Award-Winning Author & Jesus Seminar Scholar at The Fountains

The Fountains is thrilled to welcome Dr. Stephen J.  Patterson back to Fountain Hills for both our 9am and 11:15 services (with a Q&A at 10:15) on Sunday, March 1st. Author or co-author of over ten books on the origins of Christianity and the George H. Atkinson professor of religious and ethical studies at Willamette University, Patterson was recently awarded the prestigious 2020 Grawemeyer Award recognizing the most outstanding idea in religion, music composition, world order, psychology and education for his book, “The Forgotten Creed: Christianity’s Original Struggle Against Bigotry, Slavery and Sexism.”

Patterson teaches courses on the history of religion, writes and lectures widely on the hidden origins of the earliest Christianities, focusing especially on the lost gospels, Q, and the Gospel of Thomas (texts often overlooked because they are not in the Bible). A leading figure in the Jesus Seminar, Patterson has appeared on many documentaries in connection with his work on the Gospel of Thomas, Q, and the quest for the historical Jesus. He is also featured in the “Living the Questions” curriculum developed by The Fountains’ pastor, Rev. David Felten.

At The Fountains, Dr. Patterson will be speaking on the Gospel of Thomas, a “sayings” Gospel that was discovered in the Egyptian desert in 1945. While it didn’t make the cut into the canon of the New Testament with Mark, Matthew, Luke and John, it has come to be embraced as a document on par with the Biblical gospels. In fact, growing evidence points to Thomas having been written before the Gospels in the Bible — maybe even as early as 40 (only 10 years after Jesus’ death and over 30 years earlier than the Gospels in the Bible). The Gospel of Thomas is looked to by scholars as containing sayings original to Jesus that have been unadulterated by the later gospel writers and editors of the Bible.

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WATCH HERE FOR THE FOUNTAINS UMC RESPONSE TO COVID-19Information changes frequently, so be sure to check back often

The Fountains UMC is creating a plan for its response to COVID-19, with the goal of maintaining social distance to keep everyone safe. Sharing information and maintaining contact with members and the community is critical, and to that end we have several actions in process. Watch here for updates, and come back often to check on new information!

  • All in-person meetings and group gatherings on campus are supended through the end of April.
  • The Fountains UMC Office will be open by appointment only until further notice.
  • Sunday morning Celebrations are Live-Streamed at 9:30am only, no face-to-face gatherings.
  • Meals at JUSTA and Halle Centers are suspended until further notice.
  • April 24-26 Mingus Mountain All Church Camp is cancelled
Sunday Morning Celebrations

Sunday morning Celebrations will be held at 9:30 online only, via Livestream, You Tube and Facebook. Follow one of these links to tune in on Sunday mornings: