Small Group Studies

In leading our small group studies, I have often struggled with the topics to address or finding the resources to provide the background to the discussions. Below are the lessons that we have discussed since our beginning on January 10, 2013. My prayer is that this page can be a resource for other small group leaders.

2013:

Epiphany/Lent – Psalms (see outline below)
Reflections on the Psalms – C.S. Lewis
Psalms, The Prayer Book of the Bible – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Praying the Psalms with the Early Christians –Mike Aquilina

Easter – Resurrection Appearances –
Resurrection of the Son of God – N.T. Wright

Summer – Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon
Paul for Everyone, the Prison Letters – N.T. Wright

Fall (1) – Abraham (Midrash, Dead Sea Scrolls, Hadith)

Fall (2) – OrthodoxyC. K. Chesterton

Advent – Angels
            The Celestial Hierarchy – Dionysius
            The Angels in Catholic Teaching and Tradition – Fr. Pascale Parente
            Lifted by Angels – Joel Miller 

2014:

Epiphany – Ezekiel
            Homilies on Ezekiel – Origin
            Holman OT Commentary on Ezekiel

Lent – Seven Capital SinsFulton Sheen

Easter – Parables
Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes – Kenneth Bailey
The Parables – Archbishop Dmitri

Summer – 1 Corinthians
            Paul for Everyone, First Corinthians – N.T. Wright

Fall (1) – On the IncarnationAthanasius (Intros. by C.S. Lewis and John Behr)

Fall (2) – Amos
            The Prophets – Abraham Heschel
            Amos, Doing What is Right – Robert Baker

Advent – Luke’s Infancy Narratives
            Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes – Kenneth Bailey

2015:

Epiphany – Epiphany lectionary (Magi, Baptism, Cana, Matthew 8)
Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes – Kenneth Bailey
The Holy Feast of the Theophany – Ayman Kfouf
Oration on the Baptism of Christ – Gregory of Nyssa
The Grateful Heart – Wilkie Au (Borg)
Homilies on Matthew – John Chrysostom
Homilies on JohnJohn Chrysostom
Commentary on John John Calvin
Notes on the Bible John Wesley

Lent – Looking through the Cross – Graham Tomlin

Easter – Imitation of Christ, Books 1 and 2 – Thomas á Kempis

Summer (1) – 2 Corinthians (Rob Donahue)
            Paul for Everyone, Second Corinthians – N.T. Wright

Summer (2) – Lord’s Prayer
            Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes – Kenneth Bailey
            On the Lord’s Prayer – Tertullian, Cyprian, & Origen – St. Vladimir’s Press
            Sacred Dissertations on the Lord’s PrayerHerman Witsius
            The Institutes (Book 3, Chapter 20) – John Calvin
The Lord’s Prayer – A Collection of Historical Writings – Curtis Rose

Fall – Gospel of Mark (Fr. Gabriel Bullock)
            The Writings of the New Testament – Luke Timothy Johnson
            The Anchor Yale Bible on Mark – Joel Marcus
            The Genesis of Secrecy – Frank Kermode

Advent – The Theotokos (Fr. Gabriel)
            Protoevangelium of James
            Mary and The Fathers of the Church – Luigi Gambero
            The Mystery of Christ – John Behr

2016:

Epiphany – Crazy Christians – Michael Curry 

Lent – The Return of the Prodigal Son – Henri J. M. Nouwen

Easter – Imitation of Christ, Book 3.1-35 – Thomas á Kempis

Summer (1) – 1 & 2 Thessalonians    
            Paul for Everyone, Galatians and Thessalonians – N.T. Wright
            The Writings of the New Testament – Luke Timothy Johnson
            Paul and the Popular Philosophers – Abraham Malherbe

Summer (2) – The Beatitudes
            The Beatitudes – Developing Spiritual Character – John Stott
            Commentary on the Sermon on the Mount – Martin Luther
            Sermons on the Beatitudes – Gregory of Nyssa
            Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes – Kenneth Bailey

Fall – Hebrews (Fr. Gabriel Bullock)
            The Writings of the New Testament – Luke Timothy Johnson
            Letter to the Hebrews – Willaim Barclay

Advent – Readings from Isaiah, Advent Year A.

2017:

Epiphany – The Creed – Luke Timothy Johnson
            Early Christian Creeds, J.N. D. Kelly
            Clues to the Nicene Creed, David Willis         

Lent Great DivorceC.S. Lewis

Easter – Imitation of Christ, Book IV, Thomas á Kempis

Summer – Romans
            Justification – N.T. Wright
            Paul and the Stoics – Troels Engberg-Pedersen
            Romans – A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary – Ben Witherington

Fall – Hymns
            Hymnary.org

Fall (2) – Outreach
            UMC Flood Buckets
            College/Home Bound Care Packages

Advent – Martin Luther’s Christmas Book – Roland Bainton

2018:

Epiphany – His Great Name – Joanne Ellison

Lent – Isaiah’s Book of Consolation (Four Servant Songs)
            The Prophets, “Second Isaiah” – Abraham Heschel
            The Suffering Servant in Deutero-Isaiah, Christopher North

Easter – Becoming a Healing Presence – Albert S. Rossi
                        The Inner Kingdom, Kallistos Ware

Summer – Galatians (12 weeks)
The Writings of the New Testament – Luke Timothy Johnson
            Commentary on GalatiansMartin Luther
Paul for Everyone, Galatians and Thessalonians – N.T. Wright
Justification – N.T. Wright
Paul and the Stoics – Troels Engberg-Pedersen

Fall (1) – James
            The Writings of the New Testament – Luke Timothy Johnson
Anchor-Yale Bible Commentary on James – Luke Timothy Johnson
Letters for Jewish Christians – A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary – Ben Witherington

Fall (2) – Jude
The Writings of the New Testament – Luke Timothy Johnson
Letters for Jewish Christians – A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary – Ben Witherington

Advent – Ponder These Things – Praying With the Icons of the Virgin by Rowan Williams

2019

Epiphany – Bad Girls of the Bible (series) Liz Curtis-Higgs

Lent – Ecclesiastes
           JPS Commentary on Ecclesiastes – Fox
            The Myth of Sisyphus – Albert Camus
            The Resurrection of the Son of God (Ch. 3) N.T. Wright

Easter – The Immortal Diamond – Richard Rohr
                   Theophany (Ch. 7 Symbolism) – Eric Perl

Summer – The Pastoral Epistles
The Writings of the New Testament – Luke Timothy Johnson
           Paul for Everyone, 1 &2 Timothy and Titus – N.T. Wright
Paul and the Popular Philosophers – Abraham Malherbe

Fall 1 –  Provocations (Works of Love) – Soren Kierkegaard

Fall 2 – Sermon on the Mount (excl. Beatitudes, Lord’s Prayer)
            Studies on the Sermon on the Mount – Oswald Chambers
The Lily of the Field and the Bird of the Air – Soren Kierkegaard
The Sermon on the Mount – Emmet Fox

Advent – Malachi

2020

Epiphany – Genesis 1
            JPS Torah  Commentary: Genesis
            Rabbah Bereshit
            Zohar
            Enuma Elish
            Confessions (Books 11, 12, 13) – Augustine
            The Literal Meaning of Genesis – Augustine
            Mere Christianity – C.S. Lewis
            Evil as Negation (City of God, Summa, Divine Names, On the Incarnation)
            Roots of Early Christian Mysticism (Ch. 5) – Clement
            Spirit and Fire – von Balthasar
            Proverbs, John, Colossians, Revelation.

Lent – Being Disciples: Essentials of the Christian Life – Abp. Rowan Williams

Easter (online) –  Resurrection Appearances – 1 Cor., Matt, John, Luke, Ascension, Pentecost
Resurrection of the Son of God – N.T. Wright

Summer (online) – 1 Peter

Fall – The Story of King David
            I & II Samuel – David F. Payne
           David, The Divided Heart – David Wolpe

Advent – Leo the Great on Christmas (Sermon 21 and Sermon 26)

2021:

Epiphany – Trains, Jesus, and Murder: The Gospel according to Johnny Cash – Richard Beck

Lent – Passion Predictions in the Gospel of John

Easter – Everywhere Present: Christianity in a One-Storey Universe

Summer 1 – The Letters of John
Letters and Homilies for Hellenized Christians: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on Titus, 1-2 Timothy and 1-3 John – Ben Witherington
The Writings of the New Testament – Luke Timothy Johnson
On Being Human – Oliver Clement

Summer 2 – Jonah
Strong as Death is Love – Robert Alter
            Obadiah, Jonah, and Micah – Tyndale Old Testament Commentary
The Book of Jonah – A Social Justice Commentary – Rab. Shmuly Yanklowitz

Fall – The Screwtape Letters – C.S. Lewis
Study Guide – C.S. Lewis Institute

Advent –

2022:

Epiphany –

Lent – Sign and Sacrifice – The Meaning of the Cross and Resurrection – Apb Rowan Williams

Psalms

January 10 –        Introduction

January 17 –        Psalms of Compline

                                                BCP 127-35

                                                Psalms 4, 31, 91, 134, (124, 40, 17, 102)

January 24 –        Messianic Psalms (Psalms of Hebrews)

                                                Hebrews 1:1-2:9, 7:11-25; 2Cor 3; Matt. 22:41-45

                                                Psalms 2, 110, 8, (45, 102, 72, 20-21) (Ps. 2:9, Rev.2:27)

                                                Bonhoeffer “Messiah”; Lewis, Ch.12

January 31 –        Imprecatory/Cursing Psalms

                                                Psalms 109, 137, 58, 4, 35                                            

                                                Bonhoeffer “The Enemies”; Lewis, Ch.3

                                                Psalms 137

February 7 –        Worship in the Psalms

                                                Lewis, Ch.5

                                                Incense – Psalm 141:1-2, Rev. 8:3-4

                                                Longing for God – Psalms 27:1-7; 42:1-2; 84

                                                In the Temple – 92:11-14; 50; 23:6

                                                Music – 33:1-3, 81:1-5; 92:1-4; 68:24-26 (Calvin on Psalm 33)                       

February 14 –     Ash Wednesday Psalms (Penitent Psalms)

                                                Bonhoeffer “Guilt”, Prayer of Manasseh

                                                Psalms 51, 6, 32, 38, 130, 143, 102

February 21 –     Creation and Nature in the Psalms

                                                Genesis 1

                                                Bonhoeffer “Creation”; Lewis, Ch.8

                                                Psalms 104, 147; 29, 65, 93, 148, 19.

February 28 –     Wisdom Psalms

                                                Sermon on Mount – Matt 5-7

                                                Bonhoeffer “Life”; Lewis, Ch. 7  

                                                Psalms 1, 37, 49, 1399

March 7 –             The Law of Psalm 119

                                                Bonhoeffer “The Law”; Lewis, Ch.6

                                                Psalm 119

March 14 –          Palm Sunday – Psalms of Entry and Praise

                                                Luke 19:37-40

                                                Psalms 118:15-29; 24, 100, 148, 150 (136, 98)

                                                Lewis, Ch.9

March 21 –          Psalms of Holy Week

                                                BCP 270-83