LOGOS means many things. It means the rational ordering of the cosmos and the logic of human thought. It means "thoughtful discourse" like the conversations we have about important, difficult, and life-giving matters. It means "word," as in "In the beginning was the Word," whom Christians find embodied in Jesus. In the spirit of all of these meanings, we invite you to join us for LOGOS as we explore a range of topics related to our faith, our world, and our lives together. Each month features a new topic. Come for one session or come for them all.
Come learn, ask, and grow! Bring a friend! All LOGOS classes meet at 9:30 on Sunday mornings in the parlor. Childcare available.
Fall LOGOS Topics
October 8-29: "Responding to Mental Illness as a Community" with Ellen Boone
There are many challenges faced by people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and their families. These illnesses are far more common than most people realize. Societal institutions (including schools, churches, courts) are often ill-equipped to respond helpfully to people with these disorders and to their families. Attempting to navigate the medical and legal systems can be overwhelming. But appropriate supports can result in favorable outcomes for most people with these diagnoses. Learning more about these disorders, their treatment, and the recovery process can help us to be more responsive as individuals and as a church.
November: “Our Church, Our History, Our Future" with Marty Braeske
Starting Sunday, November 5th, long-term member Marty Braeske will present a four-part series on the history and vision of University United Methodist Church.
He is a retired urban planner with more than 50 years experience working for St. Louis County Government and Saint Louis Public Schools, as well as private consultants. Session One will be based largely on "A Short History of University Church," a pamphlet which he prepared for the Church Centennial celebration in 2006. Session Two will be an urban planner's perspective of twentieth century urban growth an social, economic and political trends. Session Three will focus on current trends in policy analysis and governance. The last session will be a joyful slide show of UUMC' celebrations and fellowship over the past century.
Be You, Be Loved, Belong classes
Be You, Be Loved, Belong is a three-session course with Rev. Diane that connects you with University UMC through shared stories, giftedness, and calling. Completing this course provides the entry point for membership, adult baptism, or baptism for your child at University United Methodist Church.
During the class, we'll share our stories, explore how the baptismal covenant affects our daily lives, and discover how God has gifted us to serve. Each participant will be paired with a sponsor from the congregation (tell Rev. Diane if you have someone in mind). To sign up for the next class, email Rev. Diane.
Always We Begin Again Small Group, 9/25-10/30
Tom Mitchell is heading up a new short-term study using the book Always We Begin Again. The group will meet at the St. Louis Bread Company outside of Plaza Frontenac on Mondays, 9/25-10/30.
The purpose of this group is to develop personal spirituality through the writings of John McQuiston, who summarizes the Rule of St. Benedict in modern terms. The book is simple, straightforward and eminently practicable. Contact Tom Mitchell at 314-858-1020 for details.
The Mystic Way of Evangelism: November-December
Sunday evenings, 11/12, 11/19, 11/26, 12/3, 12/10
When the decline of the mainline church sends us into what the mystics call "a dark night of the soul," we can be tempted to use evangelism as a quick-fix boost of sales & marketing. Unfortunately, that approach turns neighbors into "consumers" and faith into a "product." Instead, God calls us to contemplative spirituality.
Christian mysticism can offer a holistic evangelism appropriate to the postmodern world. Rev. Diane will present the wisdom of ancient, medieval, and modern mystics in this five-week course based on the book The Mystic Way of Evangelism: A Contemplative Vision for Christian Outreach by Elaine Heath, Dean of Duke Divinity School. This class is appropriate for anyone skeptical of evangelism or mysticism.
Dr. Heath writes, "Real evangelism is not colonialism, nationalism, or imperialism.... Evangelism is the holistic initiation of people into the reign of God as revealed in Jesus Christ... Evangelism as an initiatory process is complete only when individuals are fully incorporated into the church, participating in the life of the church in worship, service, prayer, and evangelistic presence in the world. This means that evangelism really is at the heart of everything we believe and practice as Christians."
What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus and what discipleship opportunities does UUMC offer? Read Tom Mitchell's blog post here.
Discover your spiritual gifts
Let's explore our spiritual gifts together!
First, what are spiritual gifts? In short: they're the gifts God has given us to serve each other for God's purpose. Both Rev. Diane and church member Stacy Brown Braeske have blogged about this topic. You can read more about spiritual gifts in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4:1-13. You can also check out the worship series "Gifted" on our Sermon Podcast page.
How do you identify your gifts? We have a couple of handy resources to get you started.
- The United Methodist Church has a great video and a short assessment (21 questions long) on their spiritual gifts webpage.
- You can download a spiritual gifts inventory (60 questions long). This is an Excel spreadsheet, so if you fill it in on your computer, it will calculate your responses for you! After downloading, fill out the inventory by clicking the arrow next to each choice to choose one of the drop-down choices. You may need to "enable editing" before your choices can be entered. When possible, choose diverse numbers (not just "3" for all of them). The descriptions of each of the gifts are found in the longer spiritual gifts inventory below.
- You can print a longer spiritual gifts inventory (90 questions long) and fill it out by hand, if you prefer pencil and paper.
- Help the special kids and teens in your life recognize their spiritual gifts! There's an inventory for kids and one for teens.
What do you do now? Talk to Rev. Diane about how you can put your spiritual gifts to work for God in the community here at University United Methodist Church and beyond!