Life-long Education at Perry Highway Lutheran Church

Education is a life-long journey in the Lutheran faith. Our faith formation begins even before pre-school, often when children are baptized into the body of Christ (though this can happen at any age in our church, from infancy to old age). When an infant is baptized, they are held before the entire community and welcomed as a new sibling in Christ, and the parents, sponsors, and congregation are charged with teaching that child to love God and their neighbor. Formalized education might begin in Sunday School, but even before that, learning about faith starts at home and in worship. This continues through adolescence, when we teach young folks the Lutheran Catechism, focusing on the Ten Commandments, the Apostles’ creed, and the Lord’s Prayer, as well as learning stories from the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament), the gospel stories of Jesus’ life, ministry, death, and resurrection, and the stories of the Holy Spirit’s work in our world.

Education never stops

But if folks think that’s where education ends, we’ve made a grave error. When we decide that we’ve “learned enough,” our understanding begins to stagnate, our interest dull, and our imagination shrinks. Our minds are a garden that needs to be fertilized, watered, and weeded if we want the garden of our faith to continue to thrive and bear fruit, as Jesus instructed us to do.  So the question is, how do we keep learning and forming our faith as disciples of Jesus?

Lutheran Bible Study

One of several ways is through Bible Study. Often, this can be intimidating because our experience reading the bible is that it is, well, dense, confusing, contradictory, or worse than all of that- insufferably boring! So, how can we grow our faith if we’re bored to tears? We can’t! But the good news is that we are probably ripe for our understanding of the bible to be de and re-constructed to understand more accurately what it is and is not. We might start with questions like: What is the Bible? Where did it come from? Why do we read it? How do we read it? How does it relate to me?

The Lutheran Catechism

Another fruitful route of lifelong education is returning to the study of the Lutheran Catechism to reinvestigate our principles of faith, clarify the lens(es) through which we read and interpret scripture, and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ in word and deed. One principle within the Lutheran tradition includes valuing our understanding and being open and willing to share and be shaped by a community’s understanding of scripture. Another principle that Lutherans rely on is to use the lenses of both law and gospel in scripture- to see where we have fallen short and where God is leading us to new life. And a third is to use what biblical scholars now call the “historical-critical method.” This means we learn about the culture and context from which scripture texts emerged to better understand how we can (or can’t easily) relate to them in contemporary life.

Lutheran Spiritual Practices

Finally, lifelong learning must not only remain a purely intellectual or conceptual practice but must encourage and strengthen our spiritual lives through Spiritual Practices.  There are many of these, and each one has different things to offer us throughout our lives. Praying for one another can take many forms and is essential in our life together in communal and individual contexts. Centering prayer and sitting or walking meditation are other practices that help us to bring our intellectual understanding into the experiences of our bodies. Holy Reading, or Lectio Divina, is an ancient practice of reading scripture and giving the Spirit room to speak to us in the depths of our hearts. Sharing and listening to one another’s personal stories, which have shaped our lives, is another simple and beautiful spiritual practice that helps us feel more connected and empowered to live out our faith together.

Join us this Sunday

In the journey of faith, education is a lifelong endeavor, a continual process of seeking, questioning, and growing. At Perry Highway Lutheran Church, we cultivate an environment where this growth is encouraged and celebrated. From the baptismal promises we make for our youngest members to the dynamic Bible studies and spiritual practices for adults, our commitment to faith formation spans all ages and stages of life. We believe that the Christian faith is not a static set of beliefs but a living, breathing relationship with God, nurtured by a community committed to exploring the depths of Scripture, the teachings of the Lutheran tradition, and the practice of spiritual disciplines. These educational endeavors deepen our understanding and enrich our collective life as disciples of Jesus Christ, equipping us to love God and our neighbors. We invite you to become part of this vibrant learning community. Join us this Sunday to begin or continue your lifelong education and faith formation journey.

Upcoming Events you might be interested in

Sunday Service

October 1 @ 9:30 am - 11:00 am

Sunday Service

October 8 @ 9:30 am - 11:00 am

Sunday Service

October 15 @ 9:30 am - 11:00 am

Spaghetti Dinner

October 21 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm