Our hope is to foster lifelong spiritual growth for our congregation and our community through a variety of faith formation opportunities. All are welcome!
Sunday morning faith formation at 9:45 a.m. unless otherwise noted.
(9:00 a.m. in the summer – one class in Room 203)
Drawing on scripture, denominational tenets and a quest to understand God’s call to us in the world, this class combines lecture and discussion in a weekly format for adults of all ages. Led by a teaching team of class members and guest speakers, this is a group with varied interests and aspirations, a commitment to life-long learning, friendly relations and open communications. Whether it is exploring particular scripture, a Christian perspective on social issues, a General Assembly position paper or the Holy Land as an armchair tourist, participants seek to grow in their faith as they commit to being active disciples in the world. This call to service is demonstrated through missions and special class projects. Fellowship is enhanced through occasional social gatherings, group trips and discussions that build strong personal relationships in this community of faith.
Enrichment Class (Room 228)
For over 25 years, the Enrichment Class has studied a variety of topics from atonement to world religions. The discussion-based class, led by Henry Carrouth and Bill Massey, runs year-round, even through the summer months. Everyone is encouraged to share their opinions as we affirm each other on this faith journey. The Epiphany party held each January is one of the social events for the class each year. Class members actively support missions, like rebuilding New Orleans after Katrina or building a wheelchair ramp for a local cancer patient or adopting a Christmas cheer family. If you are looking for a place to grow your faith and build new relationships, try the Enrichment Class.
The Point (Room 227)
We are professionals and students, parents and friends, and we are committed to asking hard questions of faith and walking together in love. For everything we do and everything we are, we find ourselves asking “What’s the POINT?” and we know better than to always expect answers.
What we do know is that the point – the purpose – of our study and worship and fellowship and faith journeying is that God has called us into Christian community and that we are doing our best to live out that call. We are opening our hearts and opening our minds to be a part of whatever God has called for with this crazy and wonderful group of people. Come join us as we search, pray, and discover as “The Point.” Find us on Facebook!
Faith formation is a lifelong journey! At First Presbyterian Church of Burlington, we believe that faith formation is an essential element of discipleship and therefore we offer a variety of opportunities to learn and grow. Opportunities of 2019-2020 adult faith formation include:
Sunday Morning Bible Study, 9:45 a.m.
September 1–29: All classes in Calvin Hall
October 6: Individual classes begin — Enrichment Class: Room 228, The Point: Room 227, The John Knox Fellowship: The John Knox Room (see above for descriptions of these three class programs.)
Sunday Short-Term Series, 9:45 a.m.
Breaking Down the Walls — Understanding the Israel-Palestine Conflict from Different Perspectives: Sundays, September 8, 15, 22 & 29 in Calvin Hall (for a complete description of this class follow this link).
Paul’s Writings and the Influence on the Development of Christianity: led by the Rev. Dr. Mickey Efird — October 6, 13, & 20 and May 3, 10, 17 & 24 in the John Knox Room. The early Christian movement began as a Jewish-Christian identity but with Paul the focus began to turn away from Jews and open the good news about Jesus to the Gentile world. In this study we shall focus on parts of Acts and a few passages from Paul’s own writings.
Raising White Kids — A Parenting Class: led by the Racial Justice Task Force. They will facilitate conversations using the book Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America by Jennifer Harvey; October 6, 13, & 20 and November 3 in Room 227. Calling all adults who ever interact with children! Yes, you! Have you felt nervous about saying the wrong thing to a child about race, so you say nothing at all? When that Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration brings questions about why we are talking marching and having dreams? When the news story flashes pictures of hurting children at the border and a child asks you what is happening? When a child understands that one adult is being mean to another and notices they look different? The world around us is full of these images and words that our children are noticing and they are learning something from them; are they learning to be loving? The call for us is to respond faithfully. But HOW? In a four-part Sunday School series (come to one, come to all!), the Racial Justice Task Force of First Presbyterian Church will guide us in a discussion around how we do justice through nurturing our children through the work of antiracism. We will be working from the book Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America by Jennifer Harvey, with references to other videos and books (such as And Social Justice for All by Lisa Van Engen). Feel free to read along with us, although reading is not required to join in the discussion!
Guest Speaker: The Rev. David Morrow, Special Guest Former U.S. Military Chaplain, Sunday, November 10, Veterans’ Day, the John Knox Room
Book of Ruth: led by the Rev. Amanda Anderson, November 17, the John Knox Room. The journey will include a mother-in-law, a daughter-in-law, the gleaning of wheat and barley, and the start of a ripple that will reach throughout generations. The Old Testament story of Ruth begins in tragedy but ends with God’s hopeful promise! Let us ponder The Book of Ruth in faith and in hope.
Hanging of the Greens: led by the Rev. Amanda Anderson, November 24, the John Knox Room. As we anticipate the season of Advent, join us as we explore the faith-filled connections to our Advent and Christmas greenery. We will reflect on the rich history and meaning behind the tradition we call the Hanging of the Greens.
Narnia: led by the Rev. Taylor Barner, December 1, 8, 15, & 22, the John Knox Room. C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia is one of the most beloved children’s series one can find. But there is more behind the wardrobe door than just a child’s fantasy tale. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe holds critical answers to many theological topics and questions and Lewis makes them accessible for children and children-at-heart alike. We will dive into numerous topics, including Christian apologetics, temptation, redemption, and Christology, all while reading through the first installment of Lewis’s cherished stories. I hope you’ll join me in a walk through Narnia, but remember to leave the door open, for everyone knows what a silly thing it is to shut oneself inside a wardrobe.
Chancel Choir: Chancel Choir is not just singing on Sunday. It is Christian formation, theology, biblical literacy, and more. Come explore music and singing as a way of faith formation on Sunday morning at 10 a.m. in the Choir Room.
Bible Study — Encountering God in Tyrannical Texts of the Old and New Testament: led by Ron Shive in the Witherspoon Room. Robert P. Carroll, the former Irish Old Testament scholar says, “If reading the Bible does not raise profound problems for you as a modern reader, then check with your doctor and inquire about the symptoms of brain-death.” Carroll is correct! If we read the Bible fully engaging our intellect as well as our heart and if we are honest, there are many biblical texts that are not only problematic but offensive. They are tyrannical! So how do we deal with these tyrannical texts? Most often we repudiate them. We discard them from our consideration. We silence them. We get out our scissors and perform surgery on the Bible. Or, we simply ignore them. This is how Francis Taylor Gench, Professor of Biblical Interpretation at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, describes our predicament as intelligent and modern disciples of Jesus.
So what is a better way of engaging these tyrannical texts? Gench suggests we leave our scissors at home and we need to stay engaged with these difficult texts and wrestle with them. In this process, we can even encounter God in new ways.
This Bible study will begin with one session devoted to how Presbyterians and other mainline Christians understand, use, and interpret the Scriptures. The next week, we will discuss how we can engage and wrestle with these troubling texts. Then for the next nine weeks, we will consider one of these tyrannical texts each week—first from the Old Testament and then from the New Testament. In the process, we will encounter God—the One who was, and is, and is to be!
Tuesday Morning Men: 6:45–7:45 a.m. (9/10–12/3_
Wednesday Morning Everyone: 10:00–11:15 a.m. (9/11–12/4)
Thursday Morning Women: 6:45–7:45 a.m. (9/12–12/5)
Discussions in African American Poetry: 508 Partnership led by Homer Ashby, Harry Brown, and Vickie Morrow, 12:00 p.m. Thursdays. We will read together The Black Poets (copies available at our gatherings) and dive deep into the meaning of the poetry. Always great discussions and wonderful fellowship with our brothers and sisters at First Baptist Church on Apple St.! As in the past, we will alternate meeting locations beginning October 3 at First Presbyterian Church in Room 203 and continuing October 10 at First Baptist, and so on.
Lunch Bunch Book Club
Join us the second Tuesday of the month for our Lunch Bunch Book Club. Discussions are held at noon in Room 122 from September through May. Registration is not required—just a love for reading! Take note of the schedule, bring a lunch, and join us for great conversation. Here is a current list of Book Club books for 2019–2020:
October: The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers (M. King)
November: The Last Noel (Michael Malone) Author will lead discussion!
December: The Age of Blessing (Vickie Morrow) Author will lead discussion!
January: The Lost Girls of Paris (Pam Jenoff)
February: The Masterpiece (FionaDavis)
March: Where the Crawdads Sing (Delia Owens)
*April: Selection Lunch for 2020-2021
May: The Perfect Horse (Elizabeth Letts)
• Yearly dinner meetings in September and May for all circle members
• Special luncheons that highlight missions or spiritual enrichment
• Monthly circle meetings that offer fellowship, prayer and Bible Study
• Local and international mission opportunities
• Lifelong friends that are made in circles as we support one another in all aspects of our lives.
Presbyterian Women meet monthly in Circles for fellowship, prayer and Bible Study. The current study for 2019-2020 is Love Carved in Stone: A Fresh Look at the Ten Commandments by Eugenia Anne Gamble with Suggestions for Leaders by Joyce MacKichan Walker. The 2019-2020 Presbyterian Women/Horizons Bible Study asks what would it mean to consider the Ten Commandments not as a harsh list of what not to do but, instead, as a “love letter” from a loving God? A fresh embrace of the Ten Commandments (or Words), author Eugenia Gamble suggests, may ultimately contribute to the restoration of ourselves and our communities and the furthering of the gospel in the world.Each lesson begins with an exploration of one of the Ten Words in its biblical context. From there we consider a moment from Jesus’ life that shows us how he lived out that Word.
Check the monthly church calendar or with the church office to confirm dates, times and locations before you attend a circle.
|Circle#||Day of the Month||Time||Place|
|Circle #1||Second Saturday||6 pm||Church-John Knox Room|
|Circle #2||Second Monday||10 am||Homes|
|Circle #3||TBA- Meets for lunch in December and May||
|Circle #4||Second Tuesday||7 pm||Church-John Knox Room|
Meditation each Wednesday morning at 7:45 a.m. at the home of Nan Perkins and Bruce Shields. One hour of conversation, reflection on a spiritual text, and silent meditation, for those seeking to create space in lives to become more aware of the Divine and to travel their faith journey with other pilgrims. No meditation experience needed! Contact Nan Perkins 336-380-1778 or firstname.lastname@example.org. A second Christian Meditation group meeting at a different time will be added if there is sufficient interest.
Yoga for Women at 5:00 p.m. on Sundays – check Facebook or the Website or ask Charlotte Nance-Allbright about upcoming classes.
Eight two-hour sessions with video teachings, reflection, discussion, and spiritual practices beginning in September. The Inward Journey of Faith offers a map for walking the journey of faith through a rich theological framework founded on Scripture and resonant with both science and psychology. Based on the belief that there is no great outer work without great inner work, the course also provides a toolbox of spiritual practices to create space in busy lives for the Spirit to shift awareness and bring about authentic change. Facilitated by Nan Perkins and Peggy Harrelson. Offered through the Second Breath Center of Greensboro. The class will be held on Tuesdays from 12 –2 p.m. in Room 203 at the church, beginning September 24. We will have eight sessions and therefore should end on November 12.
Several of these opportunities are still in the works, so the best way to keep informed is to check the weekly eblast, the Facebook page (like us if you have not already!) or the website. An adult faith formation brochure with more information about the classes will be available in August and December. If you have suggestions of classes or teachers, or if you would like to teach a class, please contact Bruce Shields or Charlotte Nance-Allbright. We would love to hear from you!