Bible Studies

In each of our denominations, the Bible is a touchstone and foundation for how we understand God and the workings of God in our world. We are committed to becoming more intimately connected to the Good Book: understanding both the context in which it was written as well as its meaning for our lives and our journey today. As Pastor John Robinson declared upon leaving for the New World nearly 400 years ago, we understand that “there is yet more light and truth to break forth from God’s Word.” Each time we approach the text, we not only bring new understandings to what we encounter, but we leave with new eyes to see this world and our sisters and brothers.  All of our Bible Studies welcome both veterans of biblical study and those cracking the binding for the first time.

Adult Drop-In Bible Study

During the School year, on Sunday mornings, in the Deepening Room from 10:00 - 10:45 am, join us as we gather to focus on the text that will be used in the worship service that day. No commitments, no contracts, no long term agreements, no switching fee, no hook-up fee.  Drop-in whenever you want.  Get a sneak peek on the scripture of the day and the sermon topic.  It is free, fun and at your convenience.  What can be better than this?  Bibles provided.  Learning optional.  No charge for sharing or using what you do learn.  All are welcome! Contact biblestudy@upbrookline.org.

 

Latest Bible Study News

Please provide feedback on United Parish Summer programming ideas!
Posted: Jun 8 2021 - 10:50am

Dear United Parish Friends,

Adult Deepening is interested in your feedback on summer programming ideas for this July and August. Adult Bible Study takes a break in the summer, but we have some other programming in the works that may interest you. We would appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to answer a short survey about Sacred Strolls and Prayer Hikes, Summer Book Groups, and opportunities for Meditation, Prayer and Spiritual Practices.

SACRED STROLLS & HIKES were launched last summer, with a focus on being together COVID-safely. Strolls are more leisurely, on even ground in interesting natural or cultural places. The hikes are on trails in public woodlands around greater Boston, and require more physical effort and agility. Both involve some outdoor worship.

Are you interested in Summer Sacred Strolls and Hikes, and do you have any suggestions for locations to walk or hike?

[  ] Hikes Yes       [  ] Strolls Yes          [  ]  No        [  ] Maybe

Suggested Locales: _____________________________________________

 

SUMMER BOOK GROUPS were regularly a part of summer adult programming before the pandemic, usually with one book for July and another for August. One book typically focused on modern Christian writers addressing the Bible or their faith journeys; the second focused on social change and justice issues. This year, we plan to offer both online and in person opportunities to discuss each book. We will schedule once we get a sense of who's interested.  

For July, Deb Hall and Mark Jones will engage us in discussion of Inspired – Slaying Giants, Walking on Water and Loving the Bible Again by Rachel Held Evans. Inspired invites readers on a journey of rediscovery of the Bible in new ways that honor the past and enlighten the present. Drawing upon recent scholarship and literary analysis, Evans creatively retells our favorite Bible stories, explaining their contexts and possible interpretations, and then connects these ancient stories to our present-day ones. See more information on Inspired at the end of this page. 

For August, there are several excellent books under consideration that address racial justice, with varying focus on the Church, the Bible and broader social & political context. We need your input so we can select a book that you would like to read and discuss in August. Some of these books are longer, and would benefit from several sessions, so we could start in August and extend into September. Summaries are at the end of this page. 

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents

by Isabel Wilkerson

Reading While Black: African American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope

by Esau McCaulley

The Church Cracked Open: Disruption, Decline, and New Hope for Beloved Community

by Stephanie Spellers

Are you interested in Summer Book Groups?

 [  ] Yes July   [   ] Yes August    [  ]  No    [  ] Maybe

What books on the list interest you most for August?

_______________________________________

Are there other books you recommend instead?

___________________________________________

I prefer:   [  ] online programming   [  ] in person programming consistent with United Parish guidelines.     [  ] Both work for me.

 

MEDITATION, PRAYER, SPIRITUAL PRACTICES – Adam Sutton’s Thursday 8 AM meditation group has had a solid following this year, and may continue part of the summer, but we’re also open to finding out what you need this summer from your United Parish family, and if you can offer to help organize or lead a group in prayer or other spiritual practices.

What I need  _______________________________________________________________

What I can offer _______________________________________________________________

 I prefer:   [  ] online programming   [  ] in person programming consistent with United Parish guidelines.     [  ] Both work for me.

 

Thank you so much for your ideas and preferences,

United Parish Adult Deepening Team – Debra Hall, Mark Jones, Adam Sutton

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SURVEY. Please return to adultdeepening@upbrookline.org.

Adult Deepening Opportunities for Lent
Posted: Feb 4 2021 - 5:32pm

The season of Lent is an ideal time to find new and creative ways to grow in faith and one’s relationship with God and others. This Lent, we are delving into what it means to cultivate “the fruits of the Spirit,” (inspired by Galatians 5:22-23). Each week we will choose one of these Christian spiritual virtues and explore what it means to practice humility, gentleness, gratitude, generosity and service, patience, self-control. In Holy Week, we will look at love (Maundy Thursday), compassion (Good Friday) and joy (Easter).

This year, we hope you will make time to join these Lenten Adult Deepening activities:

Small Group Study: During Lent, United Parish worship services will be exploring Christian virtues such as humility, love, patience, joy, gratitude, self-control - the “Fruits of the Spirit” discussed in Galatians 5:22-23.  Weekly Small Groups will explore how we can cultivate the Fruits of the Spirit in ourselves and as a church community.

Monday evenings, 7:30pm on Zoom, Contact: Deb Hall (adultdeepening@upbrookline.org)

Sunday afternoon, 20/30s Group at their regular time on Zoom 12:45-2:15pm. Contact: Katharine Henry (seminarian@upbrookline.org)

Sunday morning: our regular Drop-In Bible Study, 10-10:45am on Zoom. No prep necessary. Contact: Deb W. (biblestudy@upbrookline.org)

Lenten Study Archives

February 21: Humility

Post-Worship Questions for Consideration: Humility

Lenten Study Curriculum Packet: Week #1

February 28: Gentleness

Post-Worship Questions for Consideration: Gentleness

Lenten Study Curriculum Packet: Week #2

March 7: Gratitude

Post-Worship Questions for Consideration: Gratitude

Lenten Study Curriculum Packet: Week #3

March 14: Generosity and Service

Post-Worship Questions for Consideration: Generosity

Lenten Study Curriculum Packet: Week #4

March 21: Patience

Post-Worship Questions for Considertaion: Patience

Lenten Study Curriculum Packet: Week #5

March 28: Self-Control

Post-Worship Questions for Consideration: Self-Control

Lenten Study Curriculum Packet: Week #6

Mini-Prayer Retreat: "Leaning into Lent: Deepening Your Personal Prayer Practice": A virtual mini-prayer retreat for the United Parish community. Sunday, February 21 from 4-6pm on Zoom. Please join us for a Lenten mini-prayer retreat, “Leaning into Lent; Deepening your personal prayer practice” via Zoom on Sunday, February 21 from 4-6pm. We will look at our own personal relationship to prayer, applying a spacious and inclusive definition of prayer in all of its beautiful and sacred manifestations. We will explore together how we might deepen our own personal prayer and contemplative practices during Lent, moving towards a more hope-full and inspired Easter. Lightly facilitated by Adam Sutton, United Parish member and ordained interfaith minister and coach. Gathering will be limited to no more than 15 participants, to allow for more intimate sharing and community-building.

Prayer Partners for Lent: One of the best ways to help us strengthen spiritually as a community and to ward off some loneliness during this continued pandemic is to have a prayer/conversation buddy. We strongly encourage you to try this. Please contact adultdeepening@upbrookline.org if you would like a Prayer Partner for Lent. We’ll pair you up with someone, or you can choose someone you know. Make a covenant with your Prayer Partner to connect at least 15 minutes each week of Lent by phone or in person. The Adult Deepening team will also provide Prayer Partners with a brief guide for ways you might get to know each other, and ways to try praying together or individually on behalf of the other.

Tuesday Lenten Dinner Church: 7pm-7:45pm on Zoom — February 23-March 23
During Lent, we invite you to join us on Tuesday evenings from February 23 through March 23 at 7pm for Lenten midweek worship on Zoom. Prepare your own meal at home and sit down with us for a worship service of prayer, contemplation and song. Dinner church is a postmodern return to an ancient worship model, just like what the early Christians did in their own homes. (This will replace the regular Tuesday Evening Prayers.) For more information, contact Seminarian Katharine Henry at seminarian@upbrookline.org or Associate Pastor Amy Norton at amy@upbrookline.org.

Morning Midweek Meditation - Thursdays from 8-8:30am via Zoom

If you are looking for a calming, caring congregational connection in the middle of your chaotic week, join Adam Sutton on Thursday mornings on Zoom. We will hold space for some simple prayer sharing and will offer a relaxing and centering guided meditation that will leave you relaxed and renewed, ready to move into the rest of your week. Sign up by contacting Adam Sutton at adultdeepening@upbrookline.org or find the Zoom information in the weekly newsletter.

 

Lenten Dinner Church

Music and worship over a sacred meal on Zoom

Tuesdays, February 23-March 23

7pm on Zoom

 

Palm Sunday

Sunday, March 28

11am Worship on YouTube

 

Maundy Thursday

Thursday, April 1

6:45pm Guided Foot and Hand Washing Ritual on Zoom

7pm Worship and Communion on Zoom

 

Good Friday

Friday, April 2

7pm Tenebrae Worship on YouTube

 

Easter

Sunday, April 4

11am Festival Worship on YouTube

1-3pm Easter Flowers Available for Pick-Up on the Front Lawn

 

 

Adult Drop-In Bible Study
Posted: Sep 10 2020 - 11:48am

Sunday mornings on Zoom at 10am. Get a sneak peek at the scripture for the day in a small group discussion. No prep needed, no commitment; true drop-in (come when you can – no guilt when you can’t). Meet friends, make community, get a heads-up on the sermon. Newcomers welcome. Hope to see you soon! Check your email for the Zoom details or contact Deb W. at biblestudy@upbrookline.org.