This October 2018, Paradise Valley United Methodist Church offers three opportunities to take a journey of faith.

Journey of Faith: An Introduction

Senior Pastor Dave Summers and his wife, Kim, offer a three-week, entry-level class called Journey of Faith: An Introduction. The class meets Monday evenings 6:30-8:30 pm in F8, the Fireside Room, October 8, 15 and 22. The class includes an introduction to the Bible and the United Methodist Church if these are new to you. They will also offer spiritual gifts assessments and provide devotional practices to help you better discern where God may be leading you. Email Pastor Dave if you would like to be added to the list of participants.


Journey Through James

Join Sam and Vicky Rankin for a Sunday morning class in the church library, G2, for an in-depth look at the Book of James. It’s a little book in the Bible, but has some scriptural wisdom that’s unique and timely for today. This six-week class begins on Sunday, October 7, 2018, and continues through Sunday, November 4, 2018. It begins at 9:30 am, so you can have your own Sunday School class while your children or youth are in their own classes. Worship at the 11 am Ignite service afterward if you have time. The class is a way to engage with other parents of tweens and teens (like the Rankins). If you need to miss a week or two or more, no worries. Come when you can.


Special 4-Week Series on Happiness and The Good Life

Also meeting on Mondays in October is a series on Happiness and “The Good Life.” The first two weeks will be held in the chapel and will feature speakers — one from the Desert Southwest Conference and one from Arizona State University. The lecture, video and discussion-based classes explore the nature and meaning of happiness, considered in light of insights of psychology, the scriptures, religious thinkers, and experience.

On Monday, October 1, come to the chapel for a session led by Rev. Beth Rambikur, Desert Southwest Conference Director of Connectional Ministries, who will look at the concept of happiness through the prism of the scriptures. Session 2 on October 8 will feature invited speaker Dr. Lani Shiota, ASU psychology professor, who will lecture and lead a discussion on happiness through the prism of psychology. Sessions 3 and 4 on October 15 and 22 will be held in Room H7, with videos and discussions facilitated by Keith Sobraske. These two sessions will focus on happiness through the lens of theology and through the lens of experience. All sessions begin at 6:30 pm.

Here is an outline of the series:

Convener: Keith Sobraske
Mondays, October 1, 8, 15 and 22, 2018
6:30 to 8 pm

A lecture, video and discussion-based class exploring the nature and meaning of Happiness, considered in light of insights of Psychology, the Scriptures, Religious Thinkers, and Experience.

SESSION 1, THROUGH THE PRISM OF SCRIPTURE: Presentation by Rev. Beth Rambikur, DSWC Director of Connectional Ministries, followed by Discussion. “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” (Matt. 10:39) A discussion of happiness and the Happiness Paradox as seen through the lessons of Biblical teachings.

SESSION 2, THROUGH THE PRISM OF PSYCHOLOGY: Presentation by Dr. Lani Shiota, ASU Psychology Professor, followed by Discussion. “The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.” (Martha Washington). “Happiness” viewed from the perspectives of current culture, ancient philosophy and the fresh insights of Evolutionary and Positive Psychology.

SESSION 3, THROUGH THE PRISM OF THEOLOGY: Videos by Miroslav Volf, Viktor Frankl, Richard Rohr, and David Steindl-Rath, and writings of Paul Tillich and John Wesley, with Discussion. “We do not think ourselves into new ways of living, we live ourselves into new ways of thinking.” (Richard Rohr). An exploration of the connections between blessings, gratitude, meaning, purpose, relationships, values and works, and their effects on Happiness, from the viewpoints of diverse theologians and philosophers.

SESSION 4, THROUGH THE PRISM OF EXPERIENCE, TED Video, “There’s more to life than being happy!” by writer Emily Esfahani Smith, Testimony and Discussion. “Things won are done; joy’s soul lies in the doing.” (Shakespeare) Articulating and assessing the “happiness” stories and allegories of our own lives, and shedding light on life strategies leading to happiness and the “Good Life.”

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