Growing in Faith is a ministry within the ELCA committed to fostering learning environments for followers of Jesus to grow in faith. We believe that lay members of our parishes are integral to healthy discipleship in our churches and communities. Thus, we gather followers across congregations to grow in faith together. Growing in Faith is a series of classes that you can take all in one year or over the course of many years. This Fall, the classes are being offered online through other synods. We will begin offering these courses through our pastors and in person in the Spring. Each course runs for 5 weeks and costs $65/course (this is the suggested course fee plus a small amount for celebrations at the end of the year). The dates and times of these courses will be announced as they become available. Click[here] for a printable flyer.
This year (2023-2024) we are offering the following courses via Zoom:
Worship Matters Thursdays from 6-9pm – Sept. 21 Oct. 19 Why do we worship Sunday after Sunday? Is worship intended for an ‘in group’ to comfort and console? Is worship intended to equip for mission and service? Is worship for God or for us? As we explore these questions, we will discover tensions in worship: a God focus or a communal focus, a head focus or a heart focus, a structured worship or a free worship, a universal church focus or a focus on the local assembly and its needs.
Christianity in a Lutheran Key Thursdays from 6-9pm – Nov. 2 - Dec. 7 (NEW) Tuesdays from 7-10pm - Sept. 12 - Oct. 10 While all Christians share a common set of theological beliefs, Lutherans look at things through a filter of grace. In this course we will discover more about our Lutheran roots. We will also look forward to challenges that face us in the future.
Introduction to the Old Testament Thursdays from 6-9pm – Dec. 14 - Jan. 25 (NEW) Tuesdays from 7-10pm - Oct. 17 - Nov. 21 The aims of this course are to give the students an overview of the structure and theology of the Hebrew Scriptures and present the varieties of forms used to communicate the truth of God’s Word contained in them. Special attention will be given to covenant theology and to relating Old Testament theology and history to our understanding of the New Testament.
Introduction to the New Testament – TBD The goals of this course are to understand the gospel message as revealed in the New Testament (NT), to explore the life and faith of the Christian church in the first century, to understand how the Bible came down to us in its present form, and to understand and use a variety of tools for interpreting the Bible. Throughout the course students will reflect on how the New Testament Gospel has shaped our Christian lives.
Lutheran Creeds and Confessions – TBD This course provides an analysis of the historical context and theological content of the Book of Concord (the Lutheran Confessions) with an eye to establishing the importance of its witness for Christian mission and ministry.
Living as a Christian in the World – TBD Students will discuss and explore their role as a member of a Christian community and the community at large. This course allows students to explore their place in a community that is not necessarily predominately Christian. Begin discernment on future service and ministries in their congregations and communities.