Annual “Evolution Sunday” Celebrates Darwin’s Birthday

Ape & skullHundreds of congregations across the country and around the world are marking Sunday, February 12th (International Darwin Day), as a day to reflect on what it means to balance a religious world view with the knowledge gained from scientific progress. The Fountains’ annual celebration of Evolution Sunday will include Evolution-themed messages at both the 9am and 11:15 services and a special presentation by Dr. Vern Meyer at 6 pm. Back by popular demand, Dr. Meyer will discuss Elizabeth Johnson’s book, Ask the Beasts: Darwin and the God of Love. The 6pm presentation is free (donations will be accepted).

Why Evolution Sunday? As our national dialogue becomes bogged down in “fake news” and the discrediting of scientific objectivity, it’s all the more important to declare one’s commitment to rational thought and evidence-based reality. Also, Evolution Sunday helps spread the word that the United Methodist denomination officially endorses evolution, especially to the growing number of young people who have stopped attending church because they consider Christianity to be “anti-science.” The United Methodist Book of Discipline not only states that “science’s descriptions of cosmological, geological and biological evolution are not in conflict with theology” but also encourages United Methodists to actively work to oppose “faith based theories such as creationism or intelligent design” in public school science curriculums.

“Those that cling to a literal reading of the Creation stories practice a very narrow ideology of the Bible that shows disrespect to both the Bible and science,” says Pastor David Felten, a signer of The Clergy Letter Project. “Denying evolution demands the rejection of both reason and experience — two important guidelines our founder, John Wesley, urged all Methodists to bring to bear in both their faith and life.”

Every day, new scientific discoveries are creating amazing opportunities to learn and grow and make the world a better place. Evolution Sunday is a day to affirm the work of the Spirit in the process of evolution and embrace the diversity and complexity of life as a gift of God.

The Fountains is located at 15300 N Fountain Hills Blvd. in Fountain Hills. Services are on Sunday at 9am and 11:15 with a special presentation by Dr. Vern Meyer at 6pm. For more information, call 480.837.7627.

Fountain Hills Chamber Players Concert

The Fountain Hills Chamber Players will present a concert at The Fountains Sunday, February 19. Ticket and production information is available HERE.

Died to Save MEN OF ALL FAITHS

immortal_chaplains_stamp-300x176Friday, Feb. 3rd at 5pm

The Fountain Hills Interfaith Alliance and American Legion Post 58 are honored to lead a moving ceremony recognizing our country and military’s commitment to religious diversity and pluralism as core values. The Third Annual Four Chaplains Memorial Service will be on Friday, February 3rd at 5PM at the Veterans Memorial in Fountain Park.

We are privileged to join thousands of other patriotic Americans across the country who will be gathering on February 3rd not only to acknowledge that Muslims, Jews, LDS, Baha’i, Hindus, Catholics, Protestants, and non-believers all serve our country in uniform, but to honor the Chaplains who faithfully support practitioners of all faiths — even those not their own.

The Immortal Chaplains: Shortly after midnight on Feb. 3, 1943, the USAT Dorchester was struck by a torpedo from a German submarine. Of the 902 young men on board, only 230 survived. Many of the survivors owe their lives to the courage and leadership exhibited by four heroic chaplains, who, in sacrificing their lives, created a unique legacy in celebrating the common human values embraced by all the world’s religions.

Chaplains Fox, Goode, Poling and Washington were posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Purple Heart, and in 1948, Congress declared Feb. 3 to be Four Chaplains Day.  Since 1951, The Chapel of Four Chaplains in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has spread the message of interfaith cooperation and selfless service, touching the lives of thousands of people across the country.

Please join us on Friday, February 3rd at 5pm. Participants are encouraged to wear their RED “Home of the Free Because of the Brave” t-shirts. Following the ceremony, all are invited to Fountain Hills American Legion Post 58 for a Fish Fry.

“It was the finest thing I have seen, or hope to see, this side of heaven.”

– Survivor John Ladd, who watched the chaplains distribute life jackets, and when they ran out, removed their own and gave them to four young men. As Dorchester sank, the chaplains were seen linked arm in arm, praying.

The Veteran’s Memorial is located on the South side of Fountain Park at the intersection of El Lago Blvd and Kiwanis Drive.

2016 Four Chaplains Ceremony at Fountain Park

2016 Four Chaplains Ceremony at Fountain Park

Pastor David Felten at 2016's Four Chaplain Ceremony

Pastor David Felten at 2016’s Four Chaplain Ceremony, with Chaplain Chuck Lewis, other American Legion members, Samir Joseph Hamel, Rev. Adele Resmer, and Naomi Lerman.

 

 

“The Greatest (or Most Dangerous?) Prayer” Series

greatest prayer coverIn his book, The Greatest Prayer, foremost historical Jesus scholar John Dominic Crossan, bestselling author of Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography (and dozens of other books on Jesus and the New Testament), explores the provocative implications of The Lord’s Prayer, an element of Christianity that is so familiar to people that it is never given any serious attention or thought.

For eight weeks in February and through Lent, Pastor David Felten will guide us through the revolutionary and fascinating ramifications of what many — without much consideration — consider to be a cornerstone of Christianity.

  • Jan. 29th Greatest Prayer #1: Pray Then in This Way
  • Feb. 5th Greatest Prayer #2: Our Father in Heaven
  • Feb. 26th Greatest Prayer #3: Hallowed Be Your Name
  • March 5th LENT 1  Greatest Prayer #4: Your Kingdom Come
  • March 12th LENT 2 Greatest Prayer #5: Your Will Be Done on Earth
  • March 19th LENT 3 Greatest Prayer #6: Give Us Our Daily Bread
  • March 26th LENT 4 Greatest Prayer #7: Forgive Us Our Debts
  • April 2nd LENT 5  Greatest Prayer #8: Lead Us Not into Temptation

For background on John Dominic Crossan, CLICK HERE.

“Uppity Women of the Bible” Coming to The Fountains

Uppity Women of the Bible, a DVD series featuring Hebrew Bible professor Dr. Lisa Wolfe, will be the focus of a Wednesday morning Bible Study at The Fountains beginning Wednesday, January 18th at 10am and continuing through March 1st. Our first focus will be six sessions on the book of Esther, a complex story that ranges from slapstick farce to Shakespearean tragedy.

uppitywomen

Our guide to Esther, Dr. Lisa Wolfe is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible at Oklahoma City University, the author of Ruth, Esther, Song of Songs, and Judith (Wipf and Stock, 2011), and is a self-described Bible Nerd. Combining careful scholarship with humor and fresh insights, Dr. Wolfe presents the stories of various Biblical women in a way that generates lively, thoughtful discussion and that sheds light on issues that are very contemporary.

Facilitated by Pastor David Felten, you’re invited to enter into an exotic and fanciful Persian kingdom complete with a dim-witted king, a defiant queen, an egotistical lieutenant and a loyal uncle – all the elements that make the book of Esther a timeless cautionary tale. With lavish banquets, extreme beauty treatments and dangerous liaisons at every turn, can the beautiful and courageous Esther avert disaster for her people? All this occurs in a Biblical book where God is never even mentioned.

Suggested tuition for this six (6) week module is $20. Email or call the office (480.837.7627) to sign up. Those who sign up ahead will receive a participant guide via email or mail so they can prepare for the first session. Grab your gragger and your hamantaschen and join Dr. Wolfe for this fascinating study of power, corruption, violence, and courage.

Sessions:

  • Jan 18th Who’s Who
  • Jan 25th Setting the Stage
  • Feb 1st The Defiant Queen
  • Feb 8th From Coronation to Doomsday
  • Feb 15th The King’s Scepter
  • Feb 22nd [break]
  • March 1st Uppity Esther?

CLICK HERE to go to YouTube to view a sample video from “Uppity Women.”

“Living the Questions” Study for Progressive Christians  

ltqpageIt’s back! The study that launched a thousand OpEd pieces (and at least 48 “Fact or Fiction” sermons in 2015!). “Honoring Creation,” the SECOND module of the popular DVD course “Living the Questions 2.0,” will be offered at The Fountains beginning Thursday evening, January 26th at 6:30 and will continue for seven (7) weeks.

Living the Questions  is a program created by Pastor David and colleague, Rev. Jeff Procter-Murphy as a progressive alternative to the pat answers of the evangelical “Alpha Course.” The DVD series, part of the LtQ catalog now in use by over 6,000 churches around the world, has also been published in book form by HarperOne, San Francisco.

The overall theme is “Reclaiming the World” and includes the topics of The Prophetic Jesus, Evil, Suffering, & a God of Love, and Debunking the Rapture.

Facilitated by Pastor David, these classes introduce participants to ways of thinking about the Bible, their faith, and how to interact with the world in ways that make sense in the 21st century. Participants will explore how taking the Bible seriously excludes a belief in the inerrancy (or infallibility) of scripture, how belief in a literal Resurrection is optional (and detrimental to contemporary Christianity), and how exchanging the prophetic Jesus of the Gospels for the saccharine Jesus of many people’s imaginations actually enriches our understanding of Jesus’ relevance for today.

Suggested tuition for this seven (7) week module is $20. Email or call the office (480.837.7627) to sign up. Those who sign up ahead will receive a participant guide via email or mail so they can prepare for the first session. Many have already completed LtQ 2.0’s first module (Sessions 1 – 7 ) and third module (Sessions 15 – 21). This module is the “second flight” of the program: Sessions 8 through 14.

Living the Questions 2.0: Reclaiming the World  2017

  • Jan 26th: 8. Restoring Relationships
  • Feb. 2nd: 9. The Prophetic Jesus    
  • Feb. 9th: 10. Evil, Suffering & A God of Love    
  • Feb. 16th: 11. The Myth of Redemptive Violence 
  • Feb. 23rd: 12. Practicing Resurrection
  • Mar 2nd: 13. Debunking the Rapture
  • Mar 9th: 14. Reclaiming the World

Join us and plan for stimulating input, great conversation, and a liberating view of Christianity. Childcare is available upon request – call the office (480.837.7627).

Faith and Food Justice

earth-dayThe “Green Team” of The Fountains, along with Arizona Interfaith Power and Light,  is pleased to present a three-part film series and discussion on “Faith and Food Justice.” The first film, “Preaching for the Planet,” provides an interfaith perspective on our stewardship role in the care of the planet in the face of global warming.
The second, award-winning, film, “A Place at the Table,” offers a look at the faces and stories of hunger in America. The third evening will be three short documentaries on how three different communities that are in the midst of what’s called “food deserts” (including one here in Phoenix) are responding to food insecurity, lack of access to healthy food, and social and environmental injustice.
The films will be screened at The Fountains from 7 to 8:30pm on on January 23rd, February 20th, and March 20th.
Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to be in dialogue on faith, hunger and the role of the faith community in food justice.  Join us for fellowship and inspiration. For more information, email Patrick Grady.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS: 
  • January 23rd: Preaching for the Planet
  • February 20th: A Place at the Table
  • March 20th: Food Deserts

A Look at Sacred Geometry

shellAt this month’s BYOT (Bring Your Own Thoughts)*, Karen Klaassen will be our facilitator in “A Look at Sacred Geometry.”

Sacred geometry is found in nature, music, ancient structures, art, and architecture throughout the ages. It can be seen in human cultures and throughout our cosmos. Karen has colorful images for us to view to see how it’s been used both in the past and currently throughout the world.  She will demonstrate the use of Sacred Geometry as a meditative spiritual practice.  We will meet Tuesday evening, January 10th, in the Sanctuary from 7 to 9pm.

All are invited and welcome to join us!

For more information, email Barb Sudderth.

 

*NOTE: formerly TBD (To Be Determined).

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Celebrations

cmas2016

“Yule Love It!” – Celebration of Christmas Music

Yule Love It Flyer 2016 ver1Join us for a night of your favorite Christmas music done in a way only The Fountains can do it! Long-time Country Diva Jamy Culp joins husband Steve Culp, veteran keyboardist for the award-winning smooth-jazz group, “Turning Point” as they team up with band members and Fountain Hills Theater favorites Sandy Schlosser and Gina Tomkus for a night of fun and inspiring Christmas music and cheer. Musical interlopers include The Fountain Hills Saxophone Quartet PLUS a very special surprise guest.

ONE NIGHT ONLY: Sunday, December 18th at 6pm at The Fountains,  15300 N Fountain Hills Blvd. The suggested $20 donation (at the door) not only includes the entertainment, but a dessert and coffee/tea at intermission!

From “What Child is This?” to “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and everything in between, you’re sure to be entertained by this amazing collaboration of musicians – and all for a great cause! All proceeds go toward missions providing food, shelter, and job training to the less fortunate the whole year round.

Admit it! This is just the kind of delightful distraction you need before the last week of Christmas madness sets in! It’s a great show for a great cause – and you don’t even have to go to Lake Wazzapamani. It’s right here in Fountain Hills! “Yule Love It!”

CLICK HERE to DOWNLOAD THE FLYER