Adult Formation

Rector's Class February 2019

Rectors-Class-Feb-2019

There are many renderings of the famous image of what could be either a duck or a rabbit, depending on your way of looking at it. Most see the image immediately as one animal and then, can recognize the second option if prompted. The image serves as a reminder of how much of our seeing is actually already interpretation. We not only see things, we see them as something. And how we see them deeply influences our actions and responses. 
One of the prime functions of the Gospels is to challenge the way we ordinarily see everything about our lives: the time we are given, the responsibilities we have, the nature of humanity, the character of God, to name just a few. While the Gospels are often read simply as a kind of biography of the life of Jesus, this misses the constant methodical exercise of how Jesus reinterpreted the world as an invitation for us to see it differently as well. Too often the Gospels are reduced, in a most clumsy and incoherent way, to merely a series of stories about morals, from which we try to draw rules for how we should act. But the story they tell has a far larger and more comprehensive goal, which is changing the entire picture before us. Faith doesn’t tell us what we should do. It informs and transforms the whole manner of what and how we see. Which changes just about everything. 
In this class, led by Peter Vanderveen,  we will be reading the Gospel of Luke and examining how the text works—first to draw us, as readers, into the interpretive dilemma characterized by the duck/rabbit image, and second, to train our eyes to see God and see how God sees. 
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.

February Forums
February 10 
The Earth Opens Her Mouth: An Ecological Reading of Revelation 12
 
While Revelation may evoke fiery images of the end of the world in popular culture, it is actually a deeply ecological text full of animals, landscapes, and earth herself. This forum will focus on Revelation 12, where the earth opens her mouth to protect a woman who has just given birth to the savior of the nations. Join Dr. Crystal Hall, Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at United Lutheran Seminary, as she explores this passage within the broader ecological themes of Revelation, and considers how it might be a theological resource for today’s ecological crisis. 
January Forum

One New Humanity:
The Responsibilities of Epiphany

By David Romanik

The season after the Epiphany is a time in the Church year that resists easy characterization. Most of the other liturgical seasons can be described with a word or two: Advent is about “preparation,” Lent is about “penitence,” Easter is about “resurrection,” and the season after Pentecost is about “discipleship.” The season after Epiphany, on the other hand, celebrates the fact that God’s promises to Israel have been extended to the whole world through Jesus Christ. This season acknowledges that God has annulled our ancient rivalries and prejudices and, in the words of the letter to the Ephesians, created “one new humanity.” Perhaps this is the reason that Epiphany is so hard to summarize. While one can (dubiously) claim that the other seasons of the Church year are about individual piety, the season after the Epiphany remains stubbornly communal. It is a time when we are called to reflect on the ways we are connected not just to the members of our family or our tribe, but to everyone with whom we share this life, including those of succeeding generations. During January and February, our Adult Forums will explore this dynamic and consider the ways we can be responsible to one another.

January 6
That’s What Epiphany is All About, Charlie Brown:
Epiphany and Christian Responsibility

Join David Romanik as he discusses the theological and liturgical significance of the Epiphany and considers how it ought to shape our experience of the world.

January 20
Environmental Changes

This Sunday, we will consider our connection and responsibility to succeeding generations by hearing about the changes in our environment. Redeemer parishioner Karl Schoettle has served as chair of the Environmental Committee of the Graphic Arts Association and chair of the Environmental Conservation Board in Washington. Join Karl as he discusses what is real, what is speculative, what we should do, and why the Church should be involved.

Karl has spent nearly 50 years in the printing and packaging industries. He learned the value of paper recycling from an early age and has been a life-long student and teacher of environmental affairs. While president of several packaging and printing companies, he served as chairman of the Environmental Committee of the Graphic Arts Association and chairman of the Environmental Conservation Board in Washington.

Karl was confirmed and served as head acolyte here at the Church of The Redeemer. Karl lived in Dedham, Massachusetts with his family for 20 years, where he served as rector’s warden at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, treasurer at the Church of the Redeemer in Chestnut Hill, Ma., and organized church and civic environmental groups.  

January 27
The Sabbath Was Made for People

During Epiphany, we are exploring the responsibilities of Epiphany: the ways to acknowledge that God has created “one new humanity” in Jesus Christ. This Sunday, we will consider how keeping the sabbath benefits the people around us. Join David Romanik as he discusses the discipline of sabbath and how it reorients our perspective on the world.

December Forums

Rediscovering the Art of
Faithful Conversation

By David Romanik

There are many aspects of our common life that have become intolerable over past several years. Interacting with strangers has become a perilous enterprise, and there are many topics that we simply avoid with our friends and neighbors. People have attributed this erosion of our discourse to a variety of factors, including political polarization, the fracturing of the media, and the behavior of certain elected officials. I wonder, however, if one of the broader reasons for the toxicity of our common life is that few of us know how to have an actual conversation anymore. In the popular imagination, the ideal conversation is when one side “destroys” the other, or conversely, when each side simply listens to the other without reacting at all. True conversation necessitates respectful listening, but also requires a measure of conviction that creates opportunities for dialogue and transformation. During Advent, our forums will explore the nature of faithful conversation and how it can change our experience of the world.

December 2
“Art is Essential, Not Decorative”
Bono, Eugene Peterson, and the Psalms

Several decades ago, Bono, the frontman of the Irish rock band U2, contacted Eugene Peterson, the biblical scholar and author of a contemporary translation of the Bible called The Message, to express admiration for his translations of the Psalms. Thus began a fruitful and unlikely friendship, rooted in a deep regard for what the poetry of the Bible can teach us about God and about ourselves. In 2016, a film was made about their friendship and their love for the Psalms. Join us as we view the film and consider how the Psalms can be catalysts for sacred conversations.

December 9
Two Tales of a City

In the Hebrew Bible, few of Israel’s enemies were more despised than the Assyrian Empire. Nevertheless, portions of the text are surprisingly ambivalent about Israel’s historic adversary. In particular, the books of Nahum and Jonah offer two radically different approaches to the Assyrian capital of Nineveh. Join us as we explore how these two prophets are in conversation with one another, and consider what the tension between them tells us about the grace and mercy of God.

December 16
Flirting with the Bible

In many ways, the gospel of John is a gospel of conversations. Some of the most important moments in the first half of the gospel take place during conversations between Jesus and someone else: from an admiring member of the religious establishment, to a group of his ideological opponents, to, in one case, a woman who flirts with Jesus. In many ways, it is this final conversation between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well that says the most about what Jesus represents. Join us as we investigate this and other flirtatious interactions in the Bible.

December 23
Reclaiming Conversation

Long an enthusiast for the promise of digital technology, the author and researcher Sherry Turkle has recently observed that we have sacrificed conversation for mere connection. This leads to a variety of deleterious effects, including the loss of empathy. In a new book, however, Turkle argues that the time is right to reclaim conversation. Based on five years of research and interviews in homes, schools, and the workplace, Reclaiming Conversation posits that we have come to a better understanding of where our technology can and cannot take us. Join us for an introduction to Turkle’s book and a discussion of how we can reclaim the art of Christian conversation.

Men's Bible Study

Thursdays
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: David Romanik

Women Exploring Scripture

Thursdays   12:00- 1 pm
Bring your lunch if you wish

Catch the Spirit. Enjoy the friendship of other women as we explore the Acts of the Apostles and learn about the formation of the early church.  What happens to Jesus’ followers after His death and resurrection? How does the Gospel spread? No prior Bible knowledge is necessary, all questions are welcome, and there is no homework. Expect to gain new insights into your understanding of the scriptures and to have a good time. We wholeheartedly welcome new members!

Contact: Barbara Billings