We Learn: Past programs
Adults will have three options for the 11:15 formation hour
1. A Sermon Reflection group in the Chapel of Praise
2. A traditional coffee hour for fellowship and conversation in Hadley Hall,
3. “Embracing an Adult Faith” a discussion series on what it means to be a Christian, based on the book by Marcus Borg (held in the Upper Parish Hall).
Mini-courses 2013 Lenten Series
“Who Do You Say That I Am?”
"Images of Jesus matter,” says Marcus Borg, scholar of the historical Jesus. What is yours? Do you still think of Jesus the way you did as a child or has your image of him changed? Has it changed recently? Do you wonder, “What manner of man is this?” Facilitated by Gayle Pershouse
Romanesque and Gothic Churches, Renaissance, Baroque and NeoClassical Churches, and 21st -Century Churches. Church architecture from the onset of the Industrial Revolution to the present.
Faciltated by John McConnell
Can the Center Hold?
Focused on vital topics for our country. Most are related, tied to larger questions about class, race, crime and punishment, and perhaps sin, judgment, and redemption. They are public policy issues, but also problems for thoughtful Christians to consider.
Lock ‘Em Up and Throw Away the Key, Led by Connie McGrane.
Dysfunctional Democracy: Our Partisan Gridlock, Led by Jay Stott.
Rule of the Robber Barons? Led by Bill Saunders.
Three Crowns Yoga
The Three Crowns Yoga mini series is designed to relax your body, open your heart, and lift your Spirit. In this style of yoga we will explore the practice of connecting our entire being -- body, mind and spirit -- with God. Facilitated by Pam Gaither
The Adult Class during Advent featured a 4 week series exploring the art of illumination and the St. John’s Bible. World-renowned calligraphers in collaboration with artists and theologians have woven word and image in this once-in-a-millennium project completed in 2011.
Learning about the process of creating the St. John’s Bible; Donald Jackson, the chief illuminator, and the committee’s process of scholarship and prayer that went into the design. The project was commissioned by St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota. The 150 year old Benedictine monastery provided the committee “briefs” that anchor the artwork theologically.
Learning how traditional materials such as vellum, ancient inks, gold and silver leaf and platinum, and was written with quill pens; the theology which informed the Bible’s design.
A hands-on chance to become calligraphers! We’ll use modern calligraphic pens to copy a verse from the Bible onto a card of our own.
Lent began with one of our own, Ruba Gnanaratnam, guiding us through Christian communities in her homeland of Sri Lanka. Then we had an interactive and introspective morning on our personal Lenten practices. Finishing out Lent, we returned to our theme for the year, Evolutions in Christian Theologies, with a week-end visit with Phyllis Tickle, author of The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why. The greater community was invited to attend a Saturday presentation with people coming from as far away as Vermont. Ms. Tickle gave a homily at the Sunday services and continued her thoughts from Saturday at Sunday’s Adult Education forum. The Reverend Thomas Brown’s historical review of the evolution of Holy Week concluded our Lenten forums.
2011 Epiphany mini-courses
January 23, 30, February 6, 13, 20, 27
A Closer Look at the Gospel According to Matthew: Facilitator The Rev. Thomas Brown
- Embodying Transformative Visions of Faith: Facilitated by Angela Bauer-Levesque & Carol Watson
- Every Time I Feel the Spirit: Facilitator Gabrielle Stott
- Life Passages: Across the Ages: Facilitators The Rev. Roger Nelson and Jay Stott
- Y’alla: The Quest for Peace in the Holy Land: Facilitators: Marie Lee, Solomon Owayda & Jack Roll
Fall 2010: Liberation Theology
Sunday, November 7th began a three-session forum on Feminist Theology by Dr.s Christopher Durainsingh and MT Davila. These sessions build on Liberation Theology and include the imaginative reconstruction of faith that seeks to nurture, nourish, and evoke a consciousness of and alternative perception of the dominant patriarchal culture around us. Dr. Duraisingh, Visiting Professor in Applied Theology at the Episcopal Divinity School, in the first two sessions will trace the socio-political and theological origins of the Feminist movements; identify some of the enduring questions and challenges that Feminist theologies pose for classical Christian thought; and attend to their distinct tasks and methods. With him we explored some central themes of gender-inclusive and embodied theologies, and identify the rich diversity of Feminist theologies in non-White cultures.
Discussion concluded with Professor Maria Teresa Davila of Andover Newton Theological School. She built upon the fall’s forums by discussing how many religions and cultures in the world have historically undermined the wellbeing and flourishing of half of the human population. Discrimination toward women and girls has received religious sanction that has historically been attributed to a false or mistaken construction of God or the divine as male. Christianity enshrined a gender hierarchy by sacralizing the ordination to the priesthood of men, by shouldering every woman with the sin of Eve, and refusing to accept the possibility that women as well as men are being called to ordained ministry and other roles of social, political, and religious leadership. Feminist theology applies a “hermeneutic of suspicion” to Scripture, history, ecclesiology, theology, ethics, bringing to light the structures and practices that have been built and shaped by a misogynist bias and a sexist agenda. Feminist theology uncovers where faith is violent to women and where it is liberative for all. Important in our understanding of feminist theology will be the strong relationship that exists between the religious grounds for violence against women and violence against other marginalized groups and the environment.
Greg Mobley, Professor of Christian Bible
at Andover Newton Theological School,
presented our Lenten adult education
series on the Hebrew prophet Elijah. Elijah, Jezebel, “the still small voice,” “a
band of angels coming after me,” “passing
the mantle,” all of these cultural artifacts
and more, stem from the stories about
the prophet Elijah in the Old Testament books of 1-2 Kings. In conjunction with the adult choir as it presents selections of the cantata “Elijah” by Felix Mendelssohn,
Professor Mobley spoke onn:
February 21 Elijah and the Biblical Prophetic Tradition
February 28 Elijah and Social Justice
March 7 Elijah and the Soul’s Journey
March 14 Interpreting the Text of Mendelssohn “Elijah”
An ordained American Baptist minister,
Mobley has a Ph.D. in Near Eastern
Languages and Civilizations from
Harvard University. He has participated
in archaeological excavations in Israel,
worked on the Dead Sea Scrolls, and
taught at Harvard Divinity School and
Union Theological Seminary before
coming to Andover Newton in 1997.
Mobley is active in Jewish-Christian
dialogue and is the author of three books,
including The Birth of Satan (with T. J. Wray) (2005) and The Empty Men: the Heroic Tradition of Ancient Israel (2005).
2010 Epiphany mini-courses
January 10, 17, 24, 31 and February 7
- Faith of our Fathers: facilitated by Michael Chesson
- Global Warming in January: Eco Teams: facilitated by David Damassa
- Food and Faith in Today’s Context: facilitated by Susan Youmans
- Healing in the Landscape of Prayer: facilitated by the Rev. Thomas Brown
Highlights of our 2008-2009 Adult Education Programs.
Faith and Science Series
For many faith and science are mutually exclusive when considering God or the Divine. For others, religion and science are simply two different ways of knowing. Many theologians and scientists alike profess both have a place. Perhaps science even confirms spirituality. As Christians, how do we think about this ancient conundrum? Adult Education’s Faith and Science Series beginning April 26 for three Sundays will explore the mysteries of human knowing and believing through thought provoking presentations.
April 26: Faith Reason and the Environment
May 3: Free Will Through the Lens of Modern Neuroscience
May 10: Fusion Research, Christian Calling?
The Epiphany Mini-Courses in 2008 began on January 13, and ran for four consecutive weeks. The small group setting of these adult education courses allows for sustained discussion, reflection and personal interaction among participants. We offered the following courses:
Journeys, facilitated by Dottie Guiffre
and Eliza R. Ragsdale
“Was Abe Lincoln a Christian?", facilitated by Michael Chesson
The Holy Land Today, facilitated by Connie McGrane and Jack Roll