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Elaine Hurd, Secretary, PW of Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church

Rev. Aymer, Writing on behalf of the PW group in Shepherdstown WV, I want to thank you for your outstanding Bible study. We are fortunate to have two great leaders who are guiding us through the lessons. We especially appreciate the interpretation of the Greek and Latin words giving us new insights into passages we have heard so often before. Each month we are challenged to take action that reflects what we are learning about those whom God especially honors in our own community. We are also working diligently on our confession. Once again thank you for your truly transformative Bible study.

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 fourth confession follows.
Confessing the Beatitudes Lesson 4: Greatly Honored Are Those Who Are Famished and Parched for Justice!
We confess that God cares for those whom the world forgets.
In our news programs, we are reminded daily of the many famished and parched in the world. We confess we feel overwhelmed by this news. It seems there is so much to be done. We confess that, just as in Jesus’ time, to be a “real man” means to be able to feed oneself and one’s family. Even today, if a person can’t do that, he loses dignity. We are horrified by the activities of the banks that seem to have taken advantage of certain people who were seeking the dignity of owning a home—the so called “American Dream”.
We confess we are called to turn away from stuffing ourselves and to seek a state of right relationship with our neighbor and with God. We confess maybe our so-called “American Dream” of ownership needs to be changed to the “American Reality” of giving and sharing, mercy and justice.

Lisa Cross

Hello Dr. Aymer, The study challenges us to think in ways that are often avoided - thank you.
My question concerns the word in Lesson Four for "justice" or "righteousness". Your understanding is that the correct word in Greek is "justice". During my study for teaching the lesson, Barclay, Ken Bailey, New Interpreters Bible, HC Bible Dictionary and Commentary all use "righteousness". Ken Bailey in his book "Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes" has an in depth exploration of the word "righteousness" that includes "justice" however he also uses the word "righteousness". Could you please explain your preference for the word "justice" in more detail? Thank you. Lisa Cross, Suffolk VA

Rena Meyers-Dahlkamp

Thank you very much Margaret for a most gorgeous and powerful study! I am especially thankful for your highlighting of blood minerals in the October lesson. I’ve been in touch with the Raise Hope for Congo via the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program webpage http://presbyterian.typepad.com/peacemaking/2009/06/conflict-minerals-democratic-republic-of-congo-part-i.html and learned more about what we as individuals and churches can do. Do you know folks who have been raising awareness about blood minerals in their congregations? If so, can you please connect me with them?

Also, I was deeply moved to see you posted Dr. Wangari Maathai’s inspirational reminder of the hummingbird. I saw it only a few days ago when watching Dirt! The Movie. Thank you once again and may your Thanksgiving celebration be blessed.

Rena Meyers-Dahlkamp

Lee Posey

I used passages directly from the novel, almost word for word to create the dramatic reading. I was pretty sure that I was okay under fair use for our group of 16, but not sure about copyright restrictions in posting/providing it outside of that. Any suggestion about what I should do? For anyone interested, the piece used two narrators for descriptive passages describing the plight of the migrants, and had parts for Ma, Tom Joad, Rose of Sharon, and "The Voice of the People"
Lee Posey
LeeWP@comcast.net, if you'd rather take this off thread

Margaret Aymer

What a cool idea! Do you have a link to the source you used? Others might want to use it too.

Lee Posey

For our study on this Beatitude at the Old Presbyterian Meeting House in Alexandria, I created a dramatic reading from John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. Steinbeck wrote so eloquently about the problem of income inequality in America, and the theme of justice for those in need. And his narration and description is beautifully biblical.

Leigh Anne Chambliss Armstrong

from the Wild Goose Resource Group: "God bless to us our bread; and give bread to all those who are hungry, and hunger for justice to those who are fed; God bless to us our bread."

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