Previous classes are described below, with the most recent listed first. 
 

October 2017

Justice - What Does It Mean?

Justice. We are all in favor of it, even Superman. But how do we define it? Justice is a rallying cry used today to support often-contradictory calls for action - deport all illegal immigrants? Welcome law-abiding ones? It can be, and is, applied to almost the entire range of human activity…social justice, environmental justice, economic justice, etc.  And as Christians, we believe in a just God demanding a just world. 

In October, Adult Education classes considered the complex and compelling concept of justice. First, we focused on the values that undergird the legal understanding and practice of justice. Next, we looked at the values that inform the Biblical concept of justice. The series concluded with a panel discussion of different perspectives on justice from members of the congregation.

  • October 8: Judge Kentaji Brown-Jackson, United States District Court, District of Columbia, "Legal Interpretation"
  • October 15: Pastor David Gray, "Biblical Concepts"
  • October 22: Pastor David Gray, "Sabbatical Reflections"
  • October 29: Panel Discussion, "Perspectives of Justice"

 

September Adult Education

"Revisting Our Roots:
The Protestant Reformation, 500 Years Later"

On October 31,1517, an Augustinian monk named Martin Luther posted on the main door of the castle church in Wittenberg a set of 95 theses designed to serve as a basis for discussion of reform of the Roman Catholic Church. That event, which precipitated a crisis in the Catholic church and led eventually to the creation of a series of new "Protestant" communions, is commonly regarded today as the point of departure for the Protestant Reformation. 2017 is thus the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation. This series of talks led by Dr. R. Bruce Douglass, Director of the Reformed Institute of Metropolitan Washington, is designed to provide informed answers to some of the key questions that are commonly asked today about the Reformation.

  • September 10: The Difference Luther Made
  • September 17: The Catholic Response (the Jesuits, Council of Trent, etc.)
  • September 24: The Rise (and Splintering) of Protestant Christianity
  • October 1: Congregational Discussion

 

May Adult Education: 

Moral Leadership

May 7 - Our Moral Leadership Series begins with Adam Rothman, Professor of History, Georgetown University, speaking on “Slavery, Abolition, Race, and Moral Leadership: Then and Now.” 

Dr. Rothman’s books, Beyond Freedom's Reach: A Kidnapping in the Twilight of Slavery and Slave Country: American Expansion and the Origins of the Deep South, have received numerous awards.  Dr. Rothman is a member of Georgetown's Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation, and is principal curator of the Georgetown Slavery Archive. 

One of our nation’s experts on slavery and on the slave experience in Georgetown and the D.C. area, Dr. Rothman will speak about the failings of moral leadership in the foundational history of race relations in America, and the potential for a different path for our country in the future.


 

April Adult Education:

Naming God's Absence

April 9 - Tracy Rankin led a discussion on Environmental Stewardship Sunday.

April 23 - We viewed the documentary 'Poverty, Inc.' The West has positioned itself as the protagonist of development, giving rise to a vast multibillion-dollar poverty industry of for-profit aid contractors and massive NGOs - the business of doing good has never been better. Yet the results have been mixed and leaders in the developing world are calling for change. From TOMs Shoes to international adoptions, from solar panels to U.S. agricultural subsidies, Povery, Inc. challenges each of us to ask the tough question: Could I be part of the problem?

April 30 - We heard from Jean Johnson, Executive Director of World Mission Associates. With over 29 years of ministry experience, Jean serves as a missionary and coach as well as WMA’s Executive Director. She is the author of We Are Not the Hero: A Missionary’s Guide to Sharing Christ, Not a Culture of Dependency. Jean holds a B.A. in cross-cultural communications from North Central University, Minneapolis, MN, where she also taught as a missionary-in-residence from 2009-2012. 

 

March Adult Education: 

The End of White Christian America


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 

 

On the Road to the Cross with the Psalms
with Dr. Denise Hopkins

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).

 

February Adult Education: 

Strategic Vision for Bradley Hills:
Presentation and Open Discussion of the New Strategic Plan

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.

  • February 5: New Initiatives in the Strategic Vision
    Cathie Lutter, Sara Inati, and George Petrides led the discussion of how the data were used to generate the current plan. What did the Strategic Visioning Task Force develop as a result of all the data gathered? How can you be part of making it real? 

Refugee Resettlement

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.

  • February 12: Cameron D. McGlothlin, Program Officer with the Refugee Admissions Office in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) at the U.S. Department of State discussed how our federal government supports refugee resettlement.
  • February 19th: "Addressing Refugee Needs - Beyond the Material" 
    Many refugees arrive here after suffering a strenuous and traumatic journey.  This week’s discussion focused on appreciating refugee emotional and mental health issues and needs, presented by Jennifer Isely, MSW, LGSW, Clinical Case Manager, TASSC International. Jennifer completed her Master’s of Social Work with a clinical concentration from Catholic University in June 2015. During the first year of her graduate program, Jennifer interned at TASSC, where she was incredibly inspired by the survivors she worked with. Before starting her graduate work, Jennifer spent over two years serving in the Peace Corps in Kyrgyzstan working with local women to develop a crisis center for survivors of domestic violence and bride kidnapping. Post-Peace Corps, Jennifer worked for a local nonprofit in the Washington, DC area supporting survivors of human trafficking, and has additional experience counseling survivors of sexual assault.
  • February 26th: "How Bradley Hills, Bethesda Jewish Congregation and the Idara e Jaferia Mosque are coordinating efforts to make 'our family' feel at home"
    We had a panel discussion with representatives of the three faith communities spearheading the effort to re-settle a refugee family in our area.  

 

January Adult Education:

  • January 15: David Gray led a study of the Book of Micah. One of Dr. King’s favorite passages of scripture was from Micah 6 - a powerful discussion and statement of what the Lord requires of us. Yet what is the deeper meaning of Micah? On Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, Pastor David led a study of the famous calling from the book of Micah.
  • January 22: As the world gets increasingly divided, civil discourse gets increasingly nasty. This session on "Compassionate Listening in a Divided World" looked at the potential for compassionate listening to restore our sense of humanity. International scholar of listening behavior Andrew Wolvin, University of Maryland Professor of Communication and BHPC member, led this session on the potential for compassionate listening to restore our sense of humanity. 
  • 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.

 

 

|