Come Worship!  Sunday School for all ages at 9:45 am and Worship at 11:00 am

This summer, you are invited into the practice of Sabbath.  What does Sabbath mean?  According to Exodus, the Sabbath is a day of rest on the seventh day, commanded by God and to be kept as a holy day, just as God rested after the holy work of creation.  Another definition of Sabbath is an "Intentional day of delightful communion with God and one another."    Our wish is for the congregation to take this time to be intentional with their time with God and one another.


The Christian Formation Team has planned a “light” program to give participants plenty of opportunity to practice Sabbath in their homes, while on vacation, or in community. Two special guest speakers will frame the theme and refresh us midway. Choose from an array of opportunities to learn about and practice Sabbath: weekly devotions, book groups, fellowship with lemonade, Summer Suppers, as well as the fullness of summer worship.


ELDINGKEEPING SABBATH with Special Guest Matt Floding
Sunday, June 10, 9:45 – 10:45 am in the Fellowship Hall

The 4th Commandment begins. "Remember the Sabbath..." We're starting right there as we engage this Commandment over the summer. What do you remember learning about the Sabbath?

This Sunday morning gathering is designed for adults, youth, and elementary-aged children. Childcare will be provided for younger children.

Matt Floding grew up Lutheran and started attending Reformed churches while in college. Matt says he is not a Sabbatarian, but, as the Director of Ministerial Formation at Duke Divinity School, he encourages ministry leaders to think about life-giving practices that are sustaining for them. One thing that Matt and his wife Marcia commit to is walking in nearby in Duke Gardens every Sunday. If you were to call him during that time, his phone would show that he takes an e-Sabbath from noon to 5 pm on Sundays. Matt will encourage each of us to try out our own Rule of Life for this summer and beyond. Come join us!

DAAFOR SABBATH’S SAKE with Special Guest J. Dana Trent
Sunday, July 22, 9:45 – 10:45 am in the Fellowship Hall

As summer moves on, we might need a boost in order to reinvigorate our summer practice of Sabbath. Come learn with J. Dana Trent, author of “For Sabbath’s Sake.”  This Sunday morning gathering is designed for adults, youth, and elementary-aged children. Childcare will be provided for younger children.

Dana is an award-winning author, speaker, minister, and teacher. She is a graduate of Duke Divinity School and adjunct faculty member at Wake Technical Community College, where she teaches World Religions and Critical Thinking. She is married Fred Eaker who is a devout Hindu who formerly lived as a monk in rural North Carolina and Northern California. To get a preview of Dana’s writing, see her article published in Sojourners which argues that Sabbath is an act of resistance against the systemic oppression and violence enabled by free markets and consumerism:


Sunday, August 19, 9:45 – 10:45 am in the Fellowship Hall

Summer is wrapping up! The hectic schedule of school and work ratchets up! What do we do and how will be continue to keep Sabbath? Come share your summer Sabbath experiences – the highs and the lows – and ponder with others how to move into a fall season of Sabbath. This Sunday morning gathering is designed for adults, youth, and elementary-aged children. Childcare will be provided for younger children.

June 17 – August 12, 10:30 to 10:50 am

On Sundays when we do not have a special class, take the time on your own, with a friend or family member, to spend intentionally with God. Then, head to church for fellowship with the People of God! Join us on the grass, in the courtyard, or in the parlor for lemonade and refreshments!


Fridays, June 8 – August 17

Watch your inbox each Friday for a devotional written by a West Raleigh member. These will include a scripture or quote from one of our readings, a brief reflection, a Sabbath practice to consider, and a prayer.


June 10 through August 19
Make Friends with Someone New! Sign up for a Fellowship Gathering.
Signups available beginning June 10.

Embracing and Feasting, according to Marva Dawn, are two aspects to keeping Sabbath. This summer, embrace Christian Community and feast with new friends in a variety of ways. Sign up for small group gatherings that meet your schedule and interest simply for relaxed fellowship with new combinations of friends.    In many cases, participants will be asked to contribute to the gathering in some way.


June 10 through August 19
Choose a Book. Choose to Meet with a Book Group

We are offering four books, all vetted by the Christian Formation team, for your purchase at a discounted rate. Read the book on your own. An option for readers is to meet as a group one or more times during the summer. Sign up begins Christian Formation Sunday. A small number of each book will be available at that time.

SUBRUSabbath in the Suburbs, by MaryAnnn McKibben Dana

MaryAnn McKibben Dana makes a persuasive case for Sabbath-keeping. She writes eloquently about the excuses that so many of us make for NOT practicing Sabbath, or for practicing it in a haphazard and slapdash way when it is convenient for us.   “Sabbath in the Suburbs” will particularly resonate with working parents who are trying to balance the demands of young children, jobs and the other obligations that creep into our calendars. It is an excellent resource for families who want to live in a more mindful way, savoring our children’s formative years rather than enduring them. Dana also provides tips (“hacks”) for living intentionally from which any reader can benefit, not just fractured parents trying to hold it all together.

nonowSabbath as Resistance: Saying NO to the Culture of NOW, by Walter Brueggemann

In this compact work, Brueggemann makes the case that Sabbath-keeping is a biblical commandment we ignore at our peril. He writes:

“In our contemporary context of the rat race of anxiety, the celebration of Sabbath is an act of both resistance and alternative. It is resistance because it is a visible insistence that our lives are not defined by the production and consumption of commodity goods. Such an act of resistance requires enormous intentionality and communal reinforcement amid the barrage of seductive pressures from the insatiable insistences of the market, with its intrusions into every part of our life from the family to the national budget….But Sabbath is not only resistance. It is alternative…The alternative on offer is the awareness and practice of the claim that we are situated on the receiving end of the gifts of God. “


dayReceiving the Day, by Dorothy Bass.

In this spirituality of time, Dorothy Bass invites readers into a way of living in time that is alert to both contemporary pressures and rooted ancient wisdom. The celebrated editor of Practicing Our Faith asks hard questions about how our injurious attitude toward time has distorted our relationships with our innermost selves, with other people, with the natural world, and with God. As an alternative to the rhetoric of management and mastery, Receiving the Day offers a language of attention, poetry, and celebration. Bass encourages us to reevaluate our understanding of the temporal and thereby to participate fully in the Christian practice of knowing time as God's gift. Embraced in this way, time need not be wrestled with each day. Instead, time becomes the habitation of blessing.  


sakeFor Sabbath’s Sake, by J. Dana Trent,

Our special guest speaker is also an author! In this book, Dana Trent seeks to reinvigorate your practice of Sabbath. Discover a spiritual practice that helps you maintain spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental health. From resting, worshiping, and participating in your community, J. Dana Trent explores the purpose and spirit of Sabbath in ways both ancient and modern.





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