The mission of the Adult Education Ministry is to help every adult fulfill their potential as a disciple of Jesus Christ. To support this mission, we offer a variety of opportunities, including bible studies, Inquirers’ Classes, topical classes, guest lecturers, and other occasional events.
Except where noted, until further notice, these offerings are held on Sundays from 9:30-10:30 a.m. in Heritage Hall and Virtually. For additional information and the zoom link, please contact Noelle Castin.
For recordings of Fall 2021 classes on Vimeo, click here
For recordings of previous classes on YouTube, click here.
Covid-19 Safety Precautions – What to expect Fall 2021, click here.
The Reformed Institute
The Meeting House is a founding member of the Reformed Institute of Metropolitan Washington. The Reformed Institute is a cooperative effort of several local Presbyterian churches, seeking to draw on the resources of the Reformed tradition to deepen our faith and understanding, and challenge our minds in the service of God. The Reformed Institute offers various classes, lectures, special events, and retreats, as well as providing a variety of resources through its website and Company of Teachers.
To learn more about upcoming Reformed Institute offerings visit reformedinstitute.org/events.
Upcoming Event: Join us for an evening with David LaMotte on October 30th, 2021 at Westminster Presbyterian Church, DC. This unique event combines a workshop, dinner, and concert that allows participants to put into action what they hear and experience. A suggested donation for this event is $20, but any amount is welcome. For more info and to RSVP.
Adult Education for Fall 2021
Please join Priscilla Andre-Colton and Linda Lanam via Zoom on Thursday mornings at 10 AM to prepare for worship by considering some of the passages for the coming Sunday. We will spend some time in study of the scripture and in conversation about how it relates to our own faith experiences. Please contact Noelle Castin, Director of Christian Education for the Zoom link.
All are welcome!
Food Insecurity continues to be a critical issue that impacts so many within our community, particularly those most vulnerable. A March 2021 Feeding America Report indicated that, “In 2019 – before the start of the pandemic – more than 35 million people, including nearly 11 million children, were food insecure. Feeding America projects that 45 million people, including 15 million children, may have experienced food insecurity in 2020, and 42 million people, including 13 million children, may experience food insecurity in 2021.” Please join us for this important Adult Education where we’ll hear directly from Meeting House leads from Service & Justice programs about their work to address food insecurity, including during the pandemic. We’ll also discuss the continued needs within our community, and how people can get involved, and work together across programs. We’re so grateful to be joined by the following Meeting House program leads:
- Joan Moser, ALIVE
- Amy Kavelman, Bag Lunch Program
- Mary Lee Anderson, Senior Services of Alexandria (Meals on Wheels and Groceries to Go)
- Susan Grandy, Open Table Program
To learn more, contact Noelle Castin.
The Rev. Alvin Herring is executive director of Faith in Action, the largest grassroots, faith-based organizing network in the United States. An ordained Christian Minister with over 30 years of experience in ministry, Rev. Herring is constantly working to put faith back into the public square by expanding the idea of faith far beyond 11 a.m. on Sunday. For Herring, this means leveraging the Faith in Action network and its leaders to use their faith traditions as catalyst for change.
People of faith are working to stop voter suppression and organize people to use their vote on the issues that matter to them. Rev. Alvin Herring, executive director of Faith in Action, will share what his faith-based national network of 1,000 religious congregations are doing to protect the right to vote. Our Dismantling Racism Team is excited to bring this national leader to the Meeting House to inform and inspire us. Rev. Herring will fire us up as a church and individuals to be part of this movement to protect the rights of all Americans to seek justice through the vote.
The Rev. John Yieh, PhD. is the Molly Laird Downs Professor of New Testament at Virginia Theological Seminary. His research interest focuses on the Gospel of Matthew, the Johannine Literature, the social-historical and history-of-effects approach, and the history of biblical interpretation in China. His recent publications include Conversations with Scripture: The Gospel of Matthew and The Oxford Biblical Bibliographies on the Lord’s Prayer.
The Lord’s Prayer is a beloved prayer that Christians use in every worship service because it was taught by Jesus as a model prayer (Mt 6:9) and an identity prayer (Lk 11:2). Familiarity is good but it oftentimes makes formality and diminishes fresh impact. This presentation will introduce recent biblical scholarship on this influential prayer and invite us to think about its contents and significance today, so that we may pray it afresh and align our devotional life to the will of the living God.
What are the challenges of this ministerial calling? These questions will be explored in our three-week series on chaplaincy. Over the course of this series, we will be guided by chaplains who minister to three very different populations. On October 10, Rev. Sean Cavanaugh, JK-12 chaplain and Religion Department chair at St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School will discuss his ministry as a chaplain for students, faculty, and staff at an Episcopalian school. On October 17, Rev. John Pollack, chief of the Department of Spiritual Care at the National Institutes of Health, will share his role as a spiritual care leader at the NIH. And on October 24, Dr. Margaret Kibben, chaplain of the US House of Representatives, will discuss her ministry among US legislators. We look forward to your joining us for this exciting series!
Sunday, October 10 :: Rev. Sean Cavanaugh
Rev. Sean Cavanaugh, JK-12 Chaplain and Religion Department chair at St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School will discuss his ministry as a chaplain for students, faculty, and staff at an Episcopalian school.
Sunday, October 17 :: Spiritual Care in the Clinic
John M. Pollack, M.Div., BCC is the Chief of the Department of Spiritual Care at the Clinical Center of The National Intstitutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, where he is Chair of the Clinical Center’s Ethics Committee and serves on NIH Institutional Review Board. Pollack came to the NIH in January 2008. His current interests include spirtual care at the end of life and clinical careprovider wellness and burnout.
Prior to coming to the NIH Pollack was director of Pastoral Care and Mission Operations at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Maryland, where he served on the hospital’s Ethical Advisory, Perinatal Ethics, and Ethics Education Committees. He was active in Holy Cross Hospital’s end-of-life care initiatives, including initial implementation of a hospital-based palliative care service, an annual conference series, “Conversations for the End-of-Life,” and initiatives in perinatal loss and bereavement.
Encounters with illness are often anxiety provoking and can be traumatic. In those circumstances that are life limiting or where death is a possible outcome, the stakes are higher and the degree of spiritual distress for the person as well as their family and those close to them can be devastating. Topics in this session will include:
- Spirituality at times of crisis
- Spiritual care in diversity
- One person’s illness, but a shared suffering
- Care for caregivers
- Questions and Answers
Sunday, October 24 :: Please Release All Your Eternal Resources
Dr. Margaret Kibben is presently serving as the 61st Chaplain of the House of Representatives, she was elected by House Membership and sworn in by the Speaker of the House on 3 January 2021. She spent 35 years as a Navy Chaplain.
Following her retirement, Dr. Kibben established Virtue In Practice, LLC, a business dedicated to moral, ethical, and spiritual executive leader advisement. She also served as a consultant to the Department of the Navy’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office.
Dr. Kibben serves on both military and civilian boards and is a Faculty Advisor for Arizona State University’s Master of Arts program in International Affairs and Leadership.
In this class, Chaplain Margaret Kibben will talk about the importance of prayer, her responsibility as the one who opens each session of the House with prayer, and why each of us need to develop an active prayer life.
Dr. Joyce Ann Mercer is a Presbyterian minister on the faculty of Yale Divinity School where she serves as the academic dean and the Horace Bushnell Professor of Practical Theology. She is the author of a recent article in the Presbyterian Outlook, “Grief is a Way of Loving: Pastoral Theology for a Pandemic”. She also is a long-time friend of OPMH.
The COVID pandemic has amplified experiences of grief and loss, isolation, and loneliness for so many people, families, and communities. How does faith speak to these realities? What does “good grief” look like ? (Hint: it’s not 5 stages!) This session considers contemporary pastoral theological understandings of grief and how people of faith can support one another in times of loss.
A native of upstate NY, Dr. Dombkowski Hopkins has studied twice at the Ecumenical Institute for Theological Studies on the West Bank and is currently the Woodrow W. and Mildred B. Miller Professor of Biblical Theology at Wesley Seminary. She has received several grants and awards, among them: American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) program “Science for Seminaries Phase II” project with Paul Cho and Michael Koppel.
Ancient Israel experienced many types of losses that gave rise to profound grief, both individually and collectively. David Carr notes that “suffering, and the survival of it, was written into the Bible” for both Israel and the early Church. Over the last decade, scholars have increasingly turned to trauma studies as their interpretive tool for illuminating this suffering and survival for the sake of recovery and resilience in the midst of contemporary trauma. These three sessions will be presented on Zoom and in person as we consider what selected biblical texts reveal about trauma then and now:
Session #1: The Bible and Trauma: Overview of Intersections
Session #2: The Little Slave Girl in 2 Kings 5: Heroine or Trauma Victim?
Session #3: Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Trauma
Program info coming soon! Check back for details.