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Making Sense of God & Faith

It is my sincere hope and prayer that this five-week conversation will be a safe place where you will feel comfortable inviting your friends, neighbors, and co-workers to join. Feel free to participate alongside of them or simply invite them to attend.

Curated newsfeeds refined to our own leanings and clustered neighborhoods connecting us to people who see the world much like we do may cause us to wonder, “What else is out there?” Especially in these divided times when so much seems up for grabs, we may be asking: “What should I believe? How should I live? What is good and right?” If you or your friends ever ask these types of questions, chances are that you may have even taken a passing glance at Christian faith. After all, it remains the predominant religion in America despite its shrinking number of devotees. And while secular thinking may reign the day in our beloved Bay Area, a worldview without God or faith can feel inadequate when it comes to making sense of things like justice, beauty, morality, love, and even our own mortality. Perhaps this causes you to look over the fence at Christianity, if but only for a second or two.

Could now be the time to take a longer look? Rather than explore it from the outside via an article here or documentary there, is it time to consider exploring Christian faith from the inside? I would like to help. Join me for a five-week conversation that will cover topics relevant to your life and many of the questions you have about faith. Slip into a conversation or two, or join us for all five. I am an experienced facilitator/teacher, having been a minister at Christ Church for over twelve years, and I warmly welcome believers, non-believers, curious newcomers, and skeptics (even cynical ones!) into these conversations.

PART 1
Week 1: Why does anyone need faith (or religion) anyway?
Week 2: Exploring meaning that even suffering can’t take away.
Week 3: Exploring a hope that can face anything, even death.

PART 2
Week 4: Is it reasonable to believe in God?
Week 5: What am I supposed to do with the Bible? What am I to make of Jesus?

FAQ:
Where? Bart and Katie Garrett’s Home (5850 Chabot Court, Oakland, 94618)
When? Monday Evenings (October 2, 16, 23, 30, and November 6)
What time? 7:30–9:00 pm
What should I bring? You really can just bring yourself. But, as you are able, desserts and drinks, while not expected, are always appreciated!
Who will be there? Hopefully people from a very wide range of beliefs regarding God, faith, and religion.
How many people will be there? Typically, we’ve had anywhere from 7 or 8 to 19 or 20.
Can I bring a friend? You absolutely can! 
Should I RSVP? RSVPing is always considerate! Just drop me an email letting me know if you are coming. If you forget to do so, no worries, show up anyway.
Is there any homework? No, but some of the conversation will be loosely based on Dr. Timothy Keller’s book, “Making Sense of God.”
Will I need to become a convert? Are you out to make me join your team? My sincere desire is to simply create safe spaces for these types of conversations. Being a Christian minister, I would advocate that Christianity is a wonderful means of flourishing both for individuals and communities, but you will certainly not feel that I’m cajoling you towards embracing my convictions on the matter! 

If you have any other questions, please send me an email: bart@christchurcheastbay.org.