The Parables of Jesus with Jim Goss

Begins Thursday, April 22, 2021
Thursdays at 2 pm on Zoom

Jesus told fictional short stories called parables, and the stories have multiple meanings, even brief ones. These parables were told in the first century to first-century people in Galilee and used images relevant to that time to reveal God’s presence in the world. Often they are interpreted to understand the message of Jesus in its historical and cultural settings, a process I followed in my own work as well. Now I want to explore whether these stories may awaken our own experiences of God. To this end the class will employ the following format:

1.  I will begin each session reviewing the history and interpretation of the parable under discussion to establish its range of meanings, and then provide suggestions for the class to consider in relation to their own experiences, such as reflecting on the images or characters in the stories.
2.  The class will take time to write their own responses.
3.  After the writing period members will be placed in small groups to share what they have written.
 4.  Finally, we will reconvene as a whole to assess our experiences.

For each class members will need copies of the New Testament and writing materials.
Here is the weekly plan:

Week 1:  A Presentation: Parables and Puzzles—An Introduction
Week 2:  Negative reading of the parable of woman, leaven and flour in Matthew 13:33, Luke 13:20-21, and Thomas 96.
Week 3:  Positive reading of the parable of woman, leaven, and flour.
Week 4:  Negative reading of the parable of the woman and an empty jar in Thomas 97.
Week 5:  Positive reading of the parable of the
woman and an empty jar.
Week 6:  Negative reading of the parable of the Feast in Luke 14:16-23 and Thomas 64.
Week 7:  Positive reading of the parable of the Feast.

To register for this free Integrated Spirituality offering please contact Elisa Stone, Minister of Congregational Care at or 530-613-7752

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