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Session 1: Telling Our Stories

This video begins the series and introduces The Five Part Story that will frame our exploration of Christian faith. You can watch the embedded video here or on YouTube.

The presenter is Rev. Amy Morgan, one of the ministers at First Presbyterian Church of Birmingham, Michigan. This video was made in 2014. Amy refers to the online Bible search website bible.oremus.org.

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Session 3: We Wandered Far From God

In this video Amy talks about the second part of The Five Part Story: We Wandered Far From God.

To post comments or questions click View Post and you'll find the comment box below the video.

 

In 1994 the Presbyterian Church in Canada confessed the church's sins against the First Nations of Canada "through assimilation policies and the legacy of the Indian Residential Schools system. You can download the text of the Confession here. The English text is on pages five and six of the .pdf. Here are some quotes from the Confession. What does confessing sins to other people have to do with confessing sins to God? Are they the same?:

It is with humility and in great sorrow that we come before God and our Aboriginal brothers and sisters with our confession.

We acknowledge that the stated policy of the Government of Canada was to assimilate Aboriginal peoples to the dominant culture, and that The Presbyterian Church in Canada co-operated in this policy. We acknowledge that the roots of the harm we have done are found in... the assumption that what was not yet moulded in our image was to be discovered and exploited.

In our cultural arrogance we have been blind to the ways in which our own understanding of the Gospel has been culturally conditioned, and because of our insensitivity to Aboriginal cultures, we have demanded more of the Aboriginal people than the Gospel requires, and have thus misrepresented Jesus Christ who loves all peoples with compassionate, suffering love that all may come to God through him.

We confess that, with the encouragement and assistance of the Government of Canada, The Presbyterian Church in Canada agreed to take the children of Aboriginal peoples from their own homes and place them in residential schools... The Presbyterian Church in Canada used disciplinary practices which were foreign to Aboriginal peoples, and open to exploitation in physical and psychological punishment beyond any Christian maxim of care and discipline. In a setting of obedience and acquiescence there was opportunity for sexual abuse, and some were so abused.

We ask... for forgiveness from Aboriginal peoples. What we have heard we acknowledge. It is our hope that those whom we have wronged with a hurt too deep for telling will accept what we have to say. With God’s guidance our Church will seek opportunities to walk with Aboriginal peoples to find healing and wholeness together as God’s people.

 

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Session 4 - Jesus is the Way to God

In this video Amy talks about the third step in the Five Part Journey of Faith: Jesus is the Way to God.

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Session 5: The Spirit Leads Us to God + The Sacrament of Communion

In this video Amy talks about the fourth part of The Five Part Story: The Spirit Leads Us to God. Amy says the Holy Spirit is "hard to pin down". We can imagine what Jesus might have looked like, and we can read stories about him written by people who were close to the time he lived in. There's a lot about the Spirit of God in the Bible, too, but it's all over the book and the Spirit is described in many ways.

Watch the video, but don't be embarrassed if you can't put it all together. Bring your questions to class.

To post comments or questions click View Post and you'll find the comment box below the video.

After watching the video, go on to watch the short video about Communion that's below the words from Living Faith.

Here are some words from Living Faith, a Presbyterian Church in Canada statement of beliefs:

Chapter Four - God the Holy Spirit

4.1 The Holy Spirit is God with Us

4.1.1 The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the triune God and is One with the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit is the Lord and Giver of Life, the Renewer and Helper of God's people. By the Spirit, God is present in the world, the source of all goodness and justice. By the Spirit, God convinces the world of sin and testifies to the truth of Christ. By the Spirit, Christ is with his church.

4.2 The Holy Spirit Enables People to Believe

4.2.1  The Spirit enables people to receive the good news of Christ to repent of their sins, and to be adopted as children of God. As we hear and respond to the Gospel we freely turn to Christ. When we have turned and repented, we recognize that the Spirit enabled us to believe.

4.2.2  The Holy Spirit accompanies us on our journey of faith. We may not always be sure of this presence. Yet God's Spirit is with us, sometimes gently, sometimes powerfully, guiding us in the midst of life, our comfort and our help. Christian life is a pilgrimage: it begins. continues, and ends in God.

 

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Session Six: We Follow the Way of God's Love + Baptism

This video covers the last stage of the Five-Part Journey of Faith: We Follow the Way of God's Love. In this stage we move on to think and talk about whet it means to follow Jesus and to be part of the church, and God's mission in the world. Watch this video and the one posted below, which is about Baptism.

 

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