Archived Adult Studies Classes

Adult Classes April – May 2018

Hildegard of Bingen: A Saint for Our Times | a Keystone Class

The Keystone Class will be reading and discussing the book, Hildegard of Bingen: A Saint for Our Times – Unleashing her Power in the 21st Century, by Matthew Fox. One reviewer of the book on says, “This book does an excellent job in applying Hildegard’s insights for both the scholar and interested lay person wanting to learn more about spirituality and its historical role in religion AND its practical application for today.“ Both the artistic (e.g., musical compositions) and conventional media through which the 12th century nun Hildegard spoke will be studied and explored.

Teacher: Mary Amos                                           Convener: Jean Ellen Jones
Location: Taylor Conference Room

Philosophy for Understanding Theology | an Issues in Theology Class

The Issues in Theology class will discuss the book, Philosophy for Understanding Theology, by Diogenes Allen and Eric O. Springsted.  Dr. Allen is Stuart Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus, at Princeton University. Dr. Springsted is former Senior Pastor, Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York; Librarian, The Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton University; and author of six books on theology. Philosophy for Understanding Theology is a very readable, solid foundation for the study of theology.

Teachers: various class participants                 Convener:  Michael Lloyd
Location: OAC “Art Room” (off of the Oglesby Atrium, basement level, Oglesby building)

Take This Bread | a Sojourners class

What is the meaning of the Eucharist? Is it more than a sacramental reminder of Christ’s death to save us? Reading Sara Miles’ memoir, Take This Bread, we will explore Miles’ belief and practice that the Eucharist, beyond being a Christian sacrament, is a model for God’s call to feed all God’s children. We will explore the history and theology of the Eucharist, and talk about Miles’ conversion experience when she, a lifelong atheist, unexpectedly wandered into an Episcopal church and was offered communion for the first time. We will hear about Central’s Courtyard Coffee Fellowship and the Central Outreach Center’s food co-op, and we will share our own communion experiences and how our faith and service have been shaped by them.

Teachers: Mark Borst and Ann Hunter            Convener: Ed Carwile
Location: Brotherhood Room

January 2017

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

November 2016

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. 

October 2016

Sojourners Class: Convenant Bible study • Sundays, Oct. 9 – Dec. 11

Class Convener | Ed Carwile

Location | Brotherhood Room

DescriptionThe 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.     

September 2016

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.

2016 Adult Summer Series • June 5 – August 14