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 2020 - SUMMER 2021)
[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).]
Summer Grace Groups
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.
Online Adult Study in the Spirit (OASIS)
9:15-10:15 a.m. on Zoom (Contact the church office or see the Grace E-News for log-in information.)
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.
NOTE: OASIS will be on hiatus during the summer to allow the worship committee to have more flexibility in offering the worship service in person.
Testimony: Vocabulary of Faith (Apr 11- May 16, 2021)
How do we articulate what we believe fluently and in ways that clearly demonstrate our faith to the world? How do we live and move and have our being in ways that embody our deepest Christian commitments? The study will help us explore these questions from a Reformed theological perspective, using a curriculum developed by Presbyterian Outlook. The study will last 6 weeks, and the discussions will be led by a rotating group of facilitators.
April 11: Session 1: Almighty — Who Is God? Handouts: Core Values Discussion Questions Who Is God? Scripture Passages Confessions
April 18: Session 2: Imago Dei — Who Are We? Handout: Session 2 Imago Dei.ppt
April 25: Session 3: Covenant — God in Relationship. Handout: Session 3 Covenant.ppt
May 2: Session 4: Grace — God Who Saves. Handout: Session 4 Testimony_Grace.ppt
May 9: Session 5: Love — God of Action. Handout: Session 5 God of Action - Love.ppt
May 16: Session 6: Christian Community — God of Belonging. Handout: Session 6 Testimony Community.ppt
Journey With Jesus this Winter @ Grace: The Gospel of Luke (Jan 3-Mar 28, 2021)
Grace will begin the new year with a church-wide study of the Gospel of Luke. We'll be reading 2 chapters a week. Adults can join the OASIS adult class (Sunday mornings, 9:15 am on Zoom) to explore what they read during the week. We have opportunities for children and youth as well. Consider a New Year's resolution of getting to know Jesus more deeply, and his interest in those on the margins, through this study. Check out the Read Luke with Grace page for more information!(Leaders: Nelson Thurman, Cindi Bryant, Amy Trawick)
Incarnation: Rediscovering the Significance of Christmas (Nov 29-Dec 20, 2020)
During Advent , the OASIS class is reading Incarnation: Rediscovering the Significance of Christmas by Adam Hamilton. A rotating group of facilitators will lead our discussions around the different names for Jesus and what they mean for us. As always, participants are invited to read along in the book; however, the leaders will be sure to provide a summary as part of the discussion. (Leaders: Philip Spiess, Dave Buckley, Janet Little)
An Altar in the World (Sept - Nov 22, 2020)
As we move into what is shaping up to be a tumultuous fall, the online adult Sunday morning class will study how we can maintain our spiritual center. We will use as our guide the book An Altar in the World, written by renowned preacher and author Barbara Brown Taylor. The book explores ways to experience the divine in our everyday, human activities, such as “wearing skin,” “getting lost,” “saying no,” and “living with purpose.” We will discuss these, chapter by chapter, but also set aside time to greet each other, get to know each other better, and encourage each other. Read along in the book (available through most online bookstores) or just show up for the conversation (the leaders will summarize key points each week). (Leaders: Cindi Bryant, Nelson Thurman, Amy Trawick)
Midweek Sermon and Scripture Study
The benediction’s given, the postlude ends, and you close your browser. Now what? What message did you hear in the scripture and sermon? What did others hear? In the Hebrew community of ancient times, the learning and the teaching occurred in group discussion and prayer. On Wednesdays, the Grace community shares, learns, and considers the worship service message and its place in our lives. Join us (via Zoom, of course) every Wednesday except the weeks of Virtual Pub Theology. The scripture and the sermon can be reviewed in advance, and the warmth of fellowship is always there.
Grace YAM (Young Adult Ministry)
During the uncertainty of Covid-19, what better time to gather in community and ponder how faith interacts with real life? The YAM group is for ages 18-30ish and meets online every Sunday at 7:00 p.m.. All are welcome to tune in virtually from wherever you are located.
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!
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!
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 a joyful, stimulating conversation the 1st Saturday of every month.
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 Into the Light: Finding Hope Through Prayers of Lament. Contact Mary Helmantoler if you need a study guide.
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.)
Facilitators: Linda Hitchens, Ed Bryant
Meetings: Every other Thursday (June 3, June 17, July 1, July 15, July 29, August 12); 7:00-8:30pm
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 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.)