04.10.15

Adult Education BLOGOur Adult Education and Faith Formation program offers two different kinds of studies: open, informal studies and our “high commitment” Covenant Bible study groups.

Our “open” studies are open to all — and you don’t have to make a commitment — or do the reading — to participate. Please consider dropping in to our Sunday morning, Thursday morning or Women’s Circle study groups. We welcome newcomers and anyone who wants to participate occasionally.

Our Covenant study is an intensive, in depth study of the Bible, led by our Co-Pastor Tami Seidel. Covenant requires a commitment at the beginning of the study, which comprises three 12-week sessions. The group meets weekly and there are daily reading and “homework” assignments. We will be forming new Covenant study groups next fall.

“Study” is a misnomer for our Adult Ed programs, because these gatherings engage our hearts as much as they engage our heads. We wrestle with life’s difficult questions and how our faith informs our response.

Hear directly from two Bible study participants:

Covenant Bible Study: Why Covenant, why now, and how is this different from other Bible studies we’ve done?
I’ve been participating in the Wednesday evening Covenant Bible study. Why is it called covenant? This Bible study emphasizes the covenant relationship throughout our study. The covenant: the enduring commitment between God and his people. The first eight weeks focused on creating the covenant, the next eight weeks (where we are now) focuses on living the covenant, and the last eight weeks focuses on trusting the covenant.

Why now? What a great time to study the covenant between God and us! We are embarking on a journey together, calling co-pastors, moving forward with youth ministry, finding our focus, finding new ways to be “church.” We are creating, living and trusting God’s covenant with us, trusting that even if we don’t know where we might be going, or where we’ll end up, God is with us. The Holy Spirit is guiding us to discern what God is calling us to do, calling us to be.
But the big difference for me is the way the study flows. I thought that we’d “begin at the beginning” and start reading Genesis, and stop when we got to Revelation. (I’ve tried to read the Bible that way, several times!) But instead, we “jump around,” sometimes reading from the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament in the same week.

I have found the discussions stimulating, the readings challenging, and the entire experience very rewarding. The DVDs that accompany the readings provide context for understanding what we’re reading, and Tami is an excellent facilitator, keeping us on track when we stray, answering and raising questions. I am so blessed to be a part of this group.

-Connie Knapp

 

Islam and Christianity: a Thursday morning Bible study led by Rev. Tami Seidel
Thursday morning study, “Islam and Christianity”, is an informative, intriguing and fascinating look at how Islam came to be and the connection Christianity shares with this Abrahamic monotheistic religion. Besides a small study guide, we are using a PBS documentary and a DVD on “Great Religions of the World – Islam”.

We have been challenged as Christians to explain beliefs about the Trinity, the Bible, Christ’s divinity and the Incarnation. Each class explores a different topic so anyone is welcome to join this Thursday morning group and can jump right in. We meet in the lounge at 10am.

-Lynda Spring

Please check the Sunday bulletins and weekly e-mails to learn about our April Adult Education offerings. Questions? Call Shawn Cribari at 914-275-8015. Or you can ask Tami or Chip.

 

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