The Lord’s Prayer: Confessing the New Covenant by J. Warren Smith
Led by Pastor Tobi Nguyen  TNguyen@universityumc.church

Available here in paperback and kindle.

About the book: We have all had the experience of being at church and hearing the pastor say, “And now with the confidence of children we are bold to pray, ‘Our Father . . .'” but before we know it we are saying “for Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.” In the very moment of intimacy when we are given the privilege of entering the presence of our heavenly Father, our minds have drifted off. We speak the words of the prayer, not from our hearts, but from the autopilot of memory. This is mere recitation, not prayer. If in relationships familiarity breeds contempt, in the case of the Lord’s Prayer, familiarity breeds thoughtlessness.

The Lord’s Prayer: A Confession of the New Covenant is not a Bible study in the traditional sense. It challenges us to think about the Lord’s Prayer anew by understanding it as a confession of the New Covenant that Christ makes with us when we are made children of God in baptism. In hearing these familiar words afresh we learn to remember our baptismal covenant so that we might live more fully into that new relationship with God and with one another.

About the author: J. Warren Smith (PhD, Yale) is a United Methodist Minister in the North Carolina Conference serving as Associate Professor of Historical Theology at Duke Divinity School. He teaches church history, with a focus on early Christianity. Dr. Smith is director of the South Sudan Theological Training Initiative that provides theological education for United Methodist clergy in South Sudan. He also enjoys teaching teenagers each summer in the Duke Youth Academy and Texas Youth Academy.

Discussion Schedule:

9/8       Introduction through chapter 1

9/15     Chapter 2

9/22     Chapters 3 & 4

9/29     Chapter 5

10/6     Chapters 6 & 7

10/13   Chapter 8

10/20   Chapters 9 & 10

10/27   no class

11/3     Chapter 11

11/10   Chapter 12 and epilogue

Contact Sharon Smith ssmith@universityumc.church for the Zoom link.

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