Possibilities: Breaking Outside Your Bubble

8 March 2023

2023 “Possibilities” Lenten Journey 

Pastor Fritz

Dear Faith Friend,


“With God all things are possible!”   This radical promise from Matthew 19.26 inspires our Lenten POSSIBILITIES series.  


In this WFW, we pray the following resources are blessings in our second Lenten week together:

  • This is the link to Mark & Juliet Cutler’s tremendous sermon this Sunday about how they “broke outside their Montana bubble” by serving as ELCA missionaries in Tanzania.
Mark and Juliet Cutler, Sunday, March 5, 2023
  • This discussion/reflection guide you can use with your family, by yourself, or Possibility Posse.
Printable Version of the Discussion Guide
  • There is a list (at the end of this email) of Possibility Posses/Packs/Partnerships you can join this week in person or via Zoom where you can enjoy digging deeper into what God might have in store for us when we break outside our bubbles.
  • This link you can use to fill out a bracket (beginning this Sunday night) as part of our Hoops for Haiti fundraiser, one way COS breaks out of our local bubble and connects to the story of God’s people globally.  This year we are using the multi-congregation pool, "HTF Hoops for Haiti."
HTF Hoops for Haiti Pool Sign Up

Possibility #2:  Breaking Outside Your Bubble

Lenten Discussion Guide #2 

 

 “With God all things are possible.”  Matthew 19.26

Jesus told his disciples, “You shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”   Acts 1.8

  • THANKS EVERYONE for making time to be part of what God is doing in our “Possibility” Lenten Series.
  • Thank you, leader, for pulling together this Possibility Posse/Pack/Partnership/Pow-wow.  These are special parts of the growth God has in store for our Lenten growth.


Let’s Get Started!   Let’s go around and share our names and one place we visited that felt outside our bubble. 


Opening prayer:   Thanks God for gathering us together for these fun and holy 30 minutes.   Life can feel so limited and constraining at times.  We trust in your promise that nothing is impossible with you.   Send your Holy Spirit upon us in these moments, leading us to new life-giving perspectives, convictions, and . . .  possibilities!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Discuss:


1.     The second God-given Possibility we explore this Lent is “Breaking Outside Our Bubble.”    What are examples of bubbles we experience in life today?


2.     What’s the blessing of a “life bubble”?   What’s a challenge of a bubble?  


3.     In Acts 1.8, as Jesus prepares to ascend into heaven, he tells his disciples, “You shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.”  Perhaps, his commission is a “bubble buster.”  Jesus doesn’t want his movement to thrive only in Jerusalem or Israel, but flourish far and wide.   Some suggest that Jesus is also providing a recipe for a joyful and balanced life,  that as congregations and individuals, we should invest in local, regional, and global interests and relationships.  Do you agree?   Why or why not?


4.     In their sermon, Mark & Juliet Cutler shared their experience of taking a leap of faith and serving as ELCA teaching missionaries in Tanzania.  If you heard the sermon, what are some of your take-aways?


5.     The Cutlers stated that people don’t have to travel to a faraway country in order to break outside their bubble in a positive way.  It’s possible!     Have your group share ways you all have stepped outside your bubble locally.


6.     What are some of the ways Jesus modeled breaking outside the bubble?


7.     Does someone have a quick funny story about breaking outside your bubble?


8.     One challenge of our American society in 2023 is that we live in “echo chambers” where we actually pursue shows and groups that reinforce our current opinions.   What are the blessings and curses of such a pathway?


9.     The Cutlers shared a Swahili term, “mgeni.”  This term means simultaneously “stranger” and “guest.”  How would our lives change if we saw all “strangers” as “guests” as well?   Is it possible?


10.  In their sermon, the Cutlers closed with this idea:  “We encourage you to listen to your call . . . you don’t have to travel to Tanzania to offer your gifts in a world that desperately needs your strength and gladness. There are deeds of compassion and courage that will never be done unless you do them, and words of hope and healing that will never be spoken unless you speak them.”  (In her email devotional Monday, Melissa Jacobson honestly shared a regret over letting fear prevent her from breaking outside her bubble one time and missing out on a cool opportunity).  What is your reaction to this encouragement for breaking outside of one of your bubbles? 


11.  Bonus question:  Why is it important that Christians talk about God-given possibilities?  



Closing Prayer:   Dear Lord, thanks again for these holy moments with friends in Christ this session.    Help us to break outside our bubbles to follow you wherever you lead  . . . and to accomplish whatever you’ve designed for us.   Thanks for being our God with whom all things are possible!  Be with us this week.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.



Thanks everyone!

See you next week!

As they say in Swahili, “mungu awabariki.” God bless you as you go forth.

Next week’s topic:  Connecting with Creation


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You’re invited to connect this week with one of these Possibility Posse Discussion Groups! 

  • Pastor Fritz:  Wednesdays at 7 PM via Zoom.  (Meeting ID: 835 2431 3363. Passcode: possible)
  • Nancy Shepack:  Wednesdays at 7 PM in Conference Room.  404-644-4361
  • Pastor Miriam:  Wednesdays at 3 PM in Conference Room.
  • Ellen Pfundt:  Thursdays at 6.30 PM.   770-312-0317
  • Dean Hudson:  Fridays at 6 AM via Zoom with men.  678-938-4437
  • Ingrid Hudson: “Possibilities on the Pathway” with moms, Wednesdays.  937-609-0320
  • Andrea Fisher & Allison McCumber: “LOFTy Possibilities” on Wednesdays in the LOFT.
  • Shelly Jakubowski: "Possibility Posse" on Thursdays at 7 PM via Zoom with youth parents.  858-248-5939.
  • One that YOU might start!  Call Barbara Anderson for an updated list of groups and help with starting a group on your own.  770-719-0790
CONNECTING TO JESUS'S PATHWAY OF JOY AND LIFE

If you want to share your life celebrations or concerns with one of the pastors, please email either of us at pastorfritz@coslutheran.org or pastormiriam@coslutheran.org.

And always feel free to lift up your prayers with our COS Prayer Team.

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