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 10–11 a.m. on Zoom. For additional information, please contact Noelle Castin.
For recordings of recent classes, click here.
The Reformed Institute
Adult Education for Spring 2021
Bible Study: “Looking into the Lectionary”Please join us Thursday mornings on Zoom as we prepare for Sunday worship by “looking into the lectionary” and considering one of the passages for the coming Sunday. Using various reflections on the passage as our starting point, we will spend some time in study of the scripture and in conversation about how it relates to our own faith experiences. To learn more, contact Noelle Castin.
Adult Education: A Year in Review
Please join us as we begin the new year with the annual Adult Education “Breakfast” via Zoom. We’ll review and discuss past offerings and preview our upcoming classes. All are welcome! Join us with your cup of coffee and breakfast goodies as we come together to discuss all things Adult Ed!
Davorka Suvak, Founder and ex-Executive Director, SPIRIT Open Equestrian Program (Frying Pan Park, Herndon, VA)
Davorka Sucak is a dedicated educator, life coach, trainer, riding and therapeutic riding instructor and Para Equestrian trainer. She will introduce the concept of equine therapy and how the interaction between young people and horses can impart basic life skills, teach compassion, respect for others and promote healing in the program’s young riders. Ms. Suvak will briefly review the therapeutic equine assisted activities of the program but will focus the majority of her presentation on stories that illustrate the potential of this program to help youth heal, build confidence, deal with life challenges and learn emotional intelligence.
John E. Nestler, M.D., MACP, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, VCU School of Medicine; Physician-Scientist-in-Residence, VCUarts (Arts and Medicine Converge at VCU | MCV Foundation)
Dr. Nestler will discuss art and medicine collaborations at Virginia Commonwealth University focused on medical education and patient care. A goal of these innovative projects, which include the use of virtual/augmented reality, museum visits, improvisation training and other art forms is to enhance empathy and an appreciation of the human experience in the practice of medicine.
Tia Goebel, Executive Director, Compassion Project (Bozeman, MT)
Ms. Goebel will lead a loving-kindness meditation and tell the story of this small town’s effort to bring people together through teaching and spreading compassion. The Compassion Project (CP) team is dedicated to giving teachers and adults tools to be kinder and more understanding toward themselves and others. Tia is excited to share CP’s approach to practicing and teaching compassion through art and mindfulness, as well as the opportunity to meet Meeting House members.
Healing Within Our Community
Lindsey Yancich, Gallery Manager, The Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery
The Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery is founded on the belief that art possesses the unique ability to help facilitate healing throughout our lives.
This class will consider how experiencing art, whether through the process of creating one’s own work or by viewing artwork created by others, influences our sense of self within our community. What do we really learn by experiencing the artwork and stories of different cultures and communities and how can we apply this knowledge to our daily lives and interactions with others?
Maddy McCoy, Founding Director, Slavery Inventory Database; History Commissioner, City of Alexandria; Head of Research, Alexandria’s Equal Justice Initiative Community Remembrance Project
Maddy’s work is primarily focused on the early African American experience in the mid-Atlantic region. Founded in 2005, the Slavery Inventory Database is an historical consultancy that works with historic house museums and historic sites by helping them identify and interpret their enslaved populations and narratives.
Her most recent publication, in the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography is “Soil Tilled by Free Men: The Formation of a Free Black Community in Fairfax County, Virginia,” an account of the enslaved laborers at Mount Vernon after they were emancipated by George Washington.
The stories we tell—whether in movies and on TV, or at the dinner table, in history classes or even Sunday School—inform our understanding of the world and our place in it, and guide our daily actions.
We will consider the implications of some of these stories, and how they influence our understanding of our faith.
Linda Lanam, Cleve Lisecki, and Jennifer Veech
Many give up something for Lent—chocolate, fast food, binge watching Netflix. But Lent is not a diet; Lent is a time of preparation. Instead of asking what we can “give up” for Lent, we plan to explore what we can “let go.” In the time of Covid, there are many things we have let go. What have we learned? How has this year of letting go taught us to prepare for God? Can we live our lives always letting go? Always preparing for Easter?To help guide our study, we will use Jill Duffield’s Lent in Plain Sight. In Duffield’s book, she explores Lent in the ordinary objects around us: dust, bread, coins, shoes, oil. How can these ordinary objects help teach us what is most important? Across the five weeks of the class, we will focus our attention on a different chapter from Duffield’s book.
In Lent, we’re reminded that, again and again, suffering and brokenness find us. We doubt again, we lament again, we mess up again. Again and again, the story of Jesus on the cross repeats—every time lives are taken unjustly, every time the powerful choose corruption and violence, every time individuals forget how to love. With exacerbation we exclaim, “Again?! How long, O God?” And yet, in the midst of the motion blur chaos of our lives, God offers a sacred refrain: “I choose you, I love you, I will lead you to repair.” Again and again, God breaks the cycle and offers us a new way forward.
This theme provides a clear invitation in a time when much is unclear. Even if worshiping apart, we come to God again and again with our prayers, our dreams, our hopes, and our doubts. Even if from a distance, we will continue to be community to one another—especially when it’s hard— by choosing each other over and over again. We will continue to love God with the same persistence God chooses and claims us. Our sub-theme, A Lenten Refrain, speaks to the ways God can make music of our lives. “Refrain” also reminds us that Lent is a season of abstaining from certain or harmful practices in order to take on new rhythms and habits.
In this season, we need rituals—both old and new—to remember and be transformed. Embodied practice builds muscle memory. Repetition helps retrain our neural pathways. We need the 46 days of Lent because this season shapes us into more faithful disciples. Join us this Lent as again and again, we bring all of who we are to God and trust that God will meet us, time and again, along the way.
—A Sanctified Art
Please join us for a four-week Lenten study on Zoom beginning the week of March 1. Contact Noelle Castin to check availability.
- Wednesdays—11 a.m. (March 3, 10, 17 & 24)
Leaders: Linda Woodhouse & Doug Peterson
- WEDNESDAYS AT 7 P.M. ARE AT CAPACITY
Wednesdays—7 p.m. (March 3, 10, 17 & 24)
Leaders: Claire & Roger Pratt
- Wednesdays—7:30 p.m (March 3, 10, 17 & 24)
Leaders: Mary & Kent Myers
- THURSDAY MORNINGS ARE AT CAPACITY
Thursdays—10 a.m. (March 4, 11, 18 & 25) Leaders: Priscilla Andre-Colton & Linda Lanam
- Thursdays—7 p.m. (March 4, 11, 18 & 25)
Leaders: Caitlin Jarecki & Jenny Parker
If you are unable to attend one of the small group gatherings, we will use the Again & Again Devotional guide. This guide is for the entire season of Lent and is geared towards individual or group use.
To download the devotional guide in its entirety, click here.
Dr. Peyton McCrary (Member, Old Presbyterian Meeting House)
Dr. McCrary’s presentation draws on his four decades of work on minority voting rights, first as an expert witness in court cases when he was a university history professor in the 1980s, then for 26 years as a social scientist in the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, and for the last four years as an expert witness in “retirement.”
It also draws on his personal experience since 1963 with the Presbyterian Church’s constructive role in supporting minority voting rights.