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.

October Forums
October 7
The Burden of Christian Freedom: The Dynamics of Rights and 
Responsibility in the Bible
In the letter to the Galatians, Paul reminds his congregation that they “were called to freedom.” In the very next breath, the apostle exhorts the Galatians not to use their freedom as “an opportunity for self-indulgence.” This brief passage summarizes the Bible’s seemingly ambivalent approach to the concept of rights. On one hand, the gospel articulates a radical, practically unlimited freedom. At the same time, our faith seems to suggest that freedom must exist within certain parameters. Join David Romanik as he examines the complex biblical understanding of rights, and considers how it might shape our approach to the world.
October 14
Just Borders: Place-Specific Duties and the Rights of Immigrants
There is currently a hot political and legal debate about whether and why immigrants should be allowed to stay in the United States. If we put partisan politics and legal considerations aside for a moment, however, we can ask an important question: What is the right moral criterion to decide whether an immigrant should be allowed to stay in a liberal democratic country? Recently, many scholars have argued that legal citizenship cannot be the sole source of rights, and hence they have advocated for place-specific rights for immigrants. Should physical presence in a territory confer social and political rights on all those present? Join Paulina Ochoa Espejo, professor of political science at Haverford College, as she explores this question and considers the moral dimensions of the immigration debate.
October 21
Human Rights and the International Criminal Court
By many accounts, the 20th century was one of the cruelest in human history. Acts of genocide were distressingly common and civilians were often slaughtered indiscriminately. In response to this widespread inhumanity, the international community developed new language and new legal categories to charge and punish those responsible. Eventually, an International Criminal Court was created to prosecute these “crimes  against humanity.” Andrea Cayley is a Redeemer parishioner and a lawyer who has spent much of her career bringing those who commit crimes against humanity to justice. Join Andrea as she discusses her work and explores how the concept of human rights has shaped the postwar order.
October 28
Does Gender Matter? Rights, Identity, and Society
Gender matters to many of us personally and socially. But, should gender be considered in the policies that govern institutions such as government-issued ID documents, public restrooms, college admissions, and sports?  If so, why and how? Join Heath Fogg Davis, professor of political science at Temple University, as he explores these questions and investigates the difference between sex discrimination and sex-identity discrimination.
September Forums

Both Here and There
The Sacredness of Space

By David Romanik


Shakespeare’s Othello includes one of the first known instances of the phrase “neither here nor there” in the English language. Historically, saying that something was “neither here nor there” meant that it was irrelevant. This is because the idiom has been nonsensical for most of its history: It has been impossible literally to be “neither here nor there.” With the advent of social media, however, we interact with one another on platforms that do not occupy any physical space. It has become possible, in other words, to exist in a “place” that is “neither here nor there.” This raises an important question: to what extent is this acceptable? Can we live in a world where our primary mode of existence is “neither here nor there”? The Christian faith has always depended on an understanding of place. In fact, our faith insists that self-consciously inhabiting and exploring the places where we live helps us understand ourselves and our relationship with God. For our forum series in September, we will explore the various ways that “place” remains crucial to our faith and our understanding of the world.

September 9
Reclaiming the Sacred:
The Redeemer as an Anchor Institution

One does not have to spend much time on The Redeemer’s campus to realize how central it is to the community. On a daily basis, dozens of local residents come to the parish house for 12 step meetings, walk their dogs through the churchyard, or teach their children to ride their bikes in the parking lot. In this way, the church and its grounds are a space for sabbath rest, even for those who are not members of the parish. Much of the campus development plan that has been discussed over the past few years has focused on acknowledging and developing The Redeemer’s role as a sacred place in the community. Join Peter Vanderveen as he offers an update on Legacy into Promise, responds to questions, and discusses the ways our campus can continue to be a place of sabbath for this community.

September 16
Making Room for the Sacred:
The Work of the Interfaith Hospitality Network

At its most basic, hospitality is about making room in our lives for others. Indeed, it is one of the essential tasks of the Church: Christians are meant to create space in their lives, not only for other people, but for God. For many years, The Redeemer has been involved in the Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN), an organization committed to helping homeless families and single women in our area achieve lasting independence. While it is easy to think about our work with IHN as a form of “outreach,” it has primarily been about making room in our lives for people we would not normally encounter. Join Allegra Cressman, the new Executive Director of IHN, as she discusses the mission of the organization, shares the joys and challenges of practicing sacred hospitality, and explores ways you can help.

September 23
Encountering the Sacred:
Healing through Education in Malawi

For many years, the African Children’s Mission (ACM) at the Church of the Redeemer has worked with the Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance (GAIA) to improve the lives of children affected by HIV/AIDS in the small African nation of Malawi. In their decades-long commitment to Malawi, GAIA and ACM have come to recognize that health education is the most effective and sustainable way to transform communities. Join Mark Conley-Buchsieb, Director of Development at GAIA, as he discusses discusses the ways GAIA is striving to prevent HIV among vulnerable youth in Malawi through education.

September 30
Discovering the Sacred:
Music and Mission Tour Retrospective

This summer, more than 50 parishioners traveled to Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy for The Redeemer’s biennial Music and Mission tour. The trip was life-changing for those who participated and those who were visited. Join members of our choirs as they share stories of the places they visited, the people they met, and the work they did as they represented our parish.


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: 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