“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” ~ Proverbs 1:7
“An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” ~ Proverbs 18:15
September at Ascension brings the start of a new year of Discipleship Hour: the hour before our public worship every Lord’s Day (Sunday). These classes are a core ministry of APC and one of the primary opportunities to acquire and seek knowledge so that we mature as Christian disciples.
From 9:00am to 9:45am we offer classes for all ages. Classes will begin on Sunday, September 22. Classes for children and youth are segregated by age, with the child’s birth date as of September 1 being the boundary from one year to the next.
This fall we will be studying new topics and we will also be welcoming some new teachers:
Jen Mann and Anna Hitchcock will return to teach our 3 to 5-year-olds in our Preschool class.
Our Grade School class is for 6 to 11-year-olds and will continue be taught by Julie Stocklin. Our new assistant this year is Stephani Dillon (taking over from Elizabeth Chase). These two classes will continue to use the “Show Me Jesus” curriculum from Great Commission Publications (GCP).
We have two classes for our teens between the ages of 12 and 15: The Teen Boys class will have two new teachers this year in Tim Bailey and Fred Wilson (taking over from Jonathan Bloedow and Matt Hudson). The Teen Girls class will continue to be taught by Sheri Proctor, who is joined this year by Monica Sledge (taking over from Stacey Solano). Both classes for our teens will be studying the Gospel of John using the “So What” curriculum from GCP.
Our 16 through 18-year-old high schoolers are in a class we call “Senior Seminar.” This weekly seminar seeks to engage our young adults on a variety of topics that are important for them as they enter adulthood. Topics range from spiritual disciplines to in-depth Bible studies to current events and issues from our surrounding culture. This year we have Matt and Colette Hudson (taking over from Austin and Ellen Clement) as the Senior Seminar teachers.
The adult classes will continue to follow the format of three 10-week classes:
· The fall class will be taught by CJ DeGroot and Pastor Nate Hitchcock as they lead us through a discussion of the book, Evangelism as Exiles by Elliot Clark. This excellent book uses 1 Peter and the author’s own missionary experience to challenge us on how to be Christian evangelists in a post-Christian culture.
· The topic for our winter class will focus on God’s design for human sexuality and human identity. This class will seek to use the Bible as the lens through which we understand what it is to be created in God’s image, to be created male and female, and to be created for sexual intimacy and holiness.
· The spring quarter will be self-conscious of the political realities that will occupy our country at that time (the Democratic primaries along with local elections). Consequently, we’ll be studying the mission of God’s people (i.e., the mission of the Church) in 21st century America.
Teachers for the winter and spring quarter are still being finalized, so please let Nate or Brett know if you or someone you know at APC would be good candidates to team-teach either class.
How thankful we are for the men and women that the Lord has raised up to equip us for the work of ministry and proclaim to the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of our God! Please begin praying for them as they prepare for their upcoming classes. Also pray for the gathering on Saturday, September 14, when they will come together for a time of fellowship, equipping, and prayer.
Lastly, please know that there are many, many hours of preparation and instruction that our teachers generously give to all of us at APC. Please make it your priority every Sunday to bring your family to Discipleship Hour at 9:00am and participate in this important ministry at APC. While there are no lack of resources available for personal or group bible studies, or online classes that you can take, there remains only one Ascension Presbyterian Church in Edmonds, Washington.
The body of Christ at APC needs everyone involved in discipleship, and that involvement especially includes participating in Discipleship Hour. Our participation not only honors and respects the teachers who prepare their lessons for us and our children, but we also demonstrate that we do not “despise wisdom and instruction” and that we do have a heart that acquires and seeks knowledge.