Adult Formation

Adult Forums

Sundays at 10:30
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.

Click here for a booklet of the complete offerings for 2017 Fall & Advent.

September 10 - October 1 Forums
Truly and Devoutly Serving: 
Adventures in Christian Vocation
By David Romanik

There was a time in the Episcopal Church when the word “minister” was only applied to those who had been ordained. The 1979 Book of Common Prayer, however, made it clear that “the ministers of the Church are lay persons, bishops, priests, and deacons.” Every baptized Christian, in other words, is called to be a minister of the gospel. In the almost 40 years since the “new” prayer book was approved, the Episcopal Church has struggled to figure out what this means. Is our ministry the work that we do on behalf of the Church? Is it just the way we make a living? Or is it something else entirely? Part of the reason for this confusion is that we’ve forgotten what it means to have a vocation. We generally use the word “vocation” as a synonym for “career.” Our Christian vocation, however, is, at the same time, much simpler and much more demanding than establishing a career. Put simply, our Christian vocation is to allow our lives to be shaped by the grace of God made known in Jesus Christ. It is to embrace a perspective informed by a deep awareness of God’s grace and love. For this reason, ministry is less about what we do and more about who we are. It is an attitude, a posture towards the world, as much as anything else. As we begin the program year at The Redeemer, our Adult Forums consider the various ways people from The Redeemer exercise their ministries and put their vocations into practice. Join on Sunday mornings at 10:30 in Room 1-2-3 as we hear from members of our parish community who, in the words of the Book of Common Prayer, are “truly and devoutly serving” the Church of God.


September 10
Meet the New Associate

In August, Church of the Redeemer welcomed the Reverend Jo Ann Jones as the newest addition to our staff. Ordained to the diaconate earlier this year, Jo Ann has been actively involved in church life on both a parish and diocesan level for many years, and brings a wealth of experience to her work at The Redeemer. Join Jo Ann as she shares the story of her faith journey and answers questions.

September 17
Perfecting God’s Praises

Toward the end of the Book of Common Prayer, there is a prayer for church musicians that asks God to be present with those “who seek through art and music to perfect the praises” offered by God’s people. It is notable that this prayer assumes we are meant to grow in our ability to give praise to God. This summer, The Redeemer’s intrepid music director Dr. Michael Diorio traveled to Oxford to study at the prestigious Choral Institute. While it was a time of professional development, it was also a time when Michael grew in his understanding of his vocation as a church musician and his ability to give praise to God. Join Michael as he reflects on his experience in Oxford.

September 24
Saint James School

With one of the largest and most impoverished school districts in the country, Philadelphia has a significant need for quality educational institutions. 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. Since the school’s founding, many members of The Redeemer have offered their gifts of time and talent to the students of Saint James. Join Head of School David Kasievich and several of these volunteers as they discuss the ways they are involved in the mission and ministry of this vital institution.

October 1
Youth Mission Trip Retrospective

In June, an enthusiastic group of youth and adults from The Redeemer traveled to Kentucky to repair homes with the Appalachia Service Project. During their weeklong mission, those who participated learned the benefits of hard work, camaraderie, and putting one’s faith into practice. Join those who participated in the mission trip as they share stories and reflect on their experience in Kentucky.ose who participated learned the benefits of hard work, camaraderie, and putting one’s faith into practice. Join those who participated in the mission trip as they share stories and reflect on their experience in Kentucky. 

October 8 - 29 Forums
October 8
By Schisms Rent Asunder, By Rummage Sales Distressed
In 2012, Phyllis Tickle published a book entitled The Great Emergence: How Christianity Is Changing and  Why. Tickle’s primary observation is that the Church experiences the equivalent of a “rummage sale” about every 500 years: a destabilizing and dislocating moment when it is forced to reevaluate what it means to be the Church. Noting that the Reformation was the last such moment in church history, she argues that we are in the midst of a “rummage sale” moment today. If this is indeed the case, we are left to wonder what the Reformation reveals about who we are as Christians. Perhaps more urgently, the similarity between our era and that the Reformation invites us to consider what guidance the Reformation (or any of the Church’s other “rummage sale” moments, for that matter) can provide as the Church finds its way forward in a rapidly changing world. Join David Romanik as he begins our series on the Reformation by discussing Tickle’s book and exploring these questions.
October 15
Reconsidering Justification?
Of all the issues that led to the Reformation, the most theologically significant was the doctrine of justification: the assertion that we are reconciled to God through grace and not through the mediation of an ecclesiastical authority. Viewed with suspicion by the Roman Catholic hierarchy, this doctrine became a major flashpoint in the conflict between Protestants and Catholics. In 1999, however, the Catholic Church’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Lutheran World Federation issued the “Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification.” It was an astonishing historical moment in which the two primary antagonists of the Reformation came to an agreement about the era’s most controversial issue. As more churches have embraced the Joint Declaration in the intervening years, some have wondered whether Catholics and Protestants are moving toward reconciliation. Join Steven Boyer, professor of theology at Eastern University, as he examines this landmark agreement and explores its implications for Christian unity.
October 22
Mission is the Mother of Ecumenism
While the Roman Catholic Church has sponsored missions around the world for more than five hundred years, Protestants were not actively engaged in cross cultural mission until the 18th century. Interestingly, the very first Protestant mission was a collaborative effort among several denominations. Though latecomers to cross-cultural mission, in other words, Protestants were on the vanguard of the ecumenical movement. Indeed, long before ecumenism was fashionable, Christians of many denominations were cooperating out of a shared sense of their responsibility to bear witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Join Paul Rajashekar, the Luther T. Reed Professor of Systematic Theology at the Lutheran Theological Seminary of Philadelphia, as he explores how the Reformation influenced both the ecumenical movement and the mission all Christians share.
October 29
A Brief History of Truth
In John’s gospel, Jesus proclaims, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” Despite the clarity of this statement, human beings have long struggled to discern what is true. This, in fact, was one of the central issues of the Reformation. The Reformation not only challenged historical truths that were once taken for granted; it also raised fundamental doubts about the source of those truths. Indeed, much of the Reformation was about asking one question: Who (or what) is the ultimate arbiter of truth? Join William Madges, professor of theology at Saint Joseph’s University, as he examines the development of this question and considers how it might resonate in our world today.
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!