Our Adult Education Ministry provides a variety of topics and teaching/learning styles through classes designed to meet the needs of adults who continue to study and seek to grow a faith relevant to their daily living. We have two types of classes:
Short-term Courses: These are courses, which last four to eight weeks. They are designed to meet the needs of adults who are not part of a permanent class and to address particular needs and topics on a short-term basis.
Permanent/Ongoing Classes: These classes meet together regularly throughout the year and have a permanent class roll. (Please know additions can be made at any time.) Some of these classes use study materials produced by the Presbyterian Church, and some classes choose books or topics, which change periodically throughout the year. All of the classes strive for elements of study, community, and fellowship. All are invited to visit these classes at any time without obligation to join.
All adults are invited to move in and out of the short-term courses and ongoing classes in a flexible way to meet individual needs.
When Religion Becomes Evil
Sunday School Series
April 23 – May 28, 9:50 a.m. • Second Hall
General Wesley Clark
Religion is arguably the most powerful and pervasive force on earth. Throughout history religious ideas and commitments have inspired individuals and communities of faith to transcend narrow self-interest in pursuit of higher values and truths. Dr. Charles Kimball (Middle East expert, World Religion professor and chair of the Wake Forest University Department of Religion, and author of When Religion Becomes Evil) probes why people do bad things—sometimes unspeakably violent things—in the name of religion. “Whatever religious people may say about their love of God or the mandates of their religion, when their behavior toward others is violent and destructive, when it causes suffering among their neighbors, you can be sure the religion has been corrupted and reform is desperately needed.” Unfortunately, current event examples are mounting with regard to clarion call. This class will consider historical and current event cases that highlight distortions of faith and discuss Kimball’s five warning signs of corrupt religious thought.
Coordinator: Erin Beard
This class is designed to help young adults grow in faith and bond together through Bible studies, outreach projects, social events and participating as a group in ongoing church projects. Connections is an informal class with open floor discussions where viewpoints and opinions are not judged.
Our class will primarily have short studies rather than one topic over weeks at a time. With this format if you miss a Sunday, you will not be left behind. September 4 will begin with exploring Scriptural parables by way of Mayberry. These lessons will cover service, peace, mercy and commitment. (Ephesians 6:7; Psalm 85:8; Matthew 5:7; Proverbs 16:3)
Future studies will be determined by the class with a focus on getting back to the basics of faith in the Presbyterian Church.
Men’s Bible Class/Henker Friendship Class
Coordinator: Graham Catlett
The Men’s Bible and the Henker Friendship classes meet together in the Library. The theme for their fall study is “The Christian Community Comes to Life.” The lessons, based on the Book of Acts, will lead them in the exploration of questions particular to the Christian community: What forms community? What sustains a community when its initial enthusiasm has ebbed? Participants in this class will see that the church is a community formed and enabled by the Spirit and the Word in order to accomplish God’s good purposes for the world. The combined group welcomes visitors and those who wish to join the group at any time. The combined group welcomes visitors and those who wish to join the group at any time. This group is lead by Graham Catlett.
Seeking More Light Class
Coordinator: Greg Adams
The Seeking More Light Class strives to be an inclusive community where issues of faith and how to live faithfully in today’s world can be explored, discussed and supported. All are welcome to join at any time for a particular book study or to stick around longer.
Beginning September 11, we will read and discuss Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most by Marcus Borg. Commenting on Convictions, Frederick Buechner wrote, “Writing with a simplicity that never becomes simplistic, Borg manages to convey the essence of Christianity in a way that does justice to those who do not share his views and will greatly enrich the understanding of those who do.” Following Convictions will be a study of The Fourth Gospel: Tales of a Jewish Mystic by John Shelby Spong. We will conclude the Sunday School year with a reading and discussion of Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People by Nadia Bolz-Weber.
Parenting of Teens
Kathy & Kenneth Rich
Youth Building, Second Floor
This is a discussion-oriented class which also serves as a support group for parents of teens and preteens. All parents of pre-teens and teens are invited to join for discussions and time for sharing the joys and challenges of raising teens.
Coordinators: Ann & Rick Owen
The mission of the Earth Care Sunday School class is to increase awareness of and knowledge about living sustainably and caring for the earth, including ethical and theological perspectives. Through book study, discussions, and guest lectures, the class will help participants turn knowledge into action – in their own lives, within the church, and in the broader community. On the first Sunday of each month, Environmental Stewardship meets during the Sunday School period to plan actions to help the church and its members care for the earth. On the second Sunday, weather permitting, we have a “walk in the park,” enjoying and learning about God’s creation first hand. On other Sundays, we will have guest speakers and discussions about environmental topics. Watch the newsletter or get on the Earth Care mailing list for details (contact Rick Owen, email@example.com).