450 Chadbourne Avenue
Millbrae, California 94030
Mission u 2022 - Sparks UMC, Sparks Reno
A Transformative Biblical Curriculum for Adults, Youth and Children
We find ourselves in a period of incredible disruption and uncertainty. In the midst of a devastating pandemic, a divisive political climate and economic turmoil, we are turning to stories of Jesus that have anchored Christian communities in challenging times for over two millennia. Some of these stories of Jesus are found in the 13th chapter of the Gospel of Luke. The chapter opens and closes with a community trying to make sense of and navigate their way through times of turmoil and tragedy. However, the chapter centers on a story of Jesus teaching in a synagogue on the Sabbath when a woman suddenly appears. Jesus makes the choice to “set [her] free from [her] ailment” (Luke 13:12) which causes a great deal of commotion among the leaders and crowd gathered there. In this context, Jesus likens the kingdom to a mustard seed and yeast (Luke 13:18-21). What did those images evoke for Jesus’ first-century Jewish audience? And what possibilities might seed and yeast hold for us today?
At the end of this study our hope is that participants will leave with a bigger and broader vision of the kind of community Christ is calling us to be in times of loss, grief and massive disruption. What would be possible if we tend to the needs of our communities in small and often disruptive ways as Jesus did in Luke 13? May we do so with the faith that a multitude of small actions, like seeds, can activate a community’s healing and renewal.
● Experience spiritual practices that support us through uncertainty, loss and grief
● Develop capacity to interpret Scripture in multiple ways
● Build our biblical and theological understanding of key metaphors in the parables of the mustard seed and yeast
● Deepen our learning through intergenerational conversations and connections
● Engage in community conversations to explore which small actions to heal and restore can be activated locally and globally (in connection with the justice priorities of United Methodist Women)