St. Jerome's Episcopal Church
Bible Study
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Thursday Great Books Study at 10:30 AM
                       
  Dear Folks:

We continue reading (and discussing) a book entitled 
Moral Leadership  for a Divided Age Fourteen People Who Dared to Change Our World
 by David P. Gushee and Colin Holtz.  
The authors state: "The point of this book is not to insist on a single authoritative list of moral leaders. Our hope, instead, is that this book deepens your understanding of moral  leadership and strengthens your ability to discern it."

This week, as we move into a study of the life, principles, ministry, and impact of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), I would like to focus on a principle that seems to be a constant in our study. That principal is that moral leaders give hope to people who do not have faith that their lives can ever really be different. They EXIST without hope. They do not LIVE believing their lives can ever really be different. The "moral" leaders we are studying are not perfect, but they have a vision and the strength to inspire others to have hope.
For me, this is most succinctly expressed by Ida B. Wells-Barnett, the famous journalist and activist. She traveled to Arkansas and snuck into the jail where the men were held. For two hours, she recorded their testimony. Then she challenged them with these words, " If you believe your God is all powerful, believe he is powerful enough to open these prison doors, and say so...Pray to live and believe you are going to get out." 

One of Bonhoeffer's messages of hope was: "Re sist cheap grace and enter the life of active discipleship. Faith can no longer mean sitting still and waiting; the Christian must rise and follow Christ."

God knows that we all struggle with finding and holding onto hope. When you are facing tests of faith, even the strongest Christians can find it a challenge to find hope. Bonhoeffer found his faith
and great strength in the message of Jesus known as the Sermon on the Mount.
The last words of the brilliant and courageous 39-year-old opponent of Nazism were, "This is the end-for-me, the beginning of life."

Discussion Questions:
  1. Why did Bonhoeffer stand fast in resistance when others did not?
  2. What obstacles existed for German Protestantism resisting Hitler and Nazism? What forces for resistance were also there?
  3. Do you see a contradiction between Bonhoeffer's pacifism and his role in the conspiracy?
  4. What do you make of the way Bonhoeffer is everyone's hero now, even when the various groups so strongly disagree with one another?
  5. What do you think of Bonhoeffer's ideas on discipleship, grace, responsibility, and freedom? How did he live out his concepts?

  Since I post this study on Face Book as well as the St Jerome's website, https://www.saintjeromeschama.com/, I invite comments and questions from any of you who are not able to be physically with us, but find this study meaningful and would like to be a part of it. Please feel free to contact me at cpkellyl@aol.com
Bless you all,
Fr Kelly


Fr. Colin Kelly
St. Jerome's Episcopal Church 
331 N. Pine, State Road 29
Chama, NM 87520
cpkellyl@aol.com

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