Summer is quickly coming to a close. The professor in me cannot wait for the start of another school year. My Greek scholars passed their final tests with flying colors earlier this summer ending their ten-month course. Starting August 16, this group of Greek scholars will begin translating each week the passages I will be preaching in my fall sermon series on I John. There will also be men’s and women’s Bible studies going on concurrently looking at the same texts in English. It’s a practice called Sermon Building By Community. In fact, Scott McClure’s son, John, a professor of Homiletics at Vanderbilt Divinity School, wrote a book on this practice titled, The Roundtable Pulpit: Where Leadership and Preaching Meet. I’ve taught classes in various seminaries (like Princeton, Austin and Pittsburgh) on how to use this approach where lay people actually help the preachers think about their sermons before they give them.
This sermon series on 1 John begins on August 20 and continues until Christmas Eve. We’ll take a look at this epistle that was written between AD 95- 110 and explore the themes of love and fellowship and how we as Christians are to identify true teachers. I’m looking forward to sharing these upcoming sermons with you and looking forward to some of you helping think through what to preach!
August 20 will also be the start of our fall Christian Education term at IPC. We’ll welcome our first students into the new Level III Catechesis of the Good Shepherd atrium where they’ll continue exploring their relationship with God through this Montessori-based program. We’ll also host a movable feast that will fill your body and soul. You’ll have a chance to explore all of the adult class offerings by stopping by each room for food and information from 10- 10:50 am. We hope this will help get you excited and interested in our classes this fall!
There is truly so much to look forward to as we enter a new season of learning together. In addition to new classes, the Highland Hall renovation will soon be complete. Sunday evening worship at 5 pm will return to a newly renovated space. UKirk Birmingham will also make its home there, and other classes and programs will start meeting in what will look like a new building on IPC’s beautiful campus. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for fall to arrive at IPC!