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Debra Circle at First Presbyterian Church of Farmington MI

Debra Circle discusses each lesson. One person takes notes and writes a confession which is OK'd by the whole circle. Our third confession follows.
Confessing the Beatitudes Lesson 3: Greatly Honored Are the Humbled!
Life is not always fair but God is always good. We have known examples of people who, by faith, remain humble in the face of oppression, not fighting back but relying on God. Some of us can put our parents in this category, others name some of their pastors and teachers in this category, and others think of world leaders who have set this example. We have learned from the way they lived and worked. We are grateful for their examples of how to remain humble and how to treat the humbled.
We confess that there is a stigma to being humbled by poverty and oppression, a stigma that can affect the whole person—especially in this country, where there is an emphasis on material things.
We confess that we are often are unaware of how humbled someone might be—even someone sitting right next to us in the church pew. These days we cannot tell if someone is living one month away from bankruptcy or living in a car. We cannot tell if someone is devastated by personal problems and is on the verge of divorce or other life changes.
We confess we can be an inspiration by listening to others around us and by praying for them. We can be open to be guided by God and depend on God to lead us in ways to reach out to the humbled. We can pass on the example set by our mentors who taught us to remain humble even as we reach out to the humbled.

Peggy Carroll of University Presbyterian in Baton Rouge, LA

We are a month behind everyone else since we spent our first meeting on the intoduction. It really helped in understanding the use of the Acra Confession and it's relationship to this study. I have really been excited about our own confessions which we write as a group each time. This is the one for December:
Honored are the humbled.
God Knows the suffering of all creation
We will pay attention to how our lives can bring pain to all creation.
God lifts up the humbled.
We will live our lives so that each day we serve God by respecting those who have been humbled and by working for peace and justice.
God's promise is our hope.
We will live in joyful gratitude, believing and trusting in God's promises.

Margaret Aymer

So glad that the video was helpful. I was really grateful to David, Cliff and Elizabeth for being part of the conversation!

Louise Davidson

Margaret, I will lead the Bible study in my circle tomorrow. To prepare, I attended a preparation session led by our DCE. We are circulating the wonderful DVD in the circle, also, so I watched it from the beginning. I want you to know the session with David Gambrell was especially helpful. We have not been doing well with confession and I think it is because we have not really understood what confession is and is not especially in our tradition. I think, while I will try to help the PW understand this particular beatitude, I'll show the session with David and see if we can get on track about confessing what we believe about God. Except for a small group of feminists who read and discuss theology together, we rarely share our ideas about this. Thank you and Horizons for this incredibly rich study.

Frances Camille Williams-Neal

Thank you Margaret for the study. Your lifting up of the Congo's richness in minierals brought to mind the Seminary Intern year that I spent in the DROC when it was known as Zaire (1977-78) under the auspices of the PCUS. In addition to the minerals mentioned in the lesson, I would light to highlight the rich Diamond resource that the Congo is. Some place the Congo as the fourth largest producer of diamonds in the world--including those used industrially. The same points that you mention regarding minerals also hold true in terms of the diamonds. Many refer to them as "blood diamonds".
Thank you for the introduction to the Study that you gave at Harvey Browne here in Louisville. Thank you also for the great care, energy, and thoughtfulness that inform your teaching of this whole Bible Study.

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