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Hal Taussig Returns to FUMC for the Month of May

May 1, 2016 @ 9:00 am - May 31, 2016 @ 1:00 pm

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Hal Taussig
Hal Taussig

Hal Taussig is returning to First United Methodist Church of Boulder for the month of May! Hal will present a special evening program on the Gospel of Truth on Thursday, May 19, at 7:30 pm in our church parlor. Also, he will be our guest preacher during our 10:30 am worship services on Sunday, May 8, and Sunday, May 29. In addition, Hal will lead the Forum, one our Sunday morning adult education opportunities, on May 1, 8, 22, and 29. Finally, he will lead Sacred Bites, our lunchtime Bible study, on May 3, 10, 17, and 24.

Hal is recently retired Professor of New Testament at Union Theological Seminary in New York, an ordained United Methodist minister, a past Theologian-in-Residence (TIR) here at FUMC Boulder, and the author of the hugely influential book, A New New Testament. He was one of our 2015 TIRs, and was also with us for some of this past Lenten season. We’re delighted that he’s returned so soon!


On Thursday evening, May 19, at 7:30 pm in our church parlor, Hal will present a program introducing us to the Gospel of Truth, a lush and sensuous version of the many early Christ movement proclamations of good news in the middle of bad times. Hal is in the middle of writing a major portrait of the Gospel of Truth for the national meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature this coming fall in San Antonio. His study highlights chapter 10, in which love makes a body for God’s presence and the word of God walks around in creation, as well as some focus on chapter 19, in which God is characterized as sweetness and people as God’s fragrance. Join us on May 19 and hear about Hal’s work in progress.


On Sunday, May 8, during our 10:30 am worship service, Hal will be our guest preacher. His sermon, entitled “The Limbs of My Mother,” is drawn from The Thunder: Perfect Mind 1:56-9b, an ancient but recently discovered Christian text in which Jesus frequently refers to himself using feminine pronouns. Hal will also draw from the Gospel of John, chapter 17, verses 20-26.

Hal will also preach during our 10:30 am worship service on Sunday, May 29.


Hal will lead the Forum, one of our Sunday morning adult education offerings, on May 1, 8, 22, and 29. The Forum meets each Sunday at 9:00 am in the church parlor. Everyone is welcome! Keep reading below for more details about the four Forum events with Hal.

May 1 Forum – Hal Taussig on the Odes of Solomon (First of Two Sessions)
This Forum will be the first of two weeks spent exploring the beautiful early Christ movement song collection called the Odes of Solomon. We’ll dive into the particular songs in which Jesus sings with joyful and haunting tones. The Odes of Solomon resemble the psalms of the Hebrew scriptures in their full-throated emotion of praise, anger, grief, and humor, with one major difference: the voice and character is Jesus is often directly and explicitly present. These odes are surprising in their emotional depth and their fresh take on Jesus.

May 8 Forum – Hal Taussig on the Odes of Solomon (Second of Two Sessions)
The second week on the Odes of Solomon focuses on the deep resonance of joy and ecstasy throughout the collection. We’ll investigate how such joyful passion can happen in the middle of the massive violence and state torture that occurred in the first and second century settings of the Christ movements. Also, part of our study this week will be the queer portraits of God, Jesus, and Spirit, each in different and explicit ways giving milk from their breasts to those singing the odes.

Mary Magdalene
Mary Magdalene

May 22 Forum – Hal Taussig: “Scripture as Something to Pray”
Hal returns to the Forum on May 22. Featuring actual exercises, this adult study experiments with scripture (inside and outside the Bible) as something to pray rather than just study. Basing our work in ancient medieval practice, we will experience both meditative and group prayer within the Psalms, the Thunder: Perfect Mind, the Gospel of Luke, and the Gospel of Mary. Although primarily focusing on actual (and experimental) prayer and meditation, there will also be opportunities to reflect on new and very old ways of praying.

May 29 Forum – Hal Taussig: The Parables of Jesus
A study of the parables of Jesus, this session concentrates on the edgy humor of these joke-sized stories from the gospels of Mark, Thomas, Truth, and Matthew. From potty humor to hilarious accidents, the parables–once they are recognized for their hilarity–shock and cajole us into growing in ways that otherwise seem unlikely. Of course, a good portion of this session needs to unfreeze the feeling that all scripture is frowningly serious and worthy only of ponderous sermons.


Hal will also lead Sacred Bites, our lunchtime Bible study, on May 3, 10, 17, and 24. Sacred Bites meets every Tuesday from 11:45-1:00 pm at the Lazy Dog Saloon, which is on the Pearl Street Mall at the SW corner of Pearl and 14th Streets. We gather at 11:45 to order food, enjoy a discussion over buy-your-own lunch, and finish up by 1:00 pm. Feel free to park at the church in one of the designated visitor spaces, or on the circle in front of the building, and then walk over to the Lazy Dog from there; it’s a two-block walk. No reservations are required; just come.


We’re so glad to welcome Hal back to First United Methodist Church of Boulder in May! All events with Hal are free of charge and open to the public.



First United Methodist Church of Boulder


First United Methodist Church of Boulder
1421 Spruce Street
Boulder, CO 80302 United States
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