Churches sponsor study session

By Brenda Sexton, The Courier-Herald

"What on earth am I here for?" is the question two Enumclaw churches are hoping to answer during a 40-day study session based on the popular best-selling book by the Rev. Rick Warren "The Purpose Driven Life."

The six-week campaign begins Oct. 5 at Hope Lutheran Church; Mt. Rainier Christian Center will not begin its session until spring.

Hope Lutheran Rev. Mark Karle said other Plateau-area churches have done the program internally, but Hope Lutheran is extending its program to the community by inviting members of all denominations to join them in exploring the six-week campaign.

"It's a way to enhance a more committed life to Christ and for those that don't know Christ, to awaken them," Karle said.

Participants will read a brief chapter from "The Purpose Drive Life" each day for the 40-day period. Once a week, small groups will meet for in-home discussion and Sunday's message will also follow the study path.

Forty day frameworks comes from the many transformations that came within that time period in the Bible.

The campaign will cover five main areas: worship, "We Were Planned for God's Pleasure"; fellowship, "We Were Formed for God's Family"; discipleship, "We Were Created to Become like Christ"; ministry, "We Were Shaped for Serving God"; and evangelism, "We Were Made for a Mission."

Hope Lutheran has 80 folks on board so far and is hoping to pick up more. The congregation used another Warren novel, "The Purpose Drive Church" a couple years ago for a jump start.

"We were looking at ways to revitalize our church a couple years ago," parishioner Jim Neihoff said.

"A couple of us pick up this book and got real excited about it," he said.

The author, Warren, is pastor of Saddleback Church in Forest Lawn, Calif. More than 4,400 church communities world wide, 150 in Washington, will be participating in the 40 Days of Purpose campaign.

Hope Lutheran will kick off its program at 8:15 and 11 a.m. services. The book and study materials are available at the church for $12. Scholarships are available for those in need who wish to participate.

For more information call the church at 360-825-2420.

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