See the listings below for adult educational offerings
at The Redeemer in the year ahead.
Adult Study Groups
Lenten Quiet Day Retreat
Lent Quiet Day
Saturday, March 11, 10am to 3pm
Bournelyf Retreat Center in West Chester
“We are what we pray”: Finding God in the Desert with Carlo Carretto
Known by some as “the greatest spiritual writer you’ve never heard of,” Carlo Carretto spent much of his life living in the Sahara desert and developing an intimate relationship with God. After a successful career as an Italian social activist, Carretto left everything behind in 1954 to join an ascetic monastic order called the Little Brothers of Jesus. During his time in the African wilderness, Carretto lived in solidarity with the poor and wrote eloquently about prayer and vocation. His classic Letters from the Desert reflects on our call to love and seek God in unexpected places. Carretto’s witness not only speaks powerfully to Christians and the Church of today; his wanderings in the wilderness are particularly instructive during the season of Lent. Join us as we follow in the footsteps of this important figure in the Christian experience.
The retreat will meet at the Bournelyf Retreat Center from 10:00 to 3:00 on Saturday, March 11. Located on 20 placid and beautiful acres in West Chester, Bournelyf offers a quiet retreat from the chaotic bustle of life. Our retreat will include lunch, worship, teaching, time for quiet reflection, and an opportunity to walk Bournelyf’s beautiful labyrinth. Please contact David Romanik (firstname.lastname@example.org; 610-525-2486 ext. 13) if you would like to register or have any questions. We hope you will make time for this opportunity for renewal and refreshment.
Sundays at 10:30 in the Parish House Lower Level, Room 1-2-3
(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.
February 2017 Forums
For the Bible Tells Me So:
How Scripture Challenges Everything We Thought We Knew
By David Romanik
When Jesus teaches in the gospels, he frequently plays into the expectations of his listeners, only to pull the rug out from under them at the last moment. This rhetorical strategy is not unique to the gospels; it occurs throughout the Hebrew Bible and New Testament. The effect is often disorienting, but if we read closely, it can be illuminating as well. During the month of February, our Adult Forum series will explore the ways that Scripture confounded the expectations of its original audience in order to reveal deep truths about the nature of God. Moreover, we will consider how the true message of Scripture is often inconsistent with the ways it has been caricatured throughout history. It is when we truly understand Scripture that we can begin to recognize the ways it shapes our lives today. Join us on Sunday mornings at 10:30 in Room 1-2-3.
“You have heard it said, but I say to you…”
The Sermon on the Mount includes a series of statements that scholars refer to as “the antitheses.” Jesus makes a statement rooted in the Law and the prophets (“you have heard it said”), then offers a new way of understanding that statement (“but I say to you”). Over the past few years, the running joke among The Redeemer’s staff is that this essentially summarizes Peter Vanderveen’s approach to the interpretation of Scripture. Join Peter as he defends this hermeneutic and explores how it allows us to more fully understand both Scripture and the world we live in.
Let Me More of their Beauty See:
Reading “Familiar” Verses in Context
When people read Scripture for encouragement, guidance, and instruction, they often turn to a predictable set of verses. Contemporary readers of Scripture, however, do not always read these verses in the same way as their original audiences. Sometimes these inconsistencies can result in problematic, even destructive interpretive errors. Join Diane Chen, Professor of New Testament at Palmer Theological Seminary, as she considers how attention to the historical and literary settings of the most “familiar” verses of Scripture can safeguard against taking texts out of context, bring out their transforming power in greater dimension, and help us apply Scripture appropriately in our lives.
“Charge that to my account”:
Paul, Philemon, and the Economics of the Gospel
At a superficial level, Paul’s letter to Philemon is one of the New Testament’s more pointless entries. Not only is it a piece of business correspondence that seems to have little bearing on our understanding of God, it also appears to paint a deeply unflattering portrait of Paul himself. Nevertheless, this letter has much to say about the way we should live in light of the gospel. Join David Romanik as he examines this underappreciated letter and its unique perspective on the world.
January 2017 Forums
Aspiring to Love
By David Romanik
When William Penn founded a city on the banks of the Delaware River in the 17th century, he took a unique approach to naming it. Instead of honoring a benefactor or the place he had come from, Penn named the city for a virtue. Drawing from the Greek words for “love” and “brother,” Penn called the city Philadelphia. Having escaped religious persecution, this was not a superficial decision on Penn’s part. Indeed, Penn hoped the colony he established would be a place of tolerance, mutuality, and fraternal love. From its very inception, in other words, Philadelphia was more than a place; it was an aspiration.
This past spring, our forum series showcased some of the extraordinary organizations in this area that are helping Philadelphia live up to its name. In January, we will revisit this theme, specifically highlighting the joys and challenges surrounding the issue of education. Presenters from Church Farm School, the Education Law Center, and Saint James School will describe how their organizations are making it possible for students to succeed in an ever-changing world. Beginning on Sunday, January 8, we will learn about the ways people of this area are encouraging us and our children to aspire to love.
Education Law Center
The mission of the Education Law Center is to ensure access to a quality public education for all children in Pennsylvania. Through legislative action, local advocacy, and support for community organizations, the ELC provides support to the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable students. Join Maura McInerney, Senior Attorney at the ELC, as she discusses the work and mission of this organization.
Church Farm School
Located in Exton, Church Farm School prepares a diverse group of boys to lead productive and fulfilling lives. As a Christian community in the Episcopal tradition, Church Farm School serves students of many different faiths and traditions who might not otherwise have opportunities for a college preparatory education. Join Head of School Edmund Sherrill as he discusses the mission and ministry of this institution.
Saint James School
Philadelphia has the eighth largest school district in the country, and its public students are overwhelmingly poor: 79 percent of them are eligible for free or reduced price lunch. St. James School is an Episcopal middle school committed to educating traditionally under-resourced students in a nurturing environment. The school provides a challenging academic program and encourages the development of the moral, spiritual, intellectual, physical, and creative gifts in its students. Join Head of School David Kasievich as he discusses the mission and ministry of this important institution.
Advent 2016 Forum Series
Advent Journeys: Finding our True Home in God
Advent is primarily about waiting and anticipation. While we tend to think of waiting as a static activity, the faithful waiting that characterizes the season of Advent is dynamic and directional. The biblical passages we associate with this season are full of movement: from Isaiah’s sweeping vision of God’s highway, to the Holy Family’s travels to Bethlehem and Egypt. The centrality of movement in Scripture and our Advent observance is a persistent reminder that our true home must be found in God. This year, our Advent forum series will examine the dynamic waiting of the season and explore the journey at the heart of the Christian faith.
Journeying through the Bible
Prior to the construction of the Temple in Jerusalem, the people of Israel were nomadic and worshiped God in a tent. The fact that God’s people worshiped the creator of all things in a temporary dwelling place makes a profound statement about the centrality of journeys in the biblical narrative. Few seasons of the church year highlight these journeys more than Advent. Join David Romanik as he examines what these biblical journeys reveal about our faith and teach us about ourselves.
Who Is My Neighbor? Exploring the Global Neighborhood through ACM
For many years, the African Children’s Mission (ACM) at Church of the Redeemer has worked with the Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance (GAIA) to improve the lives of children affected by HIV/AIDS in Malawi. In July, Redeemer parishioner and ACM director Prill Bradshaw journeyed to our adopted village of Kukada to be updated about the progress that has been made and to bring greetings from the parish. Join David Romanik as he interviews Prill about her journey.
Where Is Our Place? Understanding the Plight of Iraqi Christians
Since 2003, Christians throughout Iraq have been persecuted and forced from their homes. Churches and other Christian communities have been decimated by years of war and the rise of the so-called Islamic State. Today, over 120,000 Iraqi Christians are living in tents, cramped apartments, abandoned buildings, and basements in the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan. The Reverend Chris Bishop, rector of Saint Martin’s Episcopal Church in Radnor, has made a documentary film about the situation facing Christians in Iraq today. Where Is Our Place? profiles Iraqi Christians and explores whether Christianity has a future in Iraq. Join us for a screening of the film and a conversation about the challenges facing the Church in the Middle East.
Men's Brown Bag Bible Study
12:00 pm, Conference Room, Parish House
Bring your lunch and your inquiring spirit to join in a wide-ranging discussion about writings of C. S. Lewis, the Gospels, the letters of Paul, and the religious issues of our day.
Contact: Bob Peck
Women's Brown Bag Bible Study
Thursdays 12:00- 1 pm
Bring your lunch if you wish
We are reading and comparing the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, encountering Jesus and the Word He was sent to proclaim in a fresh way. Come with a beginner’s mind. No previous Bible study experience is necessary, all questions are welcome, and there is no homework. Expect to gain new insights into your understanding of the scriptures and the life of Jesus and to have a goodtime. We wholeheartedly welcome new members!