was led by Kathy Velasquez Eberhart. She was recently commissioned as an Earthkeeper through a new program of the General Board of Global Ministries that aims to train, commission and support United Methodists who feel called to work for environmental justice and creation care. Kathy shared good information and resources, and led us in some good conversation regarding faithful care of God’s creation.
Our third session, “I Have a Loved One Who Is Gay . . . ” was held on June 25th and leadership was shared by several church members who shared from their own experience. As we all know, the issue of homosexuality is a complex and at times controversial issue, but at the same time the reality is that many of us have family and friends who are LGBTQ. What has that been like for us? How have we struggled with that? And what people, scriptures, experiences, ideas, and other resources have been helpful in supporting our relationship with our loved ones? These were the kind of questions we explored in light of our belief that “all individuals are persons of sacred worth, created in the image of God.” (UMC Book of Discipline)
We are grateful to the Alliance for planting the seeds of this series, and to Abigail Ozanne for working with us to develop the series and for creating the logo. We hope that these conversations will help us to live more faithfully in what is a good and gracious and at times very complex and challenging world.
We have begun generating a list of possible topics that we might explore: Mental Illness, the Environment, LGBTQ concerns, Bullying, Faith and Science, the Challenges of Technology, Immigration, Health Care, Materialism, Alcohol/Substance Abuse, Poverty and Homelessness,. We welcome other suggestions from you.