Adult Education

ADULT EDUCATION @ GRACE


Faith formation is important for Christians of all ages, including adults. It shapes how we interact with God--and with our families, our communities, our workplaces, and the world. In addition, continued adult study models for the children and youth of the church that one's faith journey is never complete! Adults at Grace are encouraged to find regular opportunities to learn more, grow more, and reach deep.

Grace Presbyterian Church has a variety of opportunities for adults to grow in their faith, including weekly Sunday morning programming, midweek studies, monthly groups, and pub theology conversations. Summer Grace Groups and the Peace and Justice Series offer additional opportunities for in-depth study of important topics. Follow Grace Presbyterian Adult Ed on Facebook to stay up-to-date on offerings and reflections related to adult education.

ADULT EDUCATION OFFERINGS FOR FALL 2022

OASIS

Every Sunday
9:00-10:00 a.m. Hybrid in-person (Family Room) and on Zoom

This discussion-based class explores biblical and thematic topics, led by rotating leaders. Participants are encouraged (but not required!) to read texts selected for study and to bring their insights and questions to the group discussion.

The studies for the current year (Fall 2022 - Spring 2023) are listed below.

Click here to see past OASIS studies.

FALL 2022 STUDY
Galatians and Philippians (September 18-November 20, 2022)
Leaders: Tim Wilder, Amy Trawick, Philip Spiess, Warren Clayton
Every Sunday in the Family Room and on Zoom
9:00-10:00a.m.

 

Our Sunday morning adult class this fall will explore the good news of the Gospel through the eyes of the Apostle Paul. We will be reading chapter by chapter two of Paul's letters: Galatians, which is probably his first letter, and Philippians, which could date toward the end of his missionary ministry. Galatians will give us a sense of what the Gospel meant before the actual Gospels were written, and Philippians will help us see how Paul addressed some of the challenges the church faced--challenges that are still relevant today. These are fascinating and inspiring epistles, and we'll try to look at them together with fresh eyes, open to what they have to say to us today.

For more information about the class (schedule, resources, etc.), click here.

Centering Prayer

Leader: Cindi Bryant
Every Monday on Zoom
7:00-7:45 a.m. 

  • Are you looking for a way to step aside from our noisy world?
  • Are you looking for a way to grow closer to God?
  • Are you looking for a supportive group to pray with and experience holy silence?
If so, then join us on Monday mornings at 7:00 am on Zoom for 45 minutes of Centering Prayer. Centering Prayer is a beautiful way to encounter God in a fresh and unique way. We begin our time with an opening prayer, do some grounding activities to calm and quiet our minds, read a brief meditation, and then have 15 minutes experiencing God in silence. Join us when you can - all are welcome to our praying circle. If you have any questions, please contact Cindi Bryant @ .

Brave Church/Hard Topics

Leaders: Nelson Thurman, Pam Evett, Linda Hitchens, and Cheryl Outland
Every Thursday from Sept. 22 - Nov. 17 on Zoom
7:00-8:30 pm

Using the framework of Brave Church: Tackling Tough Topics Together by Elizabeth Hagan (2021), this study explores challenging topics not usually talked about in church and on which Christians may have differing opinions. The intent is not to change what you think but rather how you engage in conversation on these topics with people who have similar or different opinions. We’ll begin by discussing sexual orientation, domestic violence, mental health, and Christian nationalism. We’ll also explore what to talk about beyond that. The class runs Sept. 22 - Nov. 17, 2022.

Click here to find more information about the class, including topics, schedule, resources, and discussion questions.

Circle 6

Leader: Mary Helmantoler
First Wednesday of the month
10:00-11:30 a.m. in the Library/on Zoom

The Presbyterian Women have a long history at Grace. Circle 6 is alive with Bible study, fellowship, and special mission projects. We meet on the first Wednesday of each month from September to June. This year the circle is using the PW/Horizons Bible study Celebrating Sabbath: Accepting God's Gift of Rest and Delight and will even take a trip to a retreat center to experience Sabbath in our October meeting. Contact Mary Helmantoler or the church office for more info or to get a study guide.

 

Virtual Pub(lic) Theology

Leader: Nelson Thurman
Periodically

Whether it’s wrestling with the breaking news of the day, the messiness of everyday life, or questions of faith, our monthly Virtual Pub(lic) Theology provides us an opportunity to learn, grow, encourage, and find comfort with each other. We don’t have all the answers, but we offer a safe place to explore the questions. Settle in with your favorite food and/or beverage, and join your friends from Grace - and friends you bring - for a lively evening of conversation and fellowship!

Men's Fellowship

Leaders: TBD

The men of Grace have a vibrant program that started over 20 years ago. Pre-Covid, the group would gather at 8:00 a.m. for a delicious breakfast, a nourishing Bible study, and supportive fellowship. We are currently discerning what format Men's Fellowship will take in '22-'23!

Women's Fellowship

Leaders: TBD

Women’s Fellowship meets monthly to address life and women’s issues through the lens of faith. Sometimes complex, sometimes challenging, always supportive - Women’s Fellowship invites women, youthful and experienced, to join the joyful, stimulating conversation. We are currently discerning what format the group will take in '22-'23!

Grace 101

This class meets periodically to familiarize visitors and prospective members with key components of Grace Presbyterian Church. Topics cover faith journeys and spiritual gifts, Presbyterian beliefs and structures, and how to jump into Grace's missions and ministries.   If you are interested in attending one of these classes, please contact the church office (703-451-2900).

SUMMER GRACE GROUPS

Each summer we offer small groups that meet around particular interests for study and fellowship. Our 2022 groups have wrapped up. You can read about them here: 

SUMMER GRACE GROUPS 2022.

Join us next summer!

PEACE AND JUSTICE SERIES

Grace is committed to biblical understandings of justice and peace and periodically sponsors focused studies to expand our understanding of key issues facing the world today. Even if you missed the group discussions, you may want to read these books on your own.

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

Just Mercy is the true story of author and world-renowned civil rights defense attorney Bryan Stevenson as he works to free a wrongly condemned death row prisoner. In addition to exploring the central storyline of a history-making battle for social justice, Stevenson details the histories of others from marginalized groups who are falsely convicted or harshly sentenced and engage with moral and philosophical reflections on the American criminal justice and prison systems. This book also touches on gun violence, political corruption, a long history of suffering, and the potential for mercy to redeem us.

The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church's Complicity in Racism by Jemar Tisby

(from the Amazon description) The Color of Compromise takes listeners on a historical journey: from America's early colonial days through slavery and the Civil War, covering the tragedy of Jim Crow laws and the victories of the Civil Rights era, to today's Black Lives Matter movement. Author Jemar Tisby reveals the obvious - and the far more subtle - ways the American church has compromised what the Bible teaches about human dignity and equality.

 

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Olua

Over the past decade, the past few years, the past month--many of us have become aware that as Christians, we are called to face the reality of our nation's legacy around race. But (especially for white people), how do we talk about things that make us uncomfortable? How do we help heal the hurts? What do we need to better understand in order to become a part of the solution? This study used the book So You Want to Talk about Race to explore these topics. The author, Ijeoma Oluo, guides readers through definitions and history and black experience in an attempt to make possible honest conversations about race and racism and how they infect almost every aspect of American life.

City of a Thousand Gates by Rebecca Sacks

City of a Thousand Gates is a deeply empathic first novel by American writer Rebecca Sacks. Without taking sides, the book illuminates the competing perspectives and desires of people throughout Israel and Palestine. And it reveals the humanity of people caught in the atmosphere of hostility that pervades even the most intimate aspects of personal life. Central to the novel is the question of the abuse of power, and how oppression harms both the oppressed and the oppressors. Through the pages of this book, we explored the many facets of the antagonism between Israelis and Palestinians and pondered the larger question of the impact of the abuse of power.

Whom Shall I Fear?: Urgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence by Rosalind C. Hughes

(adapted from the Amazon description) In the book Whom Shall I Fear: Urgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence, Rosalind C. Hughes explores the questions being raised by churches as they grapple with the fear of violence. The book provides thought-provoking reflections on topics such as locked doors, living faithfully in an unfaithful world, the question of armed security in a church setting, and the duty of Christians to extend hospitality to their neighbor. It includes stories from survivors of gun violence and wisdom on how churches can work to transform an anxious and fear-driven world. Whom Shall I Fear? helps the church thoughtfully wrestle with what it means to be a church of grace, welcome, and love when confronted with acts of cruelty, division, and hate.