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Bethany Opens Sabbath Space on March 27 - 28

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In Hebrew scriptures, we learn that the sabbath was a time of rest, waiting for God in meditation and prayers, and restoration of right relationship with God, creation, and one another. Throughout Christian history, our forebears turned to Scripture, various forms of individual and communal prayer, and fasting to listen for God’s leading and to cease from fear and rancor. In the beginning of our sacred scriptures we read that God establishes the earth and all creation and that it is good. And in the closing book of Revelation we hear again a vision of restored creation where a river flows from the throne of God and the leaves from the tree of life planted by the river are for the healing of the nations (Rev. 22:1-2).

At this moment in our national and denominational life, and taking Jesus seriously, Bethany Seminary opened a sabbath space for all people beginning on Sunday, March 27, at 5:00 p.m. with a simple fellowship meal and closing on Monday, March 28, by 3:00 p.m. The purpose of our gathering was to remember together that God is our creator, that we belong to God, and that we find our freedom and our joy in reconciliation with God and one another. In these hours together, we offered experiences of corporate worship, opportunities for various prayer forms in smaller groups, and space for individual meditation, intercession, and reflection.

crocus - istockphoto.comThere was no registration charge for this event, although registrations were requested for those who planned to attend. Those who wished to eat the Sunday evening meal and the noon lunch were asked to contribute $5.00 for each meal, payable upon arrival. For additional information, please contact the Seminary at 800-287-8822.

Information about transportation and Richmond area lodging

Schedule (download as pdf)

Sunday, March 27
4:00 p.m. Registration Begins -- Bethany Center Lobby, first floor
5:00 p.m. Dinner -- ESR Dining Room
6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Worship and Lecture by Kendall Rogers -- Nicarry Chapel

Monday, March 28
8:30 – 9:00 a.m. Worship -- Nicarry Chapel
9:15 – 10:15 a.m. Prayer center time #1
Poetry as Prayer
Art as Prayer
Pietist Prayers
Lamentation
Spiritual Direction
Journaling
Intercessory Prayer
Body Prayer
Lectio Divina
Labyrinth
10:30 – 11:30 a.m. Prayer center time #2
Poetry as Prayer
Art as Prayer
Pietist Prayers
Lamentation
Spiritual Direction
Journaling
Intercessory Prayer
Body Prayer
Lectio Divina
Labyrinth
Noon – 1:30 p.m. Lunch and Lecture Q&A -- ESR Dining Room
1:45 – 3:15 p.m. Worship -- Nicarry Chapel

 

 

Matt Boersma
Master of Arts

MattMy thesis began its journey while learning Hebrew at the University of Notre Dame, back when I was an employee in the Information Technology department. Among the many Hebrew texts read, it was the Song of Songs in particular that caught my attention. I knew that historically it had been interpreted as an allegorical text exploring God's love of Israel (or the church), but I had not encountered the deeply sensual nature of the images and the erotic tone of the text. Reading through the book, the unabashed sexuality of the words struck me as completely different than how the rest of the Bible treats sex. During the previous semester we had read selections of Ezekiel, where sex and female desire is cast as idolatrous and evil. In the Song, it is unashamed and extolled.