Adult Formation

Adult Forums

Sundays at 10:25
in the Church (during Parish House construction)

(during the academic season)

Adult Forums are scheduled weekly. Subjects cover a broad range of topics and guest speakers lead us in contemporary issues of the day and theological discussions. See the most recent issue of the weekly News from The Redeemer for details.

December Forums

December 1

Understanding Poverty in Your Neighborhood:
Where You Stand Makes All the Difference 

with the Rev. David Anderson, Chaplain of Episcopal Community Services

Poverty in the U.S.  is a problem, but in the Philadelphia region, one of the poorest in the country, we have a real problem. Right in your neighborhood (whatever your street address). David Anderson will draw the scope of the issue we face in the Philadelphia region, highlight the exciting possibilities for real change, and remind us of Jesus’ beautiful compassion for the little ones, the poor. If we want to understand something as complex and fraught as poverty, what we do is not as important as how we do it. It comes down to our standing. Are we standing over the problem, or standing under?

David Anderson is an Episcopal minister living in Springtown, Pennsylvania. After completing graduate studies in English literature at the University of Chicago, he taught English literature and writing workshops at Columbia College (Chicago) and Northern Illinois University. Sensing a vocation to ministry, he attended Yale Divinity School, graduated magna cum laude and was ordained in the Episcopal Church. He has served parishes in Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

He is the author of Breakfast Epiphanies: Finding Wonder in the Everyday (Beacon Press, 2002), named by Spirituality & Health as one of “The Best Spiritual Books of 2002.” His latest book, Losing Your Faith, Finding Your Soul: The passage to new life when old beliefs die (Convergent Books) was published in September 2013.

David has served on numerous boards, including the Trustee Board of Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, where he also served as President of the Graduate Society Council. He was selected by the Episcopal Church Foundation to participate in the Clergy Leadership Project, and for a sabbatical to pursue his writing he was the recipient of a grant from the Lilly Foundation.

David is married to Pam Anderson, a cookbook author and food blogger. They have two daughters.

November Forums
November 3
In each Gospel, as Jesus stands trial before the Sanhedrin (a Jewish judicial body), readers are left feeling a sense of frustration with the injustice of the trial’s proceedings. Did Jesus truly receive a fair trial? Does it matter? Regardless, it appears that everyone (including us) was complicit in Christ’s guilty sentence. This of course means, Judas and Pontius Pilate but even the bystander and Peter. This week we are thrilled to welcome Redeemer’s own, Susan Rushing as she discusses the death penalty through the intersections of her work as a psychiatrist and forensic evaluator. Dr. Rushing is a psychiatrist in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian and Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center. She received her medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine.
November 10 and 17
The profound question: “What is truth?” (John 18:38) is perhaps best tackled by a philosopher. Eastern University’s professor of philosophy and chief editor of the journal Pro Ecclesia, Phillip Cary is eager to return to the Redeemer as he guides us through this question over the course of two weeks. Cary will begin his first session by exploring the concept of truth as, “…the simple, logical notion we use when we say it’s true that 2 + 2 = 4 or that Lincoln was shot in 1865.” The following week he will move us through “…the deep conviction that in a really important sense, God is Truth.” He reminds us that these two concepts, while different, are both related and vital to one another. 
November 24
Today we celebrate the final day of the liturgical year – Christ the King Sunday. On this day we acknowledge Christ’s eternal kingship and the Church triumphant. The eternal kingship of Jesus Christ seems to be an increasingly difficult, if not problematic concept in an ever more pluralistic world. How do Christians coexist with sisters and brothers who also make their own exclusivist truth claims about faith and God? How do we successfully engage in ecumenical and interfaith dialogue in a way that maintains integrity to our faith tradition and a joyful curiosity in the faith of the “other?” Join the Rev. Dr. Julie Sheetz, Associate Director for Ecumenical and Interfaith Outreach at Villanova University (and the first Protestant campus minister at the university), as we explore what it means to be Christian and interfaith. 
October Forums
The Truth Will Set You Free
By Michael Palmisano
Pilate asked him, “What is truth?” – John 18:38
At the conclusion of John’s Gospel, Jesus shares a probing exchange with Pontius Pilate during what is certainly the most elaborate trial scene of all the four gospels. Pilate, the Roman official, is preoccupied with the charges brought against Jesus–specifically the charge of insurrection evident in naming Jesus “King of the Jews.” During their exchange, Jesus neither confirms nor denies any claims or titles which come from Pilate’s own mouth. Rather, he says that he has been born and has come “to testify to the truth.” By the end of this exchange readers are often left with the feeling that it was Pilate who had been put on trial by Jesus. Pilate’s final words come as a simple, but profound question: “What is truth?” (John 18:38). 
Biblical scholars have long debated the nature of this question. Was it mere jest? Was it an exasperated philosophical probing? Was it meant to demonstrate Pilate’s failure to perceive Jesus’ Messiahship? Borrowing from Pilate’s question, our 2019 Fall Forum Series at The Redeemer will explore the theme of “truth” in many arenas of life. We will be joined by local scholars, professionals, and our clergy who will address issues of truth in philosophy, public action, psychiatry, creation care, religious and philosophical pluralism, and biblical interpretation.
Our first presenter in the series will join us on Sunday, October 6 during the Forum Hour immediately following the 9am service. The concluding forum of the series will be held on Sunday, November 24.
October 6
The truth of climate change seems to cast its shadow over much of our daily lives. Unfortunately, it seems we are either willfully ignorant or downright anxious about its effects in our world. Through his own research, Joshua Moses has seen parallels between religious, communal responses to disaster events like Hurricane Katrina, September 11, and climate-related changes. Join Joshua Moses, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Environmental Studies at Haverford College as we wrestle with the reality of climate change and its intersections with religion/spirituality, mental health, and viable communal responses.
October 13
In the 4th century Athanasius of Alexandria suggested that “God became human so that humans might become divine.” This makes a strong claim on our spiritual formation and capacity. Concerned with what it means to live out our human identity as Christians, Lindy Backues claims that Athanasius’s statement might better be rephrased: “In Christ, God became human in order that humans might know what it means to be human.” Simply, theologically, what does it mean to be human? Join Lindy Backues, Associate Professor of Economic Development at Eastern University as we explore the intersection between theology and community development and their interface in the midst of practical, implemented, participatory involvement. 
October 20
The Church has been split over issues of biblical interpretation over and over again. These divisions have grieved the Body of Christ and the institution called “Church.” Christians have debated “what” the Bible says about issues of worship, belief, practice, social teaching and more. However, the question should not be, “what” does the Bible say about certain issues, but “how” does the Bible speak about/into these issues. How do we read Scripture with integrity and consistency? “How” does the Bible mean at all? Join 
Michael Palmisano as he shares some work from his seminary master’s thesis to explore questions of biblical interpretation.
October 27
If you were to create a plan to break the cycle of poverty in Holyoke, MA and create an economically vibrant city, what would it look like? Some say that it would look like The Care Center, an alternative education program designed to prepare and empower young mothers to embrace their education and create a successful future for themselves and their families. Poverty is not unique to the city of Philadelphia nor to any city or region in this country or the world. It is a systemic evil that devastates and traps. This week we take a break from our fall series on “truth” as we welcome Anne Teschner, Executive Director of The Care Center in Holyoke, MA to share the vital work and mission of her organization, which has empowered countless young mothers and equipped them with a High School Equivalency degree and led over 75 percent to post-secondary education.
September Forums

September 15
What comes to us: a program year in the midst of disruption and construction?

A significant part of faith is acknowledging that even the best of plans cannot close out the possibility of surprise—whether for good or for ill. Such an acknowledgement helps alleviate the anxiety that can arise from the false presumption that plans should be perfect. It can also lead to the fruitful anticipation of realizing unexpected gifts. Fr. Vanderveen will provide an overview of how we plan to move through the unsettlement of renovation, prepared for what we know and what we may discover.

September 22
I Don’t Have Time For That

There once was a time… when businesses were closed on Sundays, and sports were played on Saturdays, and the broader culture reserved a space for Sabbath. That now seems long ago. The distinctiveness of Sundays has disappeared. With regard to scheduling, it’s just one more day in the week, and our own agendas have taken prominence over the former sense of having a “given” day. This has changed how we approach what we do on Sundays and, just as much, whether and in what way we engage in worship. In today’s forum, we’d like to begin a series of discussions about how our programs and activities fit or conflict with your sense of time, both in what we do and how we do it. 

September 29
RYG Work Trip Report

This June, the Redeemer Youth Group (RYG) went on its fourth annual work trip. Six leaders took 20 kids to the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina to work with the Appalachian Service Project (ASP) to make houses warmer, safer and drier. Come view photos and hear reports from this life-changing experience.
The new series “The Truth Will Set You Free” begins with Joshua Moses, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Environment Studies at Haverford College as we wrestle with the reality of climate change.


Men's Bible Study

7:30 am, Ardmore Station Cafe

Join us for breakfast on Thursdays at 7:30 am at Ardmore Station Cafe (near the Ardmore train station) as we discuss Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians and explore the ways that Scripture intersects with our lives today. Please bring a Bible. Contact David Romanik if you have any questions.

Contact: Michael Palmisano

Women Exploring Scripture

Thursdays   12:00- 1 pm, Parish House Annex
Bring your lunch if you wish

Enjoy the friendship of other females as we explore the stories of women in the Bible who made a difference. Although we begin each week in the scriptures, we never know where our conversation and insights will lead us. Join us on this surprising spiritual journey. No prior Bible knowledge is necessary, all questions are welcome, and there is no homework.  We wholeheartedly welcome new members!

Contact: Barbara Billings

Liturgy 101 Class

Why We Do What We Do

Virginia Theological Seminary’s Liturgics professor James Farwell, has suggested: “The understanding that we seek of the liturgy is aimed, in the end, not at being informed about the liturgy, but being ready to be formed by it, to embody the love of the One who first loved us.” Farwell is certainly right – Sunday morning isn’t simply about “knowing” but about presenting ourselves before God and one another. But can we be formed by something as rich as our Anglican liturgy without some understanding? Does our Sunday morning truly shape our lives outside of The Redeemer if we leave church confused or underwhelmed? Join the Rev. Michael Palmisano as we delve into the structure, theology, and history of the Church’s liturgy from Word to Table and discover how to present ourselves more fully to “…the One who first loved us.” Classes will meet in the Parish House Annex from 7:30-8:30am each Tuesday morning from October 22nd through November 26th. Please email Michael Palmisano to register and for more information.