Continuing through Eastertide.








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Click here for a copy of the Adult Formation section
of the 2014 Annual Report.


See the listings below for adult educational offerings
at The Redeemer in the year ahead.

Adult Forums

Bible Studies

Adult Study Groups

Adult Forums
Sundays at 10:15 in the Parish House Lower Level, Room 1-2-3

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.

May 2015 Adult Forums



Why did Jesus have to die?
Theories of the atonement

By David Romanik

In 1892, the German biblical scholar Martin Kähler described the gospels as “Passion narratives with extended introductions.” While some scholars have quibbled with this characterization, the fact remains that the death of Jesus is a prominent feature of every account of Jesus’ life. Indeed, Jesus’ death on the cross is one of the central themes running through the entirety of the New Testament. In other words, the earliest Christians affirmed that Jesus’ death was extraordinarily important.

While the writers of the New Testament make it clear that the death of Jesus is a crucial part of how we are reconciled to God, none are particularly clear about how this works. Theories about the atonement, a catch-all term for various ways Christians understand the saving work of Jesus on the cross, are not a prominent feature of the New Testament. The gospels are noticeably silent about the saving nature of Christ’s death. Even Paul, for all of his verbosity, limits his exploration of the atonement to a few metaphors. Since the early days of the church, therefore, theologians have developed theories about how Christ’s death became a means of redemption. Ultimately, however, these understandings of the atonement are ways of struggling with a much simpler, yet more profound question: Why did Jesus have to die?

During the month of May, our Adult Forums will deal with this fundamental and challenging question. We will explore several theories of the atonement and consider how they fit into the larger scope of the Christian story. Most importantly, we will consider how a robust understanding of the atonement can empower us to live our lives in light of the redemption wrought by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Join us on Sunday mornings at 10:30 in Room 1-2-3.

Lenten Retreat March 21, 2015

Lenten Retreat

Saturday March 21

The Gospel according to Mark has undergone something of a renaissance over the past few decades. For a long time, the writer of the shortest gospel was considered the “black sheep” among the evangelists. Many scholars dismissed Mark’s writings because they include few teachings of Jesus and appear to be a mere summary of the book’s counterparts. Recently, however, Christians have begun to rediscover the distinctive and eloquent witness of Mark’s gospel. No longer considered a “black sheep,” Mark has taken his rightful place as one of the true geniuses of the Christian canon. The gospel according to Mark not only provides a unique and riveting account of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, it also speaks powerfully to today’s Church.

kathy griebAs part of our Lenten observance at The Redeemer, we will be exploring the ways in which Mark speaks to us today. On Saturday, March 21, the Reverend Dr. A. Katherine Grieb will lead a daylong retreat entitled “The Story of Mark and the Story of Us: Witnessing to Jesus Christ in an Uncertain Age.” Dr. Grieb is the Meade Professor of Biblical Interpretation and New Testament at Virginia Theological Seminary. She has published extensively and has served in a variety of advisory capacities throughout the Anglican Communion. She has a passion for Mark’s gospel and will provide great insight into the distinctive witness of this evangelist.

The retreat will begin on Saturday, March 21 at 9:00 in the morning and will last until 3:00 in the afternoon. If you would like to participate, please use the online form here so that we can get an accurate head count for lunch. We hope that you will consider joining us as we explore how Mark’s witness can shape our lives of faith.

Click here for a press release about this event.

Thursday Evenings in Epiphany & Lent


Encountering Wisdom

Thursday Evenings in Epiphany & Lent

Epiphanies from the Book of Ecclesiastes
and Roger Scruton’s The Soul of the World.

Thursday evenings in the season of Epiphany, beginning January 8.

7:00-8:00 pm

This past year, Roger Scruton wrote a much reviewed and equally praised book in which he argued that “to be fully alive—and to understand what we are—is to acknowledge the reality of sacred things.” Instead of trying to engage in the ever popular and wholly fruitless debates about God and religion, he chose to offer an extended series of reflections on “why a sense of the sacred is essential to human—and what the final loss of the sacred would mean.”

In many ways, both subtle and garish, the sacred is under attack in our society. It is often assumed to be irrelevant now—a vestigial relic of an earlier age, before the discovery of the dominance of knowledge. In our time of Big Data, the sacred is also simply being overwhelmed by the profusion of sheer information. We have little time or interest in discerning the sacred when every day we face a rush of responsibilities and diverting entertainments. God and the sacred can seem infinitely distant. Scruton, however, describes our world very differently. He suggests that “the highest forms of human experience and expression tell the story of our religious need... [which] endows the world with a soul” and allows us to find a place within it that is truly home. In truth and at best, wisdom transforms knowledge.

Several thousand years ago, a similar enterprise was engaged by the writer of the book of Ecclesiastes. It is a short but studied examination of the nature of our world and life, by one who wishes to take an objective perspective. It is a book that is some ways seems resolutely secular and free from dogmatic assumptions; but in compelling ways, the trace of God, the infinite, and the sacred can’t be dismissed. The book describes living somewhere between the resignation of earth alone and the dream of heaven. It doesn’t argue for or against God, but opens a space where wisdom can’t be ignored.

For the weeks of Epiphany (January 8 – February 12), we will be reading texts from both books, ancient and modern, to better realize the importance of wisdom in our lives and in our world, where so much that troubles us seems to originate from having lost any sense at all of the sacred.

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

Click here for a copy of the Men's Brown Bag Bible Study section of the 2014 Annual Report.

Women's Brown Bag Bible Study
Thursdays   12:00- 1 pm

“Read, learn, mark and inwardly digest…” Sitting with scripture and soaking in its meaning for our individual and corporate lives is an art.  As in any relationship, it is important in our relationship with God to nurture a balance between speaking and deep listening.  This weekly time of study will give participants an opportunity to encounter particular biblical texts, to listen reflectively to those texts, and to engage in dialogue about how God’s word is touching their own lives. Come when you can, bring a lunch if you wish, invite others to join the group at any time.  

Click here for a copy of the Women's Brown Bag Bible Study section of the 2014 Annual Report.

Adult Study Group
1st & 3rd Tuesdays, 7-8:30pm





This group is beginning a new study (March 17) so now is a good time for new members to join their lively discussions. For the remainder of the year, the group will study St. Augustine. The two short texts, both of which are well reviewed, will include: Augustine: A Very Short Introduction by Henry Chadwick and Augustine's "Confessions": A Biography by Gary Wills.  You may be surprised to learn that the well-known political columnist has devoted much effort to religious study, and has written several books on specifically religious subjects.  His new book focuses more specifically on The Confessions. 

For more information contact Howard Baker

New Opportunities for Families in 2014-15

Parenting Conversations

Building Faith and Support at The Redeemer

Nine lively children on the playground Sunday afternoons, usually meant that The Redeemer Parenting Conversations crew was…conversing. Three Redeemer families gathered for five weeks during the late fall to discuss the ins and outs of being mothers and fathers. Perhaps no topic is more discussed by pundits, sages, and newbie parents than the “ubiquitous” topic of parenting. To sleep train? Not to sleep train? Group leaders Amy and Darren Clipston took a different tack. Redeemer Parenting Conversations looked at developmental stages of children within their family structure. Members found new ways to support each other in the hard work of raising children. At Baptisms, we parents and godparents promise to raise our children in the Christian faith and life. Yet too often we do not find a community of fellow Christians with whom we can ponder the greatest questions of faith and life. Many thanks to Amy and Darren for sharing their gifts with our community. Their generosity will allow The Redeemer to continue as a place where we see all aspects of our lives enfolded into God’s goodness and care.

Sabbath Time
Once again, our Rite 13 program will gather for a monthly Sabbath time. This program exists to allow our young people to rest, relax, and enjoy the gift of Sabbath with other kids in the Rite 13 program. In our increasingly programmed world, it is a gift to gather kids from different schools and give them a chance to enjoy each other and God's creation. All parents of Rite 13 youth play a role in shaping this program. Rebecca Northington, mother to Rite 13ers, Jack and Lachlan, facilitates this important ministry.

Church of the Redeemer - 230 Pennswood Road - Bryn Mawr, PA 19010