This is Our Story: Listening Closely and Reaching Out
This is not a learning series about evangelism – or even grappling with evangelism. Instead, we will create a space which will allow everyone – including ourselves – to be seen. We will hear stories from others and learn to recognize value in our own stories as well. We know we are a church that can “get a lot done,” but without seeing gifts and hearing value in stories, we simply walk and talk past each other.
Each week we’ll have a combination of facilitated focusing, small group conversation, and theological reflection.
- Jan. 8 | Fearing Less
- Jan. 15 | Seeing More
- Jan. 22 | Asking Hard Questions
- Jan. 29 | Finding a Center in the Margins
- Feb. 5 | Living the Questions
Sunday, 9:45 a.m. in the Atrium, Ground Floor, Oglesby Building
Sponsored by the Invitation Committee
Pronouns, Potties & People: Transgender Studies 101
Film Screening | Nov. 5 at 5 p.m., Sanctuary
Class | Sundays 9:45 a.m., Nov. 6-27, OAC Atrium
Facilitator | Molly McGinnis
Film Screening: We will kick off our class with an exclusive screening of the new film, Out of Order, on Saturday Nov. 5 at 5 p.m.
Out of Order is a groundbreaking feature documentary revealing the complex and painful struggles faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) faith leaders as they confront entrenched bigotry and work to build loving support within their churches. The film follows the journeys of several PC (USA) ministers and people seeking ordination across the country.
Executive director of More Light Presbyterians and star of the film, Alex McNeil, will host a Q&A after the screening.
Class Description: Pronouns, bathroom laws, celebrities coming out! What’s this all about? And what does it have to do with our faith? In this 4-week series, we will explore some basics about gender identity, dip into biblical and theological interpretations, and discuss current issues coming up in our legislative session. The class will be facilitated by Molly McGinnis, as well as some special guests from other faith communities.
Updates from Kate Taber • Nov. 13, 9:45 a.m.
Location: To be determined
Description: Former resident pastor at Central, Kate Taber, will be returning to Atlanta from Israel/Palestine (where she has been doing mission work for some time) in November for the birth of her child, expected to happen in December. Come hear the latest about her work and catch up with a beloved former Pastor in Residence.
From Fear to Forgiveness: A Journey of Hope • Nov. 13, 12:30 p.m.
Presented by | Cindy McMahon
Location | Taylor Conference Room
Description: Cindy Henry McMahon’s family history is a slide show of the turbulent South: a thwarted lynch mob on a Georgia preacher’s front porch; the integration of Mercer University; Birmingham, 1963; Martin Luther King, Jr.’s march in Selma; Koinonia Farm and the germination of Habitat for Humanity; inner-city activism and counter-culture communities in the woods. Join Cindy for a reading and discussion of her memoir, Fresh Water from Old Wells, and her personal journey from fear and anger-through cities, small towns, and crossroads throughout the South-to a place of forgiveness.
Signed copies Cindy’s books will be available for sale.
Sojourners Class: Convenant Bible study • Sundays, Oct. 9 – Dec. 11
Class Convener | Ed Carwile
Location | Brotherhood Room
Description: The Covenant Bible Study class, led by Beth Johnson, is for adults with all different levels of Bible knowledge. Join us for a unique style of learning that will make your faith stronger.
Issues in Theology • Sundays, Sept. 11 – Dec. 11
Class Convener | Michael Lloyd
Location | OAC Area Art Room, downstairs
Description: The Issues in Theology class will discuss the book, Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence by Karen Armstrong
In these times of rising geopolitical chaos, the need for mutual understanding between cultures has never been more urgent. Religious differences are seen as fuel for violence and warfare. In Fields of Blood, Karen Armstrong amasses a sweeping history of humankind to explore the perceived connection between war and the world’s great creeds—and to issue a passionate defense of the peaceful nature of faith.
With unprecedented scope, Armstrong looks at the whole history of each tradition—not only Christianity and Islam, but also Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Judaism. Religions, in their earliest days, endowed every aspect of life with meaning, and warfare became bound up with observances of the sacred. Modernity has ushered in an epoch of spectacular violence, although, as Armstrong shows, little of it can be ascribed directly to religion. Nevertheless, she shows us how and in what measure religions came to absorb modern belligerence—and what hope there might be for peace among believers of different faiths in our time.
Sojourners Class: Jewish Festivals & the New Testament • Sundays, Sept. 11 – Oct. 2
Class Leader | Lucy Baum
Location | Brotherhood Room
Description: We’ll read New Testament passages which make reference to Jewish festivals, especially Passover, the feast of Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and the Feast of Weeks, and explore how Christian writers drew on Hebrew traditions to make theological claims about Jesus.