Faith Studies for Fall 2020

Small group resources to journey inward and deepen your faith, so that together as a group, you journey outward to share God’s love in the world. 

Introduction 

While we all long to see one another face-to-face and without extra technology, we also realize that plans for the coming year could change along the way and individual group participants may be in different locations and a variety of circumstances. So, this list offers variety and adaptability that includes: 

  • Engaging topics and deeper learning 
  • One-time resources to fill a gap 
  • Shorter timeframes for virtual gatherings 
  • Options that are easy to view on-line, share and print 
  • Opportunities for building connections in isolating times 
  • Resources that speak to conversations on racial justice 

New for 2020-21 

It is a good time to think about both how your group prefers to meet and how to be flexible and adapt, if needed. There are also a few changes in how to order resources for this summer and fall, due to COVID-19Whenever possible, we suggest that group members order their own books and study guides for this year. With advance notice, we will continue to order leader guides and DVDs with delivery directly to your home. As you will see there will be many resources available right on this website, ready to view and print. 

Resource Overview (see resource descriptions below) 

Website Resources  easy to view, share and print from the website 

You Matter – congregation-wide theme for fall 2020
Caring for One Another – congregation-wide theme for winter 2021
Psalms for Living
Renew Your Life
Connecting in Grace 

Racial Justice Resources  listen, learn, lean-in and love 

Dialogues on: Racism – faith study with DVD, participant book, leader guide
Book discussions – see list below
Other resources – available on the Social Justice webpage

Engage in Learning  A deeper exploration of the Bible, sacred art and living a life of faith. 

The Saint John’s Bible – Seeing the Word and Supplement
You Matter – Congregation-wide theme for fall 2020
Psalms for Living
Caring for One Another – congregation-wide theme for winter 2021
The Walk  a DVD-based study on spiritual practices 

Resource Descriptions 

The Saint John’s Bible & Seeing the Word with Added Guides by Deb & Grant Rykken 

Seeing the Word is a set of booklets that combines scripture texts and illuminations (artwork) from The Saint John’s BibleIt takes a deeper look at the text, how the artist understood the text, and how the text and illumination together speak into your life. Grant and Deb Rykken have created detailed, easy-to-follow leader guides with step by step instructions and additional background content to supplement Seeing the Word. This resource can be used on-site (Saint John’s Bible available in the Chapel) or off-site. There will be enough guides for 3 years or 27 sessions. Suggested contribution: $15. Click here for more details.

Listening: You Matter to God – Fall 2020 Theme 

God loves you. You matter to God. All the parts of your life matter to God. God created you as a one-of-a-kind person with gifts and possibilities to share with others. YOU isn’t just singular, it’s plural too. God loves us as a community. God loves all communities. It matters to God how our community strives to co-create a world closer to what Jesus imagines. How can we listen for God’s love and watch for the gifts that God has given us for the sake of the world? How can we listen for how God wants us to be a gift in the world? 

Be part of a conversation happening across Incarnation on these themes starting in September 2020For small groups, there will be a large group gathering to introduce the series and faith studies for six sessions. Everything will be available on the website to view, print and share. Session themes:  

  • Your Life Matters to God 
  • Your Life Matters to Your Neighbor 
  • Listening to God: Your Unique Wiring Matters 
  • Listening to Your Life: Your Vocation Matters 
  • Listening to Others: Your Life Matters to Others 
  • Listening to Your Life: Tending Your Soul 

Racial Justice 

It is time to listen deeply to the voices of others to learn about and face racial injustice. See the Incarnation website resource page for a growing list of books and movies, including these suggestions: 

Book Discussions 

A Good Time for the Truth by Sun Yung Shin. Essays on race in Minnesota by 16 writers. Discussion questions available.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Discussion questions available.

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown.

How to be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. KendiDiscussion questions available.

Anxious to Talk about It: Helping White Christians Talk Faithfully about Racism by Carolyn Helsel – a starting place for those who don’t know where or how to begin.

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin DiAngeloDiscussion questions available.

Faith Studies 

Dialogues On: Race – Faith study with DVD, participant book and leader guide, includes seven essays by leading Christian thinkers. 

White Privilege: Let’s Talk – 4 session video series to watch on-line.

Putting Racism on the Table – Short individual videos, each with a discussion guide, to watch on-line. 

And Who is My Neighbor? Talking about Race and Racial Equity – by Lutheran Social Services – Watch on-line videos, download packet with written reflections and questions.

Psalms for Living 

Study the Psalms and their role in our lives. This 5-session series includes bible study contentreflections and discussion questions. The series covers Psalms of praisegratitude, lament, comforttrust, and moreBased on the Fall 2019 series offered at Incarnation and available on the Incarnation website. See a sample here. 

Caring for One Another 

During a pandemic and across time, how do we care for one another in challenging times? How do we live out God’s love in the world in practical, doable and meaningful ways? This series will be part of a congregation-wide theme in winter 2021 and was written as part of the Caring Community initiative. The ten sessions can be used as a short faith study or individually as devotions. Sessions will be on the Incarnation website to view and print. See a sample here. Themes include: 

  • Life Seasons: Changes and Transitions  
  • Holding One Another in Prayer 
  • Can I Say that to God? Lament as an Act of Faith 
  • God Meets Us in Times of Suffering 
  • Listening and Being Present 

Renew Your Life 

Explore how God’s creative energies of grace, possibility, paradox, the natural world, relationships, fruitful work, and rest meet us in our confusion, our loneliness, our despair and invite us to see, experience, and practice a different kind of life – a life that Jesus imagined, experienced, and practiced himself. Faith study guides, updated for COVID-19, are available on the Renew Your Life resource page here.

The Walk 

Adam Hamilton focuses on five essential spiritual practices that are rooted in Jesus’ walk with God and taught throughout the New Testament. A six-session DVD and leader guide for deepening your walk with Christ. Find out more here.

Dream Big 

Just released. In this five-session DVD series, Bob Goff asks the questions: What would you do if opinion, reason, or probability were no objects? What were you meant to do even if no other person thinks you should? He shares stories from the Bible that show how God called certain individuals to follow him—regardless of their lack of “qualifications”—and how those people changed the world when they dared to follow God’s dreams for their lives. In the same way, God is calling us to step into the version of our lives that he intended for us before others told us it was impossible and once again dream big. Find out more here.

For More Suggestions
Check out past resource lists here or other publishers at: 

Augsburg Fortress 
Sparkhouse 
The Upper Room 
Cokesbury 
Zondervan  

To Order Resources
Many of these resources will be easily available on the Incarnation website. For other resources, contact Denise Floe. New for 2020 – Contact Denise Floe to have a copy of leader guide and/or DVD ordered. We suggest that group participants order their own copies of other resource materials this year due to uncertainty around COVID-19. 

For More Information or to Request a Resource or Schedule DatesDenise Floe at dfloe@incarnationmn.org.

Tell Us About Your Small Group: Share the latest information about your Small Group, request dates and order resources with this online form.