Back to school and grow­ing faith

The Covington News - - Religion - Rev. Jan Mccoy is the as­so­ciate pas­tor of Cov­ing­ton First United Methodist Church in down­town Cov­ing­ton. She may be reached at jan.mccoy@ngumc.net.

Make an ef­fort to present your­self to God as a tried-and-true worker, who doesn’t need to be ashamed but is one who in­ter­prets the mes­sage of truth cor­rectly.

2 Ti­mothy 2:15 (Com­mon English

Bi­ble)

It’s back-to-school time. Where did the sum­mer go? In the last cou­ple of weeks, we’ve seen yel­low buses com­ing through neigh­bor­hoods, and we’ve said good­bye to those young high school grad­u­ates who are be­com­ing col­lege fresh­men. We’ve watched as one by one, our chil­dren and their friends have re­turned to school. Even some of our adult friends have started school as they work to­ward higher ed­u­ca­tion and bet­ter pay through grad­u­ate de­grees.

So, what about us? What about the rest of us who are not in­volved in for­mal ed­u­ca­tion and who are not go­ing to get higher de­grees? What do we do?

While Au­gust and the be­gin­ning of fall trig­ger end-of-play time for those in school, it is also a time for the rest of us to continue to learn. As we start our fall se­ries of stud­ies in church, let us go in with an at­ti­tude of study­ing hard, of learn­ing and of be­com­ing more like Je­sus.

The Apos­tle Paul wrote let­ters to his friend whom he con­sid­ered a “stu­dent” in the min­istry. In these let­ters to young Ti­mothy, Paul shares wis­dom and prac­ti­cal ad­vice about min­istry. Since we are all con­sid­ered work­ers (an­other word for min­is­ters) in one way or an­other as we walk this Chris­tian walk, let us take note of these words and what we can learn from them as well. We have to make an ef­fort to learn, to grow in faith and in love so that we will not need to be ashamed of our faith. When we make an ef­fort to study God’s word, we will be bet­ter able to in­ter­pret it cor­rectly.

So how do we learn to in­ter­pret the mes­sage of truth cor­rectly? By study­ing the Bi­ble, by pray­ing and ask­ing for guid­ance from the Holy Spirit, by learn­ing to trust God in­stead of be­ing dis­tracted (known as fast­ing), and by meet­ing to­gether with other Chris­tians for times of growth and fel­low­ship (shar­ing in the community of faith). It is dur­ing these times of learn­ing that we grow in our faith and that we be­come well-grounded in what we be­lieve.

Are you hav­ing trou­ble get­ting started? In our faith community, we of­fer Al­pha Classes, a great place to start. Al­pha pro­vides a safe space to ask ques­tions, ex­plore an­swers and learn about God. So even if you are not on a faith jour­ney, don’t just sit there, do some­thing about it. Go back to school.

How are you learn­ing and grow­ing in your faith ev­ery day?

JAN MCCOY

COLUM­NIST

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