Session Topics

Overall Description

Enjoy Dr. Matt’s analysis of three Bible stories and a Psalm while sipping on appropriate beverages.

Session I: The Garden of Eden (apple cider)

The Garden of Eden is about humanity’s beloved and blessed beginnings, a magical childhood when humans were safe, happy, and innocent, and God called to us in the cool of evening like a parent shouting “suppertime” from a porch.

But how well do we really know this bible story? And when did Eve get all the blame?

Learn how the fruit in the Bible’s first narrative contains the seeds of alienation, broken relations, inequality, patriarchy, sexism, and death, but also of God’s grace, human responsibility, longing, and spiritual growth.

This session is accompanied by apple cider.

Session II: Joshua and “the Conquest” (tea)

Stories of the underdog who triumphs despite all odds are great for keeping up morale, and giving hope. They’re inspiring – if you’re an underdog. But underdog stories in the hands of someone already at the top of a power dynamic can be dangerous.

In this session we think about how the unchanging God is a different kind of ally depending on who we are and what we’re facing. Decolonization is the order of the day, with the story of Joshua’s conquest leading us to Sunday’s first lesson, Exodus 14:19-31, to empires and Indigenous peoples, and to just whose side God might be on.

This session is accompanied by tea.

Session III: Ruth and Belonging (wine)

If you’ve ever felt like an outsider, this session is for you. What can we learn from the stranger among us, or from times when we’re feeling less than welcome ourselves?

The foundational biblical story of Ruth and her travels to the Holy Land teach us about being brave, faithful, and sometimes cunning, in our devotion to God and those whom God has made family. The promise of reward is not just for us, but for generations.

This session is accompanied by wine or your favourite non-alcoholic evening drink.

Session IV: The Psalms and a Taste of Home (coffee)

Long before so-called “reality TV” ever existed, the Psalms portrayed almost every aspect of human life: despair, hope, longing, joy, elation, defeat, and quiet trust – they’re all there.

This session focusses especially on Psalm 139 and the feeling of being “at home” with ourselves, and where we are in life. What does it mean to have a feeling of belonging that we can carry with us? When do we need unsettling, and when do we need comforting, and what can the Bible tell us about both?

This early-morning session is accompanied by coffee or your favourite warm beverage.