Education at Messiah

The Comenius Class


You are invited to share in conversation with one another in response to Dale C. Allison’s book The Luminous Dusk: Finding God in the Deep, Still Places. Dr. Allison is Richard J. Dearborn Professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Dr. Allison’s presupposition in this book is “that human nature is like wet clay on the potter’s wheel: the stuff can be shaped into many different forms. We are not, however, inert lumps but rather conscious animals with the gift of freedom. The pot is also the potter: we are in our own hands. We may be products of our environment, but we help make the environment. This is why we all need wisdom, and enough imagination to become fully conscious of what we are doing.”

I find this book to be full of wisdom, good humor, and challenge. Having one’s consciousness raised confronts us with choices we might prefer to avoid. The deep humanity of the author speaks to the depths within us, to what is most real and true and needed in our lives and in our world.

What follows is the schedule for reading with appetizers from each chapter of the book:

The Comenius Class meets from 9:30 - 10:10 AM, Sundays in the Church Office.

Sept 11 Introduction: “The World Around Us” pp 2-23 . . .seeming secularization correlates with a growing physical separation from the so- called natural world. . . . religion without wonder is dead.

Sept 25 Chapter One: “Mute Angels” pp 28-46 . . .silence is, in the Christian tradition, a virtue, and it is embodied by God. Does this not become for us an imperative - God’s silence is our example?

Oct 09 Chapter Two: “The Luminous Dusk” pp 48-66 . . .physical light has the property of invisibility. It cannot be seen, and yet illumines all about: the unperceived makes perception possible.

Oct 23 Chapter Three: “The Ascetic Imagination” pp 68-90 Jesus was a Jewish sage, and Jewish sages loved hyperbole . . . Jesus everywhere spoke in exaggeration and metaphor, which means he spoke chiefly to the imagination.

Nov 13 Chapter Four: “The Fate of the Book” pp 94-111 My own version of Christian Darwinism holds that it is the fittest readers who will survive.

Nov 20 Chapter Five: “Saints and Heroes” pp 114-135 . . .so many who gain our attention are asses unworthy of it. Christian tradition is biography, and biography is both the guardian angel of creativity and the energy of the will.

Dec 11 Last Section: “Prayer” pp 140-178 The divine dusk beckons. We must unlearn our boredom. We must separate our spiritual lives from our magical instincts. To pray is to be human.

Jon Hus Study Group

The Jon Hus Study Group will resume meeting on Sunday, 11 September, at its regular time, 9:15 – 10:15. The fall sessions will complete the current selection, The mortal Diamond, by Richard Rohr. Subtitled, “The Search for the True Self,” this work leads the reader through a discovery of the “true self,” the diamond of the book’s title. Readers exam the meaning and significance of life through discussions of grace, death, and resurrection. Rohr contrasts the “true self” with the “false self.” He asks the basic question of how do we define each. What are they? What is their implication for our spiritual journey. All are welcome to join the group’s discussions in the Jon Hus room on the second floor of the Fellowship Hall.

Thank you,

Marshall Marvelli


Bible fellowship class

This year we will be studying the Book of Acts in the Fellowship Class. If you are interested in Sunday School Class that works through scripture, the Fellowship Class is open to anyone interested. There is wide open discussions with everyone throwing in their thoughts as the class moves through acts starting September 11th in the Parlor Room at 9:30a.m.