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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

2016 Lenten Home Study Groups

Return of the Prodigal Son

Lenten Study Groups

Thursday, February 18 at 6:30pm we begin our exploration of The Return of the Prodigal Son by gathering as a community for dinner and a presentation on Nouwen’s book.

During the following three weeks, small group discussions will occur at The Redeemer and in the homes of parishioners.
Home Study Groups
Mondays at 7:00 pm at the home of David and Ginger Woods
Tuesdays at 7:00 pm at Church of the Redeemer
Wednesdays at 7:00 pm at the home of Elizabeth McLean
Thursdays at 12:00 pm at Church of the Redeemer
Thursdays at 7:00 pm at the home of Rick and Rita Davis

Click here to signup for a one of these groups.

Thursday, March 17 at 6:30pm we will return to The Redeemer to share our insights with each other.

All are welcome to participate as we explore this story of homecoming and redemption. Please contact David Romanik if you would like to purchase a copy of the book or have any questions.


Adult Forums
Sundays at 10:15 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.

2016 Winter Adult Forums



Sunday Adult Forums

January & February Offerings

Half the Church:
Reclaiming the Role of Women in the Christian Community

By Margaret Helminska

Last year a celebratory Eucharist was held at The Church of the Advocate, marking the 40th anniversary of the 1974 “irregular” ordination of a group of priests. The “Philadelphia Eleven” were the first women to be ordained to the priesthood in The Episcopal Church. The ordination was deemed “irregular” because General Convention had not yet voted approval for such ordinations. That vote of approval did not come until 1976.

My daughters, ages 17 and 20, cannot remember a time when there were not women priests. For them, the sight of a woman at the altar, saying the words of consecration, and distributing Communion is a natural part of their Sunday morning experience. Yet the struggle to allow women full participation in ordained ministry continues, even within The Episcopal Church and certainly within the broader Anglican Communion. In the Church of England, for instance, recent appointments of women as bishops have been met with protests.

Women’s (and girls’) roles in the ministry of the church have been restricted for centuries. Some of us remember well when girls were not permitted to serve as acolytes, and when many choirs were restricted to men and boys. It was not until the late 1960’s that every diocese in The Episcopal Church even permitted women to serve on vestries.

Yet, women were present among the followers of Jesus and an active part of his ministry. Christianity promised that “there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28). As such, women supported early churches, and some women seem to have functioned in ordained leadership roles. What happened to change this, and why? How did women continue to influence the life of the church when no longer permitted active roles in formal ministry? How and why did the restriction of women’s roles begin to change again in the 20th and 21st centuries? The speakers in Half the Church: Reclaiming the Role of Women in the Christian Community will address these questions. The history of women in the church is not simply a history of women, but the history of all of us, for the church is all of us, all one in Christ Jesus.


January 3
An Introduction to the History of  Women in the Church

Women played an important role in the early Church, but their status had changed by the Middle Ages. Join historian and Redeemer parishioner Margaret Helminska as she reviews the roles women played in Greco-Roman-Judaic society at the time of Jesus, in Jesus’s ministry, and in the early church. How, when, and why these roles will also be part of the discussion.

January 10
Hagar, Mother of Other Nations

Though they tend not to get much exposure, some of the most memorable and important characters from Scripture are women. This is particularly true of Hagar, a pivotal character in Genesis. whose story transcends religious divisions and reveals that our understanding of God is often limited. Join Marie Conn, Professor of Religious Studies at Chestnut Hill College, as she explores the “real Hagar,” a woman who complicated salvation history.

January 17
“The Devil’s Appetizers”:  Women’s Bodies in Christianity

According to ancient medicine, women’s bodies were softer, moister and more porous than those of men, and thus more open to evil influences. Over the course of history, women’s bodies were seen as sinful and in need of control. Join Stefanie Knauss, Assistant Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Villanova University, as she explores how these negative views of women’s bodies have influenced women’s religious experiences and roles in the Church. She will also discuss positive historical and contemporary alternatives to these views that allow us to appreciate women as fully-expressed Christians.

January 24
So Close and Yet So Far: Women’s Ordination in the Roman Catholic and Episcopal Traditions

Roman Catholics and Episcopalians agreed on the issue of women’s ordination for centuries. In the 1970s, however, the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States made the decision to ordain women to the priesthood. The Catholic Church has remained adamant in its opposition to the ordination of women, despite the fact that the majority of U.S. Catholics support the idea of women priests. This juxtaposition raises some important questions. What led the Episcopal Church to ordain women? Why has the Roman Catholic Church maintained its opposition to women priests? Will that opposition ever change? Join Dr. Margaret McGuinness, professor of religion and Executive Director of Mission Integration at La Salle University, as she explores these questions.

January 31
“To be One With Him in Full Fruition”: Medieval Women, Mystical Theology, and the Church

The Beguines were a group of women in the Middle Ages who, unlike nuns, took no formal vows but, like nuns, lived in poverty and chastity, seeking God. These women lived both alone and in community and worked as teachers, lace-makers, and theologians. Join Dr. Rachel Smith, Assistant Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Villanova University, as she investigates the medieval women’s religious movement that gave rise to the Beguines and explores the writings of one thirteenth-century Beguine, Hadewijch of Antwerp, whose letters, visions and poetry developed a unique mystical theology that centered around the relationship between love, suffering, and union with Christ in his humanity.

February 14
“Thus I am a Feather on the Breath of God”: Abbess Hildegard of Bingen

Born to a noble family in late 11th Century Germany, Hildegard of Bingen was brought up in a monastery where she was enclosed in a cell with an anchoress to learn a life of prayer and obedience. She went on to become abbess and founded religious communities for women at Rupertsburg and Eibingen. Best known today for music she composed and for a series of writings, Hildegard devoted her life to God and had mystical experiences from the time she was three years old. Musician, artist, writer, dramatist, prophet, preacher, theologian, herbalist and natural healer, Hildegard lived a long life of service and was a woman of influence and power in a time when women’s roles in the church were highly restricted and women’s voices generally silenced. Join Margaret Helminska as she concludes our series by exploring the life and work of this fascinating figure.

2016 Lenten Adult Forum Series


Lenten Series

Near the Cross: Meditating on the Passion of Jesus Christ
There is an old spiritual by Fanny Crosby that asks Jesus to keep us “near the cross.” Lent is a particularly good time for us to remain near the cross and reflect on the significance of Jesus’ death. In that spirit, our Adult Forum series during Lent is entitled “Near the Cross: Meditating on the Passion of Jesus Christ.” During Lent, we will experience the Passion through the lenses of scripture, art, music, and liturgy. Join us on Sunday mornings at 10:30 in Room 1-2-3 as we explore our Lord’s Passion and remain near the cross.

February 21
“He loved them to the end”

Among the seasons of the Church year, Lent provides a unique liturgical focus to our worship. Join Peter Vanderveen as he explores the ways that our Lenten liturgy is distinct from the rest of the year and how it can shape our Christian practice during this season of penitence and renewal.

February 28
About Suffering the Old Masters Were Never Wrong

The title of this presentation comes from a 1938 poem by W.H. Auden, and the poet could well have been referring to artistic renderings of Jesus’ death. Indeed, some of history’s most poignant and arresting works are depictions of this centrally important moment in the life of the world. Join us as we share some memorable artistic reflections on Christ’s Passion.

March 6
Faithful Infidelity: The Dynamics of Rejection in the Passion Narratives

German scholar Ernst Käsemann once suggested that the gospels were “Passion narratives with extended introductions.” While he may have overstated his point, the fact remains that the Passion is pivotally important for our understanding of God, especially when it comes to God’s steadfast faithfulness. Join David Romanik as he uncovers some of the surprising and powerful details from the biblical accounts of the Passion.

March 13
The Cross Taught All Wood to Resound His Name

Accounts of the Passion have inspired history’s greatest composers to produce some of their most compelling work. Join Dr. Michael Diorio as he examines some of the most famous musical settings of this story and considers how these pieces might shape our understanding and experience of Christ’s Passion.

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.

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