Recent Adult Education Programs
Recent Adult Education Programs
Previous classes are described below, with the most recent listed first.
March 5: Lecture and Discussion with Robert P. Jones, Ph.D, M.Div. CEO, PRRI
“Quite possibly the most illuminating text for this election year.” —The New York Times Book Review.
Dr. Jones joined us for Adult Education to discuss his latest book, The End of White Christian America. This provocative book outlines the rise and decline of the influence of white Protestant Christians in the cultural fabric of our country. Using findings from extensive PRRI survey reports, the book explores the origins of the anxiety many in the white Christian community feel in the face of a changing racial and cultural landscape in the United States.
Dr. Jones is a noted scholar of religion and public policy and the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles. He is frequently featured on major national media outlets, discussing politics, religion and culture. He holds a Ph.D. in religion from Emory University and a Masters in Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Full biographical details can be found at http://www.prri.org/staff/robert-p-jones-ph-d/
Additional information on the book can be found at http://www.prri.org/end-white-christian-america/
March 12: Congregational Small Group Discussion, The End of White Christian America
March 19: The Seasons of Faith
March 26: The Power of Metaphor
April 2: Naming God’s Absence
Jesus in the Gospels quotes from the book of Psalms more than any other book of the Bible. Psalms can offer us imaginative metaphors to help name our diverse experiences, navigate the joys and pain of life, and connect us to God and one another in this preparatory season of Lent.
A native of upstate NY, Dr. Dombkowski Hopkins has studied twice at the Ecumenical Institute for Theological Studies on the West Bank. She has received several grants and awards, among them: a Wabash Center Project Grant, sponsored by the Lilly Endowment (2013), an Association of Theological Schools Research Grant (2007), and a Theological Education Renewal Award from the Yale Center for Faith and Culture (2006), all with her colleague, Michael Koppel. She also received an Exemplary Teaching Award (2011-12) from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church. She is the author of a recent book on Psalms 42 to 89 in the new Wisdom Commentary Series from Liturgical Press (forthcoming, 2017).
We learned about our strategic vision: our new mission and vision, our goals and objectives, and how we propose to measure our progress over the next five years.
BHPC is working with our partners at the Bethesda Jewish Congregation and the Idara e Jaferia Mosque to sponsor a single refugee family and assist in their re-settlement in the Bethesda area. We are expecting a family in the near future. This Adult Education Series focused on refugee resettlement programs beginning at the federal level and moving to the very local level.
January 29: Bethany Frick and Bonnie Holcomb led a discussion on "Vital Signs and Upholding What We Value at BHPC" based on what the Congregational Assessment Tool (the survey you took last spring) showed about Bradley Hills. We explored where we stand in relation to other churches on a variety of measures (hospitality, morale, conflict management, governance, spiritual vitality, engagement in education, worship and music). We also discussed what it is most important to uphold in our current practices.
Advent is a time of expectation, of preparation. But what are we expecting? What are we preparing for as we move toward the celebration of Jesus' birth on Christmas? During Advent, we explored the scriptures of prophecy, of longing, of apocalypse, and of promise that God will indeed make all things new.
Advances in technology have affected our lives in ways both mundane and profound. We can now communicate with each other with a few thumb taps and interact in virtual space with persons across the globe. We can check the contents of our refrigerators while at our office desks. It is possible to “go” to church without leaving the confines of our homes. But what does that mean? How do technological innovations affect our faith practice and our interpersonal relationships? Join us in Adult Education to discover the emerging landscape of technology and explore how this landscape intersects with religion.
We had a discussion of themes elucidated by Dr. Douglass during his series in September. Where are we now with respect to our role as a faith community in civil politics? Is this consistent with our history or are we moving into a new direction? These questions and others were explored in small groups during the hour.
Q: How many Presbyterians does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None - lights go on and off by themselves.
Have you ever wondered about the concept called Predestination? On October 9, David Gray and Dick Tustian shared their reflections on the history and interpretation of the foundational theological concepts of the Presbyterian Church; on October 16, Dick Tustian shared speculative thoughts about the implications of scientific discoveries since Calvin’s time five hundred years ago; and on October 23, Tracy Rankin, Joanna Schmeissner, and Steve Burns led a panel discussion, with audience participation on how theology is being perceived today within current secular tensions between modern science and traditional religions.
Beloved Adult Education speaker Bruce Douglass, an Associate Professor at Georgetown University and Director of the Reformed Institute of Metropolitan Washington, joined us again.
Presbyterians trace their roots back to a variant of Protestant Christianity called "Reformed" that arose in western Europe in the 1500s. Ever since the initial appearance of that movement, its members have been actively involved in public affairs, and they have regarded that activity as one of the more important practical manifestations of their faith. But why have they viewed the matter that way? What exactly has it meant? How have Reformed Protestants understood the bearing of their faith on their involvement in civil politics? How does that view differ from the views of other Christians? And what relevance does it have to the events of our time? We examined some of the more basic elements of the Reformed understanding of civil politics and their relationship to the challenges facing us today.