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Two local clergy collaborate to present Lenten studies

Special to The PREVIEW

The Rev. Douglas Neel, rector of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church will join with his friend and colleague, Pastor Don Ford, pastor of Community United Methodist Church to present five Wednesday evening Lenten studies.

The evenings begin next Wednesday, Feb. 20, at 6 p.m. at St. Patrick’s parish hall with homemade soup and fellowship, followed by discussions on  the minor prophets of the Old Testament.

This is not the first time the two ministers have collaborated to present lectures, debates and discussions during Lent. The idea for these Lenten studies began during Lent of 2010, when they discussed leaders of the Reformation, each taking on opposing opinions expressed by the leaders. Last year, the two took on two opposing theologians, Marcus Borg and N.T. Wright.

These classes have resulted in some interesting discussions and thought provoking challenges to conventional thinking. They are meant to make us go deeper into our own preconceived ideas to either affirm or challenge us in our understanding of God’s truth.

“The minor prophets, such as Amos and Micah, are quite relevant to issues that we face today,” says Neel. “They have much to say about social justice, poverty, and how we should respond as believers.”

The two clergymen are friends and colleagues who enjoy bantering, challenging, and joking with each other. These classes give them the opportunity to display their mutual respect, playful jibing and intellectual sparring as they invite the community to contemplate and learn.

These Lenten studies are designed to bring depth of meaning to Lenten discipline and self-evaluation. The public is invited to attend and participate in these weekly discussions.

This story was posted on February 14, 2013.