Adult Education

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 Racial 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 (FALL 2021 - SUMMER 2022)

[During Covid, all offerings take place online, using Zoom. For Zoom information for a particular offering, see the church E-news or call the church office (703-451-2900).]

Online Adult Study in the Spirit (OASIS)

Leaders: Nelson Thurman, Amy Trawick, Philip Spiess, Tim Wilder
Every Sunday
8:30 - 9:30 a.m. 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. During the Covid pandemic, this class also serves as an important way to stay connected as a Grace family.

CURRENT STUDY
Read ACTS with Grace (Sept 12 - Nov 21, 2021)

As part of a church-wide study for the fall, the OASIS class will read and discuss The Acts of the Apostles. Acts picks up where the Gospel of Luke ends. In Luke we see Jesus teaching counter-cultural ideas about welcoming the outsider, prioritizing the poor, and sitting at table with all of God's children. In our study of Acts, Grace adults will investigate how the early church realized these teachings "on the ground," forming working communities that attempted to embody God's great love. How did the apostles handle differences in theology? How did they treat each other? How did the earliest Christian communities structure themselves during this turbulent era, what role did the Holy Spirit play, and what lessons can we draw for our own turbulent era? We'll explore these questions and more! For more information, including the reading schedule and materials, click here.

Click here to see past OASIS studies.

Centering Prayer

Leader: Cindi Bryant
Every Monday
7:00-7:45 a.m. on Zoom
Looking for a quiet, prayerful way to start off your week? Hoping to develop new spiritual practices? Then check out the Centering Prayer group on Monday mornings from 7:00 - 7:45 am. The Contemplative Outreach Organization describes Centering Prayer as "a method of prayer in which we consent to rest in God’s presence. It is prayer that moves us beyond conversation with Christ to communion with God.” Join us on Monday mornings to experience the richness of this kind of prayer regularly practiced. Each session is a stand-alone, so newcomers are welcome at any time. Join us when you can and explore how silence and community can deepen your faith. For more information, please contact Cindi Bryant at: .

Men's Fellowship

Leaders: Roy Giese
Second Saturday of the month
9:00-10:00 a.m. on Zoom

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’ll forego the breakfast for now, but we still look forward to all the rest! In Fall 2021, we'll be reading and discussing Frederick Buechner’s Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale.

Women's Fellowship

Leaders: Rotating
First Saturday of the month
9:30-11:00 a.m. on Zoom

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. The group meets the 1st Saturday of each month, October - May. Women's Fellowship kicks off Fall 2021 with a retreat lead by Cindi Bryant and Beth Jenkins Smith over the weekend of Sept. 17-29. Contact Maria Clayton for more information.

Circle 6

Leader: Mary Helmantoler
First Wednesday of the month
10:00-11:30 a.m. 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 What My Grandmothers Taught Me: Learning from the Women in Matthew’s Genealogy of Jesus. Contact Mary Helmantoler if you need 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!

Grace 101

This class meets periodically to familiarize visitors and prospective members with key components of Grace Presbyterian Church. Topics cover Presbyterian faith, governance, and tradition; educational opportunities; 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).

 

RACIAL JUSTICE SERIES

Grace is committed to racial justice and periodically sponsors focused studies to expand our understanding of race and racial justice.

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

This discussion group is offered as part of the Summer Grace Groups 2021 series of studies. It will revolve around Just Mercy, 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 story-line of a history-making battle for social justice, we will follow 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 focus on racial and economic inequality will also touch on gun violence, political corruption, a long history of suffering, and the potential for mercy to redeem us. Participation can include reading the book or watching the movie, as well as referencing other materials related to our criminal justice system. Join us in Zoom every other Thursday in Summer 2021 (June 3, June 17, July 1, July 15, July 29, August 12); 7:00-8:30pm. (Leaders: Linda Hitchens and Ed Bryant)

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

In this study we explore the history of racism in the white American church and continue to discern faithful and just responses to racial inequity in America. We’ll use The Color of Compromise by Jemar Tisby, available from most booksellers. Join us in Zoom every other Thursday from Jan. 21 - Mar. 18, 2021, from 7:00-8:30pm. (Leaders: Pastor Ben and Pastor Katie)

 

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 uses 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. (Reading the book is encouraged but optional; meetings start June 25, 2020.)

 

SUMMER GRACE GROUPS

Most summers, Grace offers small discussion groups around contemporary books and topics.

SUMMER 2021

This summer, Grace Presbyterian is offering a variety of virtual discussion groups on Zoom. Groups have been proposed by members and pastors around a range of topics, and we will be running six separate studies over the summer. These will meet on weeknights from June to August. GPC leadership encourages the Grace family to select one or more of these options, both to stay in community with each other over the summer and to deepen our faith and understanding on important issues facing God's world. We welcome this opportunity to be the church, across geography, so feel free to share widely with others! All are welcome. Read more about SUMMER GRACE GROUPS 2021.