Graduate Christian Fellowship – Romans, Home and Homelessness in the Empire

The Graduate Christian Fellowship invites you to:
Romans, Home and Homelessness in the Empire

A Bible study and overview of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans with
Brian Walsh
Christian Reformed campus minister at UofT
(i.e. the other member of our campus ministry team)

(Note: Please try to read all of Paul’s letter for Thurs night – see below)

Thursday, September 27, 2012
Chaplain’s office, Wycliffe College (basement)
6:00 – Dinner  /  7:00 (or so) – Something After Dinner – discussion, etc.

Dear Friends,
This year at GCF we’re reading through the biblical book of Romans in our worship times, in parallel with the Tuesday morning Wine Before Breakfast community, where the same texts are preached on the week after we read them. We thought it would be good to get an overview of the whole book so we have some context in which to place our weekly readings. And we thought that, since Brian Walsh and his wife, Sylvia Keesmaat (also a biblical scholar) are currently writing a book about Romans, that Brian would be a good person to lead this study.

Brian has one request in preparation for Thursday night
>>> Please read through the whole book of Romans, ideally in one sitting <<<
– it takes about 1 to 1.5 hours to read the whole thing
– for even greater authenticity, try reading it out loud

Here are some interpretive clues that can help guide your reading, and that will give some shape to Thursday’s discussion:
Romans is not Paul’s attempt at systematic theology, but rather an exercise in storytelling. This diverse group of believers – Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor, citizens and slaves – was attempting to live out the story of Jesus while living in the heart of the capital of the largest empire in the world at the time. The Roman Empire had its own narratives, myths and symbols, and these were often not friendly to Jews. Within recent memory at the time of Paul’s writing the Jews had been (once again) driven from Rome and then, a few years later, allowed back in.

Set in the context of the expulsion and return of Jews to Rome, Paul’s letter to the Christian community in Rome is fundamentally about home. If Jews are constantly held to be a shameful people who do not deserve the security of home in the empire, then how does a mixed community of Christian Jews and Gentiles make home together? What does homecoming look like for a community shaped fundamentally by the story of Jesus? How does that community embrace the story of Israel in the light of the story of Jesus? And how does that story shape this community into a place of home? These questions are at the heart of the epistle.

Please join us for an engaging introduction to this important New Testament book.


Upcoming GCF Events:

Sunday, September 30
GCF Fall Hike in Taylor Creek Park
Meet at Victoria Park subway station @ 3:00
(details in the next email)

Thurs Oct 4
Film: “Where Do We Go Now?” (2011)

Thurs Oct 11
Engaging Local Community Ministries – An Exploration

Sunday, October 14
Wine After Dinner
Church of the Redeemer Anglican
7:00 pm
(liturgy employing the music & poetry of Leonard Cohen)

Tuesdays, 7:22 am
“Wine Before Breakfast”
a weekly Eucharist service in the Wycliffe College Chapel,
followed by breakfast in the chaplain’s office