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Preaching Series 2013

Motivation / idea
Occasionally, when we bring visitors into the church they are impressed by its beauty and charm; and often it is the glass windows they would comment about. We see these windows every Sunday, but have we ever looked at them very carefully and closely? And even if we appreciate them as pieces of art in their beauty, do we also perceive their very special message? Plaques with biblical texts are there to help us in this exercise – have we ever read them? Last year a “Birthday calendar” was printed which did not only direct our focus on those windows but also created a certain structure that linked each window with one particular month. This has inspired me to say: why can’t we start a preaching series, where a sermon / picture meditation is devoted to each of those windows in turn and the associated texts? That would make 12 sermons, one in January on the “Adam and Eve” topic, in February on “Kain and Abel” etc. In fact, I then thought one could go even one step further: not just present a series of isolated sermons throughout the year (I propose on each second Sunday of a month) but rather a theme that could govern a whole month; that could be further expanded in bible studies (e.g. in fortnightly meetings, where the focus could alternate between “theological background” and “life application”. And as we go along, further elements could be found to enrich our discourse around the various topics (artistic expressions, invited talks e.g. on E. Holm, the artist, related projects, videoblog, etc). It would mean: slowly, over the period of this year 2013 making the church “our church” in the sense that we gain an understanding that “this is not just a building” (in which we happen to meet) but rater: it also has a meaning and a message for us. (not to mention that it might give a boost to calendar sales – a welcome side effect!)

The overall thematic outline could look like this:

Date Ref Jan Gen 3 Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Gen 4 Luke 22:45-46 Luke 22:60-61 Rev. 18:10 Acts 1:6-11 Luke 5:4-6,8,10 Matth. 25:1 + 10 Luke 12:35-36 Luke 10:27-36

Theme work: blessing and curse? violence: resistance and /or submission temptation: succumb or overcome? steadfastness: Confess or deny? future: doom and destruction? power: between heaven and earth. depth: fear and courage banquet (celebration): ready or not? journey: from self to others

11:28 table: unity and diversity. faith: seeing and / or believing? rest: refreshing or restraining? (consider the “themes” as a draft which could be refined along the way) .Oct Nov Dec Luke 22:19-20 John 20:29 Matth.

22 May 19 Jun 24 Jul 21 Aug 18 Sep 16 Oct 20 Nov 18 Dec Procedure • • • Announce in church Publish a one-page summary of “motivation” and “outline” (above) in Jan Newsletter For each month: print a little card with the theme for the month / biblical reference. details could change): Bible Study I: theological background Sermon 13 Jan (theme as above) 6 Feb: introducing the book of Genesis 6 Mar: etc 10 Apr… 8 May 5 Jun 10 Jul 7 Aug 4 Sep 2 Oct 6 Nov 4 Dec 10 Feb:… 10 Mar 14 Apr 12 May 9 Jun 14 Jul 11 Aug 8 Sep 13 Oct 10 Nov 7 Dec Bible Study II: life application 23 Jan: feedback. personal testimony etc 20 Mar: etc 24 Apr.Coupling this to dates as indicated above would then lead to the following plan (again. but for a completely unrelated series of bible studies? ... a draft. the various events (and possibly the current window on the back?) and distribute to the people in the service. Open questions Do the same thing for the German service in the Old Age Home simultaneously? Would other preaches be willing to pick up this idea and do one of the topical sermons? Or should they all be presented by me (LA)? The Wednesdays between the fortnightly (well. personal testimony etc 20 Feb: feedback. roughly) bible-studies: should they remain unoccupied? Also be filled with related themes? Or be used.