Exploring our sermon series through community, food, and study.
Fall 2019: Why Church?
This fall, we will be exploring different facets of our commitment to Christian faith and practice. In our current world, an alive and active faith is not assumed. There are culture-wide shifts in institutional trust, religious participation, knowledge, and practice. A recent Gallup poll finds the percentage of Americans who report belonging to a church, synagogue or mosque at an all-time low.
What is more, whether we have belonged to church community our whole lives, or are brand new to a life of faith, we might not regularly stop and think through our reasons for belief, belonging, and practice. The shifting religious landscape provides communities, and individuals, the opportunity to re-examine our basis for faith, spiritual practice, and redemptive ways of living.
The scriptures in this book explore some of the biblical and theological roots of questions related to who we are as Christian followers, and correspond with the sermon text from weekly worship: Why Church? Why study? Why Jesus? Why Gather? Why Serve? Why Care? Why Worship? Why Give? Gathered around tables, you are invited to study, reflect, listen, and add your voice to the conversation.
Eight weeks beginning September 22.
In the life of faith we are invited to move from Christ’s Table in worship to a common table outside the walls of the church—common tables are one place where we live out the grace we experience of Christ’s table. Tables are also a reminder of Jesus’ intention and willingness to eat with anyone. Tables are a radical extension of God’s grace in the world.
Table Groups, PHPC's small group ministry, are a way that we gather in community to make spiritual sense out of our lives and the world. Groups meet in homes, restaurants, coffee shops, and various locations around the city throughout the week
They are a chance to form meaningful connections through food, fellowship, and book/Bible study. Table groups launch two times a year - once in the fall and once in the spring.
Table Groups meet weekly for an hour and a half. During the 1st half of the meeting, groups participate in book/Bible study together with a guided curriculum. For the second half, groups engage one another in the question, "How is your life in God?” Each session closes with prayer sharing joys and concerns.
Bible and Book Discussion (45min)
PHPC Table Groups do not have to have a single leader. Instead, groups follow a model of shared leadership and responsibility. Everyone in the group has the opportunity to facilitate the discussion (if they so desire). At your first gathering your group will decide who will facilitate each week. Other group responsibilities include snack coordinator, time keeper, and someone to keep track of prayer requests. Opening prayer, book and bible study discussion questions are provided in the curriculum.
How is your life in God? (45min)
The very act of asking this simple question on a weekly basis causes you to pay more attention to the presence of God in your daily life. Asking that one question at any particular group meeting might not seem significant, but asking that question in the presence of others on an ongoing, weekly basis, is a practice that the Holy Spirit can use to drastically change your life. This time is not for sharing joys and concerns (that happens later!). This time is not intended to solve problems. It is a time to practice listening to others. It is a time to practice recognizing God’s leading in your life.
Table Groups are an initial eight-week experience. Following the eight weeks, groups are encouraged to participate in one service and one social activity as a group.
Your table group will determine the type of food that you want to incorporate into your time together. It can be as much as a full meal or as little as cheese and crackers or cookies. These decisions are made by you group during your first gathering.
Childcare can be arranged for groups who choose to meet at the church on Sunday morning, Wednesday evening, or Sunday evening.
Interested in arranging childcare for your group? Email Rev. Sarah Johnson at