Connections Summary

January–April 2019

Unit 1: Jesus Revealed: His Identity and Purpose

Stacey Harwell-Dye

In the first four weeks of Epiphany, Connections lessons invite participants to consider God’s revelation in Christ. Each passage is drawn from Jesus’ infancy and early ministry, and they call us to remember Jesus as God’s gift to the world, as God’s son, as God’s presence, and as Scripture’s fulfillment. By examining these records of God’s revelation, we may also look for ways that God continues to be revealed among us. Together we might uncover ways to bear God’s presence in a world still longing to be whole.

Unit 2: Toward Maturity: Growing in Faith

Nancy Ellett Allison

Having turned our eyes to Christ, the second unit calls our attention to Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. As Paul teaches that early church how to become more Christlike, we remember our own need to mature in faith. These four lessons invite participants to consider love, belief, expectation, and the spirit as central dimensions of the Christian life. We will consider each area of faith in our individual lives as well as in our lives together as Christ’s church. Through Paul’s instructions to the Corinthian church, we look to share and grow together in the power of Christ’s resurrection.

Unit 3: Celebrate God: Blessings and Challenges

Bill Treadway

In this five-week Lenten unit, a variety of passages from the Torah and the Prophets call us to celebrate God. As we remember God’s presence, guidance, promises, teachings, and provision, each lesson invites us to reflect on the blessings and challenges that flow from a relationship with God. This season of preparation for Easter and these Old Testament readings help us to imagine ways that we might live in light of God’s sustained presence with us.

Unit 4: Easter at the Center: Before and After

Melissa Fallen

Easter centers this last unit. As we move toward and away from the Jerusalem tomb, readings taken from Holy Week and Revelation invite us to explore the places of death and resurrection in our own lives. This season, like these passages, challenge us to live in expectation of resurrection by sharing our experiences of new life with others.

May–August 2019

Unit 1: The Apocalypse as Good News

Katie and Bill Treadway

This unit begins where April’s ends—the book of Revelation. While many connect John’s apocalypse to doom and gloom, these four lessons invite Connectionsusers to consider the good news in John’s vision. To do so, the first two lessons point to the slaughtered and resurrected lamb as a source of Christian hope, while the next two lessons direct participants’ attention to “the new Jerusalem” as the fulfillment of this hope. Ultimately, exploring John’s vision challenges learners to imagine how they might carry good news amid settings marked by suffering.

Unit 2: Life with God

David Priddy

This five-lesson unit draws from several scriptural sources to depict how relationship with God can shape everyday life. In observance of Pentecost, the first two lessons draw from Acts 2 and explore the Holy Spirit’s role in remembering and sharing God’s promises. A lesson from Psalm 8 centers the unit, inviting participants to share in the psalmist’s awe at God’s power. Finally, lessons four and five turn to Galatians and encourage learners to imagine how life with God informs their relationship to community.

Unit 3: Prophetic Reminders

Melissa Graham Meeks

The Bible’s prophets proclaimed a vision for Israel’s religious, economic, and political lives: at the center was God. In this four-lesson unit, Connectionsusers explore how their prophetic perspective—from 2 Kings, Amos, and Hosea—might inform contemporary life. In doing so, the prophets challenge modern participants to see how priorities that prevent humanity from experiencing a more compassionate, merciful, and just society might be transformed into priorities that come from God.

Unit 4: Letting Go, Moving On

Camilla Hempstead

This final unit leads learners to the gospel of Luke, where they may encounter changes necessary for following Jesus. As participants walk along with the disciples in Luke 12 and 13, they hear Jesus call his followers from materialism to devotion, from indifference to readiness, from inattention to awareness, and from callousness to compassion. Exploring the disciples’ first-century examples invites Connections users to consider how they might grow in their own lives.