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Click here for a copy of the Adult Formation section of the 2013 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.

Epiphany 2015 Adult Forums
January-2015-Adult-Forums

 

Series in Epiphany

The Nature of Justice

A few weeks ago, a group of local college students marched through Bryn Mawr to protest police violence. Even as the 150 or so marchers repeated the familiar “Hands up; don’t shoot” refrain and railed against police brutality, they were escorted by several officers and squad cars from the Lower Merion Police Department. This incongruous image can be understood in several ways. The cynical, Orwellian interpretation is that we are only allowed to criticize the authorities if they give us explicit license to do so. The more optimistic understanding is that we live in a society in which the police will protect even those who are criticizing them directly. However we may interpret it, this deeply ironic image exposes the fact that our current national conversation about race relations and police violence lacks a certain clarity.

The most striking example of this ambiguity is our imprecise use of the word “justice.” Though people from all corners have been clamoring for “justice” over the past several months, few have been able to define it. Some have called for the perpetrators of police violence to be punished. Others have insisted that we must redouble our efforts to bring about equality. Still others have implied that the only way for us to achieve justice is essentially by dismantling our system of government. For many, our inability to define “justice” has led to a profound sense of futility and hopelessness.

As our country continues to wrestle with the ripple effects of events in places like Ferguson and Staten Island, we at The Redeemer are going to begin a conversation about the nature of justice during the Adult Forum hour. We will explore how justice is described in Holy Scripture and how it has been understood by the Church. We will examine how the American justice system functions as an agent of justice. We will consider how our biology as human beings plays into our understanding of justice. We hope that this discussion will help us gain clarity about this crucial national conversation and will lead us to a place where we can hope once more.

Thursday Evenings in Epiphany

Encountering-Wisdom

Encountering Wisdom

Thursday Evenings in Epiphany

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
Thursdays
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

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 2013 Annual Report.

Adult Study Group

The Adult Study Group welcomes new people to join our group of Redeemerites.  We meet to deepen our faith and to explore and discuss the challenges of being a Christian in a secular age, a time when the media focuses on conflicts between strict fundamentalists and militant atheists.  We are a small, open group of friends, who are comfortable to talk freely together.  This means we make mistakes and change our minds.  We meet in the parish house from 7:00 to 8:30 on the first and third Tuesday evenings of the month.  This fall we will focus on James Smith’s brief (132 page) book, How (Not) to Be Secular.  If you are interested please join us October 7 and/or 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