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JUNE 2017 NEWSLETTER

BIBLE CLASSES

The Sunday Bible class has been looking at the four centuries between the end of the Old Testament and the birth of Christ. We began by following a survey of the history of the era, focusing on the Maccabean Revolt that gave freedom to the Jews again and on the rise of Herod. We looked at various movements that arose: the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes. We explored the diaspora and the rise of the synagogue. In the next few weeks we will then look briefly at some books that were written at this time (such as 1 & 2 Maccabees and Wisdom of Solomon), but were not accepted as part of the canonical Scriptures, at least not by all Christians. Our interest in these books is primarily in how they help us understand the New Testament better.

The Thursday Bible class is studying Esther. We will probably complete it sometime in mid-summer, and that will bring our survey of the historical books of the Old Testament to completion. Next month’s newsletter will say what we will do thereafter.

BUILDING IMPROVEMENTS

In four years we will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the church. We would love to have our building spiffed up a bit before then. The church council has approved several projects that will be implemented in the next four years.

The most important goal is to get the exterior wood painted. We will start by painting the rose window and all the windows on the north façade of the church, including the windows on the two towers. We hope to begin work in June. Then we will try to complete the painting of the two other rose windows in the fall. A second but equally important goal is to get the east tower reroofed and then the east side. (The west and south sides were done in 2012.) Most likely it will be 2019 or so before that work will be completed. But the reroofing and the painting will make sure that we continue to keep the rain and snow outside of the building, which is the highest priority of building maintenance.

There are some other smaller projects that we will be working on, mainly inside the building–altogether around twenty projects that we will be working on between now and our hundred and fiftieth anniversary in 2021. We will try to keep you informed of them as we begin each new project.

THEOLOGY TODAY DISCUSSION GROUP

The Theology Today study group that was to have met after church on Sunday, May 28, will meet instead at the same time on Sunday, June 25. The topic remains pages 251-295 (chapters 16 and 17) of The Church from Age to Age. Those chapters give details about Christianity in the Middle Ages. Chapter 16 looks at the conversion of Europe, especially the northern half, which took up until approximately 1000 AD. Chapter 17 explains life in the church during the feudal era, roughly 900 to 1200 AD.