Adult Formation

Adult Forums

Sundays at 10:25
in the Church (during Parish House construction)

(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.

January Forums

The Hope That is In You   (1 Peter 3:15)

By Michael Palmisano

Each Sunday during the Eucharist, the hope within each one of us elicits a bold proclamation: “Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again” (BCP 363). In this statement we remember that Christ’s death and resurrection condition both our past and our future. Because of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, we are assured that Christ will come again. This is all thanks to hope.

The Christian notion of hope is one that is inherently proleptic in nature. Its beginning and end are intertwined. In this way, hope allows us to expect with certainty something that lies before us. As believers in Jesus, the Son of the Living God, it is hope that keeps us going each day.

However, until the Resurrection, the ancient Greek notion of elpis (hope) did not have this sense of promise linked to it. Instead, hope was the mere waiting for an ambiguous and unexpected future. It was understood as a passion of the weak-minded which demanded taming.

This all changed when Jesus Christ rose from the grave on Easter morning. All of creation and human history would forever be understood in a new manner. The Incarnation revealed the Truth about the moment of Creation. The Resurrection revealed our expectation for the fulfillment of time. Because Jesus rose from the dead, we can hope with full expectation for His coming again and with this, the eternal life that is set before us. The Christian hope urges us on as we continue to fight the daily battle against powers of sin and death, all the while knowing that the war is already won.

The beginning of our 2020 Winter Forum Series at The Redeemer will begin with scholars who will enhance the concept of hope for us. In the beginning of January, we will grapple with the meaning of hope in the ancient Mediterranean world and how that influences the world around us today.

We will then respond to Peter’s assertion from 1 Peter 3:15 which demands that you always be prepared to present “…the hope that is in you.” In response to Peter we will hear directly from individuals in the Redeemer community who will help us understand what it means for them personally to live out their faith every day. How does the Christian hope influence their time, their work, and their family? What exactly does it mean for them to walk each day with the hope that is in them?

It is my hope that these conversations and these individuals will illuminate the Christian hope for all of us and invite us to live more boldly into Christ’s promises during in the great season of Epiphany.

January 5
What Does the Bible Tell us About Hope?

The Redeemer’s own Dr. John Herzog, Professor of Biblical Studies Emeritus from Bethel University, St. Paul MN will kick off our winter forum by guiding us through a discussion on the biblical notion of hope. Because of his profound influence on the nascent 1st century Church, the apostle Paul’s concept of elpis (hope) might be the best way for us to begin the conversation on Christian hope, full stop.

January 12
Hope in Greek Mythology

The ancient Greek notion of hope looked much different than our modern understanding of the concept. This is abundantly clear when we explore Greek mythology. This week we will be joined by the Redeemer’s own Dr. Radcliffe Edmonds III, Paul Shorey Professor of Greek and Chair of the Department of Greek, Latin, and Classical Studies at Bryn Mawr College who will lead us through an exploration of Greek myth and its portrayal of elpis (hope).

January 19
Recovering Hope from Ancestral Stories of Race

Join Redeemer newcomer, William Horne as he explains how his research in African American history relates to his family’s history in slavery and Jim Crow. This presentation is particularly pertinent on this MLK Day weekend as we consider the Black freedom struggle and the hope borne within it. Will is an Arthur J. Ennis Postdoctoral Fellow at Villanova University who writes about the relationship of race to labor, freedom, and capitalism in post-Civil War Louisiana. He holds a PhD in history from The George Washington University and is co-founder and Editor of The Activist History Review.

January 26
Sports and Spirituality

In the next few weeks we will begin to hear from Redeemer parishioners about their daily faith and “the hope within them.” As such, this week we will begin shifting the discussion towards a “lived-faith” by exploring one of the most prominent arenas in our American lives – sports. This week we will be joined by Dr. Edward Hastings, the former director of Neumann University’s innovative Center for Sport, Spirituality and Character Development. Ed will guide us through the intersections of sports and spirituality and show us how the two speak with one another. A former Wildcat on Villanova’s basketball team, Ed is now back at his alma mater teaching his famous Sports and Spirituality class.

December Forums

December 1

Understanding Poverty in Your Neighborhood:
Where You Stand Makes All the Difference 

with the Rev. David Anderson, Chaplain of Episcopal Community Services

Poverty in the U.S.  is a problem, but in the Philadelphia region, one of the poorest in the country, we have a real problem. Right in your neighborhood (whatever your street address). David Anderson will draw the scope of the issue we face in the Philadelphia region, highlight the exciting possibilities for real change, and remind us of Jesus’ beautiful compassion for the little ones, the poor. If we want to understand something as complex and fraught as poverty, what we do is not as important as how we do it. It comes down to our standing. Are we standing over the problem, or standing under?

David Anderson is an Episcopal minister living in Springtown, Pennsylvania. After completing graduate studies in English literature at the University of Chicago, he taught English literature and writing workshops at Columbia College (Chicago) and Northern Illinois University. Sensing a vocation to ministry, he attended Yale Divinity School, graduated magna cum laude and was ordained in the Episcopal Church. He has served parishes in Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

He is the author of Breakfast Epiphanies: Finding Wonder in the Everyday (Beacon Press, 2002), named by Spirituality & Health as one of “The Best Spiritual Books of 2002.” His latest book, Losing Your Faith, Finding Your Soul: The passage to new life when old beliefs die (Convergent Books) was published in September 2013.

David has served on numerous boards, including the Trustee Board of Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, where he also served as President of the Graduate Society Council. He was selected by the Episcopal Church Foundation to participate in the Clergy Leadership Project, and for a sabbatical to pursue his writing he was the recipient of a grant from the Lilly Foundation.

David is married to Pam Anderson, a cookbook author and food blogger. They have two daughters.

Your G O E
By Michael Palmisano
After all the years and trials of discernment, reading and writing, psychiatric testing, cross-examination by parishes and dioceses, and a seminary education, one of the final steps each candidate for ordination has faced since 1972, is the General Ordination Exam (GOE).
In the final January of seminary every individual seeking ordination is confronted by twenty-one hours of testing spread over three days. As the Bar Exam is to lawyers, the GOE is to priests.  
After their completion, the six-section, written exams are then sent off to the General Board of Examining Chaplains (GBEC which grades your responses on a binary pass/fail rubric (Fun Fact: our own Peter Vanderveen has served on this dreaded Board of Examining Chaplains). The six areas of expected competency for Episcopal clergy (or, six canonical areas) are as follows:
The Holy Scriptures
History of the Christian Church
Christian Theology
Christian Ethics and Moral Theology
Christian Worship according to the use of the Book of Common Prayer, the Hymnal, and authorized supplemental texts
The Practice of Ministry in contemporary society.
One year after completing my GOEs I am now preparing to be ordained in this parish among you all - the Redeemer community. I give thanks for all of you and how you have already shaped me and my ministry. I hope you will be able to join me on the evening of Friday, January 17 here at the Redeemer for my ordination to the priesthood. If you are unable to be here, I joyfully ask for your prayers during this new season of my life and vocation.
Beginning on Sunday, January 5 during the forum hour I will be offering a six-week class structured around the six canonical areas as outlined in the GOE. (Current location TBD). I hope you will be able to join us. For some, this might be a great way to learn more about the tradition you ascribe to each week. For others, this might be a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the Church as you thoughtfully discern the possibility of making Baptism and/or Confirmation. The bishop will be with us at the Redeemer on Sunday, February 23 for our annual Confirmation service. Those who are interested in this class offering, the sacraments of the Episcopal Church, or simply want to know more about ordination, reach out to Michael Palmisano at: 
Conversing. . .

Thursdays 7:00-8:00 pm — Parish House Annex, Room 4

“Cement,” I said. Someone immediately corrected me. “It’s concrete.” A couple of the foremen from W.S. Cumby, our builders, smiled at me. This kind of interchange happens with regularity in their world. I had never learned the difference well enough to keep the distinction. In my own vernacular, cement and concrete were roughly interchangeable terms. I could use either and not suffer any difficulties. For both substances are outside my trade. 
Nonetheless, what was being offered me was the opportunity to know and appreciate a little bit more about construction: an instance of practical education. I’ve lived a long time never needing to keep to the difference. I could easily continue with the confusion and never be stung by it. Someone else would get it right on my behalf. But now, politely corrected, I had a better feel for what is required in laying a foundation. And I was being invited in to various discussions of what needed to be done and why. I was given and acquired something valuable, that, possibly, I could put to good use. 
Near the end of this conversation someone added, “Don’t ask him about theology. He can make you dizzy with distinctions of his own.” Which was readily acknowledged. But no one took me up on it. Distinctions without a difference, they might have thought. Or, perhaps, the world I live within might not be of interest to guys with mud on their boots. I certainly understood the response. I’ve faced this reaction many times. But not to know or not to care about differences that could be made and articulated is to lose something — at least the capacity to engage and become skilled in understanding and applying one’s faith. No matter how abstract theology might seem, ultimately, it’s practical education. It shapes one’s whole life. It offers us the opportunity to be both grounded and nimble in the things that matter most. 
The Thursday evening gathering called “Conversing” is meant to provide a time when we can speak together about church, faith, beliefs, and any of the many distinctions in our talk about these matters that will allow us to bring God to speech more easily, fluidly, and naturally. Valuable practice that we can put to good use—particularly if we’d like others to know what it is about The Redeemer that is worth our time, our commitment, and, in turn, fashions our hope and gives us joy. 
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 Michael Palmisano if you have any questions.

Contact: Michael Palmisano

Women Exploring Scripture

Thursdays   12:00- 1 pm, Parish House Annex
Bring your lunch if you wish

Enjoy the friendship of other females as we explore the stories of women in the Bible who made a difference. Although we begin each week in the scriptures, we never know where our conversation and insights will lead us. Join us on this surprising spiritual journey. No prior Bible knowledge is necessary, all questions are welcome, and there is no homework.  We wholeheartedly welcome new members!

Contact: Barbara Billings