As I write this column, I am wrapping up my Sabbatical/Study leave which you - my church family - have so graciously made possible. THANK YOU so much for this "time away" for a period of rest, renewal, and reflection. Deb and I have spent extended time with our family, especially our two grandsons Baxter and Oliver (whose mom, our daughter Katy, has been ill but who is now much better). The days that we spent at the beach on Hilton Head Island (a week with Katy, Iain, Baxter and Oliver; a week by ourselves) were especially enjoyable.
While on sabbatical, I have been "working my way" through two intriguing, insightful, and very helpful books by Dr. Harvey Cox, the well-known professor (with Baptist roots) at Harvard Divinity School. These books, which have been beneficial to me (and to Deb who has been reading them also) are: "How to Read the Bible" and "The Future of Faith." I plan to use both of these works (especially "How to Read the Bible") for a Wednesday night Bible study this fall.
I will be back in the CBC pulpit this Sunday and will be starting a sermon series on the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12). The series is entitled: " (Be)Attitudes for Being Blessed." This Sunday's message is "Poor in Spirit: Humbly Depending on God." Other sermons in this series will be:
"Good Mourning: Receiving God's Comfort"
"Meek as a _____ ?: Being God-Controlled"
"Bon Appetite: Being Hungry (and Thirsty) for God"
"Lord, Have Mercy! : Receiving and Giving Forgiveness"
"Cardiac Health: Loving God with all Your Heart"
"Peacemakers: Following the Prince of Peace"
"Hassled and Hounded: Championing Justice; Suffering for Christ's Sake"
I have missed my church family and look forward to seeing you this Sunday. Again, many thanks for the sabbatical.