Dr Mary Lautzenhiser Bellon, Director of the Office of Pastoral Care and Counseling would like to invite interested clergy in a deep study of the Book of Numbers beginning Fall 2019. The text will be Bewilderments, written by Hebrew scholar and psychologist Avivah Zornberg who teaches at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Numbers, known in Hebrew as The Book of In-the-Wilderness begins with the great census and covers the thirty-eight years the Israelites wandered in the desert. “At its heart are speeches of complaint and lament. But in the narrative of the book of Numbers…the generation of the wilderness emerges as one of extraordinary spiritual experience, fed on miracles and nurtured directly by God…”
As we in the United States look forward to the Census of 2020, the next General Conference of the UMC, and the ongoing ways we find ourselves in the wilderness personally and professionally, this study welcomes us to probe deeply the tragedies and triumphs of the wilderness journey as it deepens our conversation with God. This study will uplift the experiences of trauma and grief, miracle and recovery, and the profound questions of “who counts, what counts and why we count”.
The tentative schedule is for the first three sessions: September 23, October 28 and November 25. Then we will resume with a final, day-long retreat on January 28 with a back-up-date for weather.
Please let Dr. Bellon know of your interest at DrMLBellon@gmail.com or 515-419-6163. Anticipated location will be Ames but this may be adjusted according to participants. It is possible if interest is widely diverse geographically that we could meet as a webinar.
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