A well-known proverb among Jewish rabbis goes like this: “An hour spent in study is an hour spent in prayer.” I love that saying, not just because study is important to me as a former seminary professor but because it reminds me that study is a way of praying, of being with God. That’s why for several years now, we’ve been offering Monday night classes for spiritual growth. Learning like that is a way of praying.

If you’re one of those people who can’t get enough classes, Bible studies, and small group discussions, I have some great news. This fall, we are partnering with William Jewell College and their Center for Faith and Culture. Phil and Patty Love, longtime members of our church helped to fund the center and now that dream is becoming a reality. Our congregation, along with Grace and Holy Trinity, Village Presbyterian, and Second Baptist in Liberty are offering courses on a host of topics. For example, there are courses on racial and social justice, the importance of religion in southern gothic literature, the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, Christianity and the Enneagram, even one on recent discoveries in space and what that says about living here on Earth. Some are taught by Jewell faculty, others by area clergy like me. Some classes will meet on our campus, others at the various partner churches, all of the classes available to anyone, but free to members of our congregation using the sign-up code: CountryClub.

While we have hard copies of the class schedule available at our church, a virtual list of fall and spring classes can be found at: https://www.jewell.edu/center- faith-and-culture/personal- flourishing-classes. Space is limited, so register soon.

In addition to the usual array of Monday night offerings coming, I hope you’ll take advantage of these wonderful opportunities as well. It’s a way of learning and a way of praying. It’s a way of growing in faith.