Grow & Learn

Adult

Faith Formation 

Adult Studies Classes, 2021–2022

Ongoing Classes

It is our hope to meet in-person for all Adult Studies, yet, as we have learned, we might need to change plans due to the spread of COVID in our community. Please keep an eye on the church calendar for the most updated information on meeting dates, times, and locations. As well, the class facilitators will send emails with class changes and updates. You can also contact the Director of Christian Formation and Education, Charlotte Nance-Allbright (callbright@fpcburlington.org or 336-228-1703 x 223) for information. Thank you for your flexibility during these unprecedented times.

The Point — September & October, Front Lawn (The Pointe is on hiatus for a few months)

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 ask “What’s the POINT?” and we know better than to 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 zany and wonderful group of people. Join us as we search, pray, and discover as “The Point.” Join our Facebook group!

The John Knox Fellowship — John Knox Room

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 team of class members and guest speakers, this group has 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. We have occasional social gatherings, group trips and discussions that build strong personal relationships in this community of faith.

Enrichment Class  — September Zoom

For over 25 years, this class has studied a variety of topics from atonement to world religions. The discussion-based class is led by members of the class. Everyone is encouraged to share 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. We actively support missions including building relationships with the Morrow Town Community, traveling to other states to help with disaster assistance, and aiding our neighbors in need here in Alamance county by building a wheelchair ramp for a local cancer patient or adopting a Christmas cheer family. This is a place to grow your faith and build new relationships.

Sundays

John Knox Fellowship – 9:45 a.m. in the John Knox Room (located next to the Welcome Center downstairs).

    • October 17 – Field Trip to visit the Church Library and Resource Center
    • October 24 & 31 join the Rev. Frank Covington for “Psalms for All Seasons”
    • November 7 join the Rev. Dr. Byron Wade, General Presbyter of the Presbytery of Western NC as he presents “African American Presbyterian Churches.” Byron will present and discuss a brief history of Black Presbyterians from its inception to issues facing the church today. Come ready with open heart and mind to listen, discuss, and learn!
    • November 14 join Dick Fisher for a special Veteran’s Day presentation
    • November 21 the team that just returned from the Birmingham/Montgomery trip will share what they learned
    • December 5, 12, & 19 join the Rev. Dr. Ronald Cole-Turner, H. Parker Sharp Professor of Theology and Ethics at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, for a lesson about Advent

The Point — Follow Me: Biblical Practices for Faithful Living  

“A living faith is so much more than simply believing in God. Jesus called all sorts of people to follow him to God, showing concrete ways to love God and one another. When we do these actions together, faith develops, lives change, and communities transform.” Join us outside on the front lawn on September 12 at 5:00 p.m. as we begin the first practice of “Follow Jesus.” For more information about this new curriculum from the PCUSA, go to page 5 of the 2021-22 Adult Formation Brochure.

Enrichment – 9:45 a.m. in Room 228 — Look for updates in the weekly eblast.

Poetry Class (Fall)Sundays, October 3 – November 21 at 9:45 a.m. in Room 122 — William Butler Yeats (1865-1939): Selected Poems, Led by Dr. Harry Brown

This Irish writer is often recognized as the greatest poet in English in the twentieth century. His early poetry is “dreamy and melancholy, passive and self-indulgent,” lacking a sense of the solid outer world. Yeats became a symbolist; was interested in magic, the supernatural and the occult; and admired the aristocracy and peasantry more than the commercial middle class. He served as senator of the Irish Free State, helped found and develop the Abbey Theatre, and received a Nobel Prize. In his poetry Yeats sought unity—tried to unify physical and spiritual, art and nature, body and soul, real and ideal. We will use William Butler Yeats: Selected Poems and Four Plays, ed. M. L. Rosenthal. Fourth Edition. Scribner Paperback Poetry.

Sundays, January 2022, Scripture Underlying Our Worship, Led by Dr. Jim Pace

This class explores one or more of the four readings assigned by the Revised Common Lectionary to be read each Sunday in January. Readings from the Gospels, Psalms, Old Testament, and Epistles will be reviewed in light of their contexts in the Bible, their origin and history, and their interpretations by the early church as well as how they may speak to Christians today. Scripture passages for each Sunday will be provided for those who wish to read and think about them in advance of our meetings.

Pritchett Symposium

Sunday, March 20, 2022, 8:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Worship

9:45 a.m. Presentation in Calvin Hall

Guest Preacher/Teacher: Dr. Margaret Grun Kibben, Rear Admiral Navy (retired) and current Chaplain to the House of Representatives

In her final active-duty assignment in the Navy, Rear Admiral (ret) Margaret Grun Kibben, was the U.S. Navy’s 26th Chief Chaplains, serving as the director of religious ministry for the Department of the Navy, advising the Secretary of the Navy, the Chief of Naval Operations, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and the Commandant of the Coast Guard on all matters pertaining to religion in their respective services. She led a community of 2,500 active and reserve officer, and enlisted religious ministry professionals. Prior to this assignment, Rear Admiral Kibben served as the 18th Chaplain of the Marine Corps and Deputy Chief of Chaplains.

A native of Warrington, Pennsylvania, Rear Admiral Margaret Kibben entered active duty in 1986 through the Navy’s Theological Student Program. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Goucher College, Towson, Maryland and Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey, and a Master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island. Kibben served as a senior fellow, United States Institute of Peace, Washington, D.C.

Rear Admiral Kibben’s Navy assignments included the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland; the Chaplain Corps Resource Board, Norfolk, Virginia; command chaplain aboard USS San Diego (AFS 6); and Fleet Chaplain, U. S. 3rd Fleet. Kibben served as the command chaplain, responsible for religious ministry to Combined Forces Command Afghanistan.

With the U.S. Marine Corps, Chaplain Kibben served aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia; as chaplain to Headquarters and Service Battalion, Security Battalion, the Brig, Marine Corps Air Facility and HMX-1. She also served with the Marines of Second Force Service Support Group Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, deploying to Turkey and Norway. Later she was assigned to the Marine Corps Combat Development Command in Quantico as the doctrine writer for Religious Ministry.

Following her retirement, Margaret 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; on both the Princeton Theological Seminary Board of Trustees and the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence, and the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.

Rear Admiral Kibben’s personal awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (two awards), the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), and the Navy Commendation Medal (three awards).

Mid-Week Opportunities

Christian Meditation Practices

Contemplative Ministry, Quiet Space for Reflection — Weekly Meditations from Jane Wellford, Tuesday mid-day Christian Meditation, 12:15-1:15 p.m. via email.

This one-hour of Lectio Divina short reading and meditation is currently for you as an individual to read and meditate by yourself at your own pace through a guided one-page email weekly topic. When we resume in person meetings at the church after the COVID-19 virus, we will again use music and guided meditation to complement our shared reading discussions regarding our faith. Jane Wellford, wellford@elon.edu. The reflection will be posted on our website on Tuesday mornings. Other meditations and spiritual practices are also posted on our website.

Centering Prayer Meditation: Wednesdays 7:45-8:45 a.m. by Zoom

This weekly hour of contemplative practice includes opening fellowship time followed by Lectio Divina and Centering Prayer. Currently we are using the poems of the 13th century mystic Rumi for Lectio Divina. Newcomers are welcome at any time. Contact Nan Perkins, perkinsn@elon.edu.

Song of Songs Bible Study with Dr. Ron Shive

This fall, Dr. Ron Shive will teach a Bible study on the book of Song of Songs at the following times:

      • Men’s Bible Study (Tuesday mornings, 6:45-7:45 a.m., Calvin Hall)
      • Wednesday Morning (10:00—11:00 a.m., via Zoom)
      • Women’s Bible Study (Thursday, 6:45-7:45 a.m., Calvin Hall)

In the Hebrew Testament, there is a collection of five books (Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther) that are now called the Megillot—the Five Scrolls. This past spring, we studied Ruth and will continue in the next year to study all five of these forgotten books of the Bible. Within Judaism, however, these books now have an important role in the life of the faith community in that each is assigned to be read in association with a particular holiday. The Song of Songs is read on the Sabbath during the Passover. The hope is that these books of the Megillot will become as important to us.

One commentator summarizes this book by saying, “The Song of Songs celebrates the passion of two lovers as they seduce each other and enjoy exploring one another’s bodies.” Through the centuries, this collection of love poems has been interpreted several ways. Often it is read literally as a book of love poetry that gives biblical expression to the goodness of human sexuality. However, it is also read and interpreted allegorically by others as a description of God’s passionate love for humanity. This five-week study of Song of Songs will seek to discover how each text can enlighten us using both interpretative approaches.

To register for this course, email reception@fpcburlington.org or call 336-228-1703.

        • October 12, 13, and 14 – Song of Songs 1:1—3:5
        • October 19, 20, and 21 – Song of Songs 3:6—5:1
        • October 26, 27, and 28 – Song of Songs 5:2—6:10
        • November 2, 3, and 4 – Song of Songs 6:11—8:14

Special Wednesday Afternoon Opportunity: SoulCollage® —December 8, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. in Calvin Hall

“It is essential to our well-being, and to our lives, that we play and enjoy life. Every single day, do something that makes your heart sing.” Marcia Wieder

In our current world, it is important to develop ways to pay attention to the deepest part of the inner being. You are invited to come to breath, play and relax by making a SoulCollage® card. No artistic experience or talent is needed. We will have scissors, glue, and lots of pictures. You need to bring your wonder, awe and curiosity.

Take some time to nurture your soul. Bring an open heart and join in. As we seek to follow Jesus, it is important to listen to the guidance of the Spirit working within. There are many ways to listen, but come and explore a new possibility for spiritual practice. Contact Charlotte Allbright for more information: callbright@fpcburlington.org.

 

Lunch Bunch Book Club Schedule

The book club has chosen an exciting and diverse list of titles for this year’s reads — titles that explore a number of topics and are sure to generate good discussion. We will also welcome several guest presenters this year which always is a treat. The club meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 12:00 noon. If you have not participated in the book club previously but would like to join now, please let Gayle Gunn know by email (gaylegunn@ bellsouth.net) and she will include you in the meeting notifications.

Click here to view the book choices for 2021-22.

 

Don’t Forget that Worship is Faith Formation!

Sundays:

  • 8:30 a.m. in-person In church Worship
  • 10:00 a.m. online worship

The Sunday 10:00 a.m. service will be available to view on livestreaming or Facebook Live.

Or you may call 888-969-5508 on Sunday mornings at 10:00 a.m. to listen to the service on your telephone.

If you do not have access to online resources and you would like us to send you a faith formation resource in the mail or email, please contact Charlotte Nance-Allbright.

Music Ministry, 2021–2022

Our newest season of Music begins in September! This is a great time to step up and join one of our choirs in leading worship! And you will also find wonderful fellowship, deep faith experiences, new friends, and good food (that’s right!)! Contact Patrick Murphy if you want more information or have questions! (pmurphy@fpcburlington.org)

Choir Practices

• Chancel Choir (college and adult), Wednesdays 6:45-8:15 p.m. (begins September 1)

• Covenant Choir (K-grade 5), Sundays 4:00-5:00 p.m. (begins October)

• Carillon Choir (handbells), Date TBA, please contact Patrick if interested

Contact Patrick Murphy for more information.

Contemplative Ministry

Please visit the Contemplative Ministry page of our website here.