IMG_4686The Adult Education Committee offers regular and one-of-a-kind programs to church members and friends. Participants come for a variety of reasons: fellowship, learning, community, laughter, insight, and the desire to grow and be transformed. All are welcome.

Programs

Small Group Ministry

TOPICS for 2016-2017:
October: Esther: Who are you?
November: Peter: Faith and Doubt
December: Mary: Sinner or Saint?
January: David: Fighting Goliath
February: Eve: Choosing Wisely
March: Ruth: Love and Loyalty
April: Job: Why me, God?
May: Hagar: Pride and Prejudice
June: Jesus: Saving the World

DID YOU KNOW Small Group participants are FIVE TIMES more likely to stay involved in church than those who attend only worship services?

We’re kicking off the 4th year of our Small Group Ministry program this fall.   This year our Small Group program is following our Church School theme of “I Love to Tell the Story” – Each month our focus will be on a different Biblical character and a theme from their story that is meaningful and easily relatable to our own lives.

What is it?  Small Group Ministry is a program in which people meet in committed covenant groups of 8-10 members with the intention of establishing new and deeper connections with each other and with God. The groups meet once a month from October to June, and are led by lay members of the congregation. A typical group meeting involves a check-in, a devotional, discussion of a topic, and closing prayer. The groups will meet at a variety of times/days to allow members to pick a group that best fits their schedule.

Why should you join a group?  Serving on a committee or chatting during coffee hour doesn’t always allow us to get to know one another on a deeper level. Small Groups are designed to bring people closer together. When we feel a greater connection to one another we’re less likely to feel disconnected from our faith, more likely to give our time and energy in service, and more likely to tell others about this great church community that we have in our lives!

Who are the leaders? All of our groups are led by trained facilitators and follow a common curriculum provided by Pastor Maureen. A typical group meeting runs an hour and a half and includes: Opening Check-In – Short Topic Reading – Discussion of the Topic – Closing Prayer

How can I sign up? Each group is limited 10 10 members so be sure to sign up soon and include your 1st and 2nd choice.  If you are a returning member you have the option to sign up for the same group as last year or join a new group.  Sign up sheets available in the bulletins every Sunday.  You can also email Pastor Maureen or call the church office (673-3231)  You may join a group at any time of the year as long as your choice is still open. More groups may be added as needed. 

When do groups meet? 

1st Tuesday: 1:30-3:00pm in the Parlor, starts 10/4
1st Wednesday: 7:00-8:30pm in the Parlor, starts 10/5
2nd Sunday: 11:30am-1:00pm in the 3rd floor Youth Room, starts 10/9

Wednesday Morning Fall Adult Education Series 2016

“When I have a terrible need of – dare I say, ‘religion’? –
then I go outside at night and paint the stars.”
— Vincent Van Gogh

Celebrating the communion of science and faith, Painting the Stars explores the promise of evolutionary or “emerging” Christianity. As human beings, we have two great narratives to inform and enliven our spiritual journey. One is the evolutionary story of the universe, from the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago to this very moment of you reading these words. This story is science’s gift to our species. It is a sacred story, revealing the nature of God. The other story we have to inform and enliven our spiritual journey is the sacred narrative of scripture, that library of books that was compiled and edited over many centuries. It too reveals the nature of God, as interpreted by spiritual seekers, mystics, and faithful sojourners over the centuries.

We live in an exciting age, when it is possible to bring these two stories into conversation with each other. Both hold the interpretive keys to unlock deep layers of meaning in the other.

Featuring over a dozen leading theologians and progressive thinkers, the seven-session program includes a downloadable/printable participant reader with discussion questions (written by emergent theologian Bruce Sanguin). The format for each 1 ½ hour session includes a 20-minute video presentation, conversation around the readings, and a discussion facilitated by Pastor Maureen. The readings are brief and will be emailed to participants ahead of each session. Copies will also be available in the church office. Contact Pastor Maureen if you’re interested in participating.
Painting the Stars—Series Schedule, Wednesdays 10:00 a.m.

September 21 – “Toward Healing the Rift”
October 5 – “A Renaissance of Wonder”
October 19 – “Getting Genesis Wrong”
November 2 – “An Evolving Faith”
November 16 – “Evolutionary Christianity”
December 7 – “Imagining a Future”
December 21 – “An Evolving Spirituality: Mysticism”

The Second Hour
An ad hoc program offered during the hour following the Sunday church service. Topics vary and may be run in a series or as a single discussion. Church committees may also choose to present programs related to their work or interests during this hour.

Advent Offering
A December series of topics appropriate to the season across one or more evenings. Led by one of the pastors.

Lenten Study Series
During Lent season we will have a variety of study programs available for in-depth spiritual and Christian education.

Back Porch Series
Two or three informal evening gatherings in the summer, with discussions led by one of the pastors, at members’ homes. The focus is on spiritual and theological questions or issues of the day from a faith perspective.

The Church Library
A diverse and growing collection of religious and spiritual literature, in the vestry.  A variety of books in the following categories is available:
Bible
Bible commentary
Bible history
Biography
Devotions/prayer
Fiction
Grief, Loss and Caregiving
Men’s books
Open and Affirming
Other faiths
Spirituality
Theology
Women’s books