101 Being Mortal
The Rev. Dr. Julie Nemecek will lead a discussion of the best-selling book Being Mortal by Dr. Atul Gawande, a surgeon and a professor at Harvard Medical School. Gawande uses his life experiences as a doctor and as a son of an aging father to illustrate how ill-prepared most doctors are for end-of-life issues. Whether you are thinking about how you can prepare for your final years or are helping someone else as they face life's last journey, this book raises issues and questions that can help you be prepared for "a good life all the way to the very end". The discussion will include a Christian perspective on the issues of death and dying. Participants are encouraged to read the book ahead of time or at least read the introduction and first two chapters before the first group meeting. The book is available new, used, on Kindle, and on audio CD.
102 The Big Bang Theory
The Big Bang Theory -- the television hit not that other science thingy--is no stranger to theology. As Carla Mavis explores the characters from the popular sitcom, we might realize they might be just like people joining our congregations. Even as their lives are about living in an academic, scientific world their relationships with each other are the same as what we experience in our daily lives. We will explore how to minister to even Sheldon's quirky personality. By the end of the week you might even say “BAZINGA!”
103 “Do Not Be Afraid!” – Bible Study
Scripture teaches us to “Fear God,” but with regard to everything else the message is clearly “Do not be afraid!” Still, fear works its way into our minds and hearts. Using scripture, Max Lucado’s study Fearless Faith, and other resources, The Rev. Karen Kelley will help us work on facing our fears as people of faith.
201 Presenting God’s Word in Speech, Drama and Song
Scripture is inspired, but sometimes its presentation is less than inspiring. Bryce Wiebe will explore creative ways of presenting scripture, from simply improving the reading of the text by a liturgist, to antiphonal reading, to dramatic presentation, to scriptural monologue sermons. Participants will try out new ways of presenting the Gospel using tools of theater and music to be inflected in every part of the worship service and useful for preachers and non-preachers alike.
202 Waking Up White
Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving is being encouraged by our PCUSA Co-Moderators for small group studies this year. The author admits to growing up in a very white environment and did not recognize until adulthood how much our entire culture is oriented around whites, especially white Anglo-Saxon Protestants. She did not think of herself as racist until she began to understand the challenges those with darker skin have in a white-dominated world of power, authority, and wealth.
Through Debby’s story, Ginny White will guide our exploration of our own experiences, prejudices, value systems, and cultural heritage that makes us who we are. To gain the most from this class, the participants must be open to admit their beliefs may need to change; confront hidden practices that sustain a white culture; and become more accepting of the diverse world in which we all now live and work.
This class is open to anyone who has a desire to explore the subject of race from the perspectives described in the book. We will use Debby’s book as a platform for our personal learning and growth as opposed to discussing current racial issues in our country today. The class will be interactive with a participant’s guide provided. Reading the entire book prior to class is recommended but not required. Participants will need to buy the book and bring
203 Social Media 101 for Churches
Mari Graham will provide an overview of the major social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and how each can be used to share your church’s stories. Stories are important, not only because they are a basic form of communication, but they are often the most compelling. In this class, we will discuss how to use these three platforms separately, and together, to make ensure your stories are heard.