February 17, 2018

Sunday Adult Ed

In response to God’s transforming love, Parkway United Church of Christ commits itself to the duty and joy of providing opportunities to increase each person’s faith in every stage of life. As we worship, learn, and serve together, we offer experiences which exercise both knowledge of God and trust in God.

Adult education helps persons to faithfully engage religious, social, and political issues facing our contemporary community, thereby promoting growth as Christ’s servants dedicated to fulfilling God’s mission throughout the world. Our Adult Education is sort of like Adult Sunday School. Most weeks we have a speaker (either from Parkway United Church of Christ or from the community) share about his/her organization or topic of interest.

Join us on Sundays during either worship service for Adult Education.

July 2016 Adult Education

September 5, 2017 Update: No Adult Ed Offerings at this time.


June 2016 Adult Education

June 5—Annual Meeting after 10am One Family Worship… no AE sessions


June 12—Stretch your Legs and Your Spirit at the Labyrinth

You’ve heard us talk about the mystery of the Labyrinth for years. You’ve thought about trying it with us but it has never fit in your calendar. Join us today as we head in two different directions—south on Ballas, left on Clayton and right on Geyer to the Mercy Center OR north on Ballas just beyond Ladue to Congregation Shaare Emeth where you can walk an outdoor labyrinth. A primer handout will be available that morning in the Gathering Space. While this is a personal and quiet experience, we will arrange for carpooling…we just ask you not to speak while at the Labyrinth—prepping on the way and debriefing on the way back is highly encouraged! [This is a wonderful experience rain or shine!]


June 19—Tell Me About Telemed and other Med Tech

PUCCer Mike Stolze quit his job several years ago to answer the call to be a nurse. Balancing partnering, parenting and preparing for nursing was no small task! Mike has served in different settings and has moved into a fascinating new area with telemedicine – the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients by means of telecommunications technology. It’s a bit like a sci-fi film from the last century!


June 26 – Yoga Six

Perhaps you’ve seen the new yoga studio at Ballas and Manchester Roads? As we move into our Healthy Bodies pieces of our Renewal Time, come learn about the latest in yoga—this will be an experience for your mind, body and spirit … bring someone with you so it will also deepen your relationships!


April 2016 Adult Education

April 3—Somos Vecinos (We are Neighbors)

Join us for Adult Education this Sunday at 9:30am or 11:00am to meet Karlos Ramirez, Executive Director of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis. We’ll learn about the HCC’s history, mission, successes, struggles. Karlos will share some stories of businesses and people. How can we be more aware and more intentional about understanding and supporting multiracial multicultural individuals, families, businesses and communities in our richly diverse corner of the world? Karlos will also share some common misconceptions about the Hispanic chamber and the culture.


April 10Mystery Worshipper II

We need your help this morning! Today’s Adult Education session is not one that people attend in the Heritage Room. Instead, this is an opportunity to help our church become a more faithful and hospitable place. We need you—you’re your evaluation/critique of our worship services. Please contact Kevin ahead of time so he can give you a worksheet to fill out as you plan to be a “secret” or “mystery” worshipper…or pick up a copy on the round table in the Gathering Space anytime in April. The worksheet invites you to record your impressions of everything from viewing our website to arriving at the church, finding your way through the building, navigating worship, attending Fellowship Time, etc. This is all part of a course Kevin is taking on “Church Renewal.” Feel free to fill out the worksheet anonymously or sign it and drop it in the office at the end of the morning—or arrange to meet with Kevin to go over your findings.

[Youth Arts Worship will take place during our Informal Worship Service at 11:00am and we would like you to attend in order to support our youth and to experience a different kind of worship.]

Mystery+Worshipper+Checklist (Also available on the round table in the Gathering Space.)


April 17This I Believe

Join us for Adult Education this Sunday at 9:30am or 11:00am as we ponder what others believe. You may recall the 1950s radio program of the same name, hosted by acclaimed journalist Edward R. Murrow. Each day, Americans gathered by their radios to hear compelling essays from the likes of Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Robinson, Helen Keller, and Harry Truman as well as corporate leaders, cab drivers, scientists, and secretaries—anyone able to distill into a few minutes the guiding principles by which they lived. These essayists’ words brought comfort and inspiration to a country worried about the Cold War, McCarthyism, and racial division. In reviving This I Believe in since 2000, Executive Producer Dan Gediman said, “The goal is not to persuade Americans to agree on the same beliefs. Rather, the hope is to encourage people to begin the much more difficult task of developing respect for beliefs different from their own.”

We will listen to several brief essays and discuss them.


April 24—(9:30am only*) Out of Scarcity Into A World of Possibility

Let’s think about Roman Catholicism and the UCC in this age and the next—not a comparison, but are there parallels? PUCC members are reading John Dorhauer’s Beyond Resistance described as “a template …to inspire commitment to the common good…” during a time of  “…perceived diminishment in capacity, relevance, and impact” of the Church. Worldwide, assisted by Pope Francis’ concern for all the people of God, there is renewed interest in the teachings of Vatican II, the Ecumenical Council that occurred more than 50 years ago. (vatican2voice.org). Come to participate in a conversation with two Catholic Sisters—Marianne Race, CSJ, and Carolyn Osiek, RSCJ—about how their congregations have evolved since their renewal of the basis of their faith and focus on their mission, inspired by Vatican II. Hear what steps have been effective in their continuing journey to enact “the church’s willingness to operate in the contemporary realm.” (St. Louis NPR News), and discuss the potential relevance to our congregation’s mission. [Marianne is the sister or PUCCer Rich Race.]


*The theme of the Informal Worship Service at 11:00am today is Breaking the Silence: Say the words. Work for change. Support the Survivors. This worship service will be a chance for the church to acknowledge together the realities of rape and sexual violence; to create a community where survivors can share their stories and receive support, hope, and love; and to prayerfully consider ways in which we can be advocates for change in our communities and around the world. This worship experience with have some PG-13 moments.

We are focusing on this at 11:00am worship only – though we will talk about it briefly at 9:30am service. We want people to know about this beforehand so they are prepared.

March 2016 Adult Education

March 6A Five Point Plan for our United Church of Christ!

Join John Dorhauer via youtube as we look at his Five Point Plan for our denomination. We will be stretched to think about our unique ministry as a faith family in St Louis and on the American landscape and across the globe. We have a great opportunity to jumpstart our book study of John’s BEYOND RESISTANCE: The Institutional Church Meets the Postmodern World. You will not be disappointed if you join us.


March 13Captain and Chief

Chief of Police Patrick Kranz and Captain Robert Arthur of the Town and Country Police Department will talk about policing in this community and St Louis. Pat and Bob met with a small group of PUCCers late last fall as we worked with Sacred Conversations on Race. They were engaging, forthcoming, authentic in our meeting. Come have a very positive experience with the Captain and Chief.


March 20—Spring Break NO AE


March 27—Easter NO AE

February 2016 Adult Education

February 7– One Family Worship

February 14 – Bob McClelland – Theological Tabletalk

A chance to raise questions about Faith and Life in an informal atmosphere as well as a chance to “cuss and discuss” responses. Bob believes many church members, as well as “honest skeptics,” have doubts and questions about faith that they either never had a chance to ask in church or were afraid to raise. The last time Bob was with us he developed a course based on his most recent book, Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up; a Skeptical Believer’s Guide to the Reality of Christ. It received the Gold Seal of Literary Excellence, but he is the author of more than twenty other books relating faith to life including: God our Loving Enemy, Chance to Dance, The Scandal and the Star, Praying the Possibilities, Worldly Spirituality, Fire in the Hole, Architects of Worship and Lord of the Sabbath.

Bob McClelland is an ordained Presbyterian minister, studied theology at McCormick Theological Seminary, the University of Edinburgh, and earned a doctoral degree in the Science of Theology from San Francisco Theological Seminary. He was invited to be a Merrill Fellow at Harvard University. His careers have been in college and seminary teaching as well as pastoral ministry. He brings to his writing and teaching the experience of a former television talk show host and weather man, an insurance salesman, and an award winning watercolorist. He holds Signature membership in the Missouri National Watercolor Society. Together he and his wife of over 62 years have blessed the world with three magnificent children and nine incredible grandchildren—all of whom, he concedes—are better looking and smarter than he is.

February 21 – Andy Wilson—Faith Journey

Andy Wilson, who joined PUCC with his wife Kristan in the fall of 2014, will share his Faith Journey and talk a bit about his first year at Eden Seminary.

Andy was looking for a faith community that was warm, focused on outreach, inclusive, relevant. We are so very fortunate that he and his bride found us. He jumped in right away—mingling, moving tables and chairs for events, attending workshops and mixers. He settled in well—teaching Sunday School, becoming a lay reader in worship. Andy is calm, gentle, unhurried—great qualities for a clergyperson which were surely invaluable when he was working on an ambulance for a decade. He is also inquisitive and likes to push the boundaries a bit but does it with tact and the desire to keep everyone at the table.

Not having grown up in our UCC, his faith has been stretching and shifting so that he could find us. He has great respect for where he has been and gives sincere thanks for the faith and family that he grew up in, though he is in a much different place theologically and socially than they are today.

Andy just started his second semester at Eden Seminary. He simply cannot get enough! He has been fully engaged in his studies. Fortunately for him, he loves to read—having been a history major in undergraduate school serves him well now.

February 28 – A List for Lent

Jesus talks about many faith practices. We have made a list for this Lent and have been intentional about this time and space that has been carved out for us. Our attention is on scripture, our own experience, Jesus’ story as well as the history and now of our congregation and denomination … courage, vulnerability, patience, flexibility, receptivity, advocacy and generosity. How are you doing with these? Which one(s) have grabbed you? Which one(s) are you resisting? This morning’s session will help you focus in on our List for Lent.

January 2016 Adult Education

Jan. 3 – Mental Health Today in our Region—Tina Leonard, RN
Our Adult Education speaker for the first Sunday in January is Tiana Leonard, an RN working toward her Advanced Practice degree in Family Psych. She is employed at Saint Mary’s Health in Richmond Heights in Behavioral Health. Ms Leonard has practiced nursing for decades and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to her audience. Her achievements have won her recognition and awards for superior service to this population.


Jan. 10 – Constructing our Reality: How Identity Affects Conflicts in the Middle EastPUCCer Paul Roesler

The war in Syria has become a proxy war between Shiite Iran and Sunni Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Paul Roesler, professor of Political Science at St. Charles Community College will discuss the importance of religious identity in this conflict.  Paul argues that identity is constructed and that these constructs affect not just the war in Syria, but also the Israeli/Palestine conflict and many other the issues facing the world today.


Jan. 17 – Gems from Bangladesh and BomboluluPUCCer Ruth Peace will talk about the story of the Plowsharing Crafts Stores in St Louis. Plowsharing Crafts provides meaningful income to skilled artisans around the world by marketing their products in the St. Louis area since 1985. We are a ministry of the St. Louis Mennonite Fellowship and a proud Member of the Fair Trade Federation.


Jan. 24 – Shhhh—Be A Secret Shopper. Have you ever wanted to go under cover? Is there a name you wish your parents gave you and/or a nickname you’d like to be called? Arrive ten minutes before the worship service you do NOT usually attend—Traditional or Informal. Enter the parking lot with a clear mind… walk up to the building as if you are coming for the very first time. Meet the greeter and make a nametag using the name of your choice. Notice everything about worship, fellowship, the building … and feel free to take notes along the way. Ask questions of anyone you meet. Make up a great story about who you are. We would be so grateful to hear your impressions of Parkway UCC as if you were a first time visitor. Thank you! Shhhh.


Jan 31 – Chat with the Stews – Stewardship Commission! Next Sunday is our Annual Budget Meeting so come to this Adult Ed session to talk through our mission and ministry – as well as the cost and joy of discipleship in this time and place. We have incredible gifts and resources at Parkway UCC… and with this comes responsibility… so let’s also bring our creativity and spirit.




December 2015 Adult Education

8717119_orig December 6: Scott Holl, Archivist at Eden Seminary, will speak on German Heritage in St. Louis and the connection to the German Evangelical Church, one of the predecessor denominations to our United Church of Christ. Over this past summer, Scott was promoted to Manager of the St. Louis County Library Special Collections Department (history and genealogy) where he had been Assistant Manager since 2007. The History and Genealogy Department is one of the top genealogy libraries in the US and is well known internationally in genealogical circles. Scott is an expert in the history of the St. Louis area and particularly of the American and European religious currents that brought so many German immigrants to the Midwest. He brings this expertise to his work as Eden Archivist and to our efforts to understand and preserve the historical roots of Eden Seminary and the Evangelical Synod of North America tradition within our United Church of Christ.
 historic santuary drawing  December 13: PUCC Historian, Naomi Runtz will share the history of our church. Naomi is so passionate about our PUCC story. Come to be reminded and to learn new things.
 nativity440  Dec 20: Kevin Hogarty—The Nativity Story: Real? Relevant?
Join us as we revisit the stories of the season that we know so well. Or do we? Are they historical stories or myths that have something to teach us? Over two weeks, PUCC member, Kevin Hogarty will facilitate a study of the stories told by Matthew and Luke. Is there more here than the children’s stories we know form Sunday School, Christmas carols and Charlie Brown? Come and explore these stories!


December 27: One Family at 10:00am—NO AE


November 2015 Adult Education


redblack November 1: Treasures and Hearts, Q & A with members of the Stewardship Commission.


3823400 November 8: Missouri Interfaith Power & Light – Their mission is to engage, equip and educate Missouri faith communities to be stewards of God’s creation by addressing the environmental and social justice consequences of climate change. MO IPL seeks to promote energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy to protect the earth’s ecosystems, safeguard public health, and ensure sufficient, sustainable energy for all.
Tracey Koch, Chairperson of MOIPL along with Polly Rutherford and Jeanne Clausin (St John’s UCC in Chesterfield) will facilitate our session and dialogue about the benefits of going green at church and at home and everywhere we go! (The Stewardship Commission will be in the Library for questions and discussion regarding their November 1 presentation or anything else about the 2016 Pledge Campaign.) 
Ghana November 15: The Rev. Gershon Dotse from the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ghana (EP Church) will be our leader today. He will share about His experience of the church in Ghana and his experiences at Eden Seminary. Gershon is a second year Master of Theological Studies student at Eden Theological Seminary. Prior to attending Eden Seminary, Gershon served as a District Superintendent for the church. Eden and the United Church of Christ have a good relationship with the EP Church. Eden graduate the Rev. Dr. Seth Agidi is currently the Moderator of the EP Church of Ghana. Rev. Dr. David Greenhaw, Eden Seminary President, traveled to Ghana earlier this year to preach the sermon at Rev. Agidi’s installation service as Moderator. Gerhson plans to return to Ghana to teach in a seminary after earning his MTS degree here.


Healing-Racism-Large November 22: Justice and Racial Healing – Our own Kevin Hogarty and Joan Brannigan will lead a discussion arising from short videos on Race and White Privilege. These video clips of less than 3 minutes each are very impactful and will stir us on to important and sacred conversations on race. Please come – especially if you are feeling some resistance. [Preview the video clips at worldtrust.org]
November 29: One Family Worship at 10:00am—First Sunday of Advent…No Adult Education Classes.


October 2015 Adult Education

benefits-of-writing-a-journOctober 4: Everyone Has a Faith Story to Tell…What is Yours? A Mini-workshop by Gerry Rogers

Gerry will take you through the steps of preparing to tell your faith story. We will discuss possible roadblocks that people might have that prevent them from participating in this, along with ways to overcome them. We will brainstorm possible topics to get the creative juices flowing. Finally, everyone will be given a chance to write a very basic outline of their own faith story. The goal is that by the end of the session, everyone will have the tools and confidence necessary to sign up to give their very own faith story. You will get out of this what you put into it…it will NOT be me talking for an hour (that in itself is a blessing…) Please come and explore the possibilities, and perhaps step out of your comfort zone a little. I look forward to sharing your ideas!

Gerry has been a member of Parkway UCC for almost 4 years. Her Church history includes growing up Southern Baptist, and being a member of a Presbyterian and Disciples of Christ Church. Here at Parkway she serves as a usher, and is on the Membership Care Commission. She and her husband Mike are active in the Sunday morning Adult Education classes, Tuesday night TED group here at Parkway, and also attend the LIFE retreats at Eden Seminary. She works part time at the St Louis ARC, and her hobbies include travel, photography, and reading. She enjoys visits with her children, grandchildren, and other family, as well as fellowship with friends.


Does-God-Exist-Marco-Belluci-300p-width-optimOctober 11, 18 & 25: Why God? Which God?— Mark Lee Robinson

For most of human history our individual identity was formed and expressed by the god or gods we worshipped. We were a member of a clan or tribe that had a god that gave us our identity and, if we were good, cared for us. While there are those who still ascribe identity to someone as a function of religion or ethnic association [we have folks who say that to be the President you must worship a Christian god] for the most part it is no longer true that one must have a belief in God. Indeed, it is likely that there are persons who are part of the Parkway community who identify as atheist or agnostic.

So if we don’t need to believe in a god, why bother? What benefit arises from a belief in and a relationship with a god? Given the role that religion plays in human misery, perhaps it will be better to live in a post-theist society.

I will show my hand here a bit to say that I observe a great many benefits to having a relationship with God. That will probably not surprise you. But I want to try to tease apart just what those benefits might be. It helps if we know why we are going to all the trouble to have a god in the first place.

Then, having clarified the benefits, we are presented with a great smorgasbord of potential gods. Which god is the best one for you? And what difference might it make if your god is not the same as the god held by others in your pew? Do we all have to worship the same god?

Does God know what is going to happen before it happens? Or is God limited by the Arrow of Time as are we mortals? Did God create us, or do we create God? Or are we mutually co-created? And what does that mean anyway? What is the relationship between science and religion? Does evolution argue against the power of God? Or does God create through evolution? Or does God evolve? Does God know everything? What is God conscious of and what is the relationship between my consciousness and that of God?

These are some of the questions we will consider as part of this class. I hope to see you in October.

Rev. Dr. Mark Lee Robinson is the founder and Executive Director of the Center for Creative Conflict Resolution and is the Minister of Reconciliation and Evangelism at Pilgrim Congregational Church, UCC. He is a pastoral psychotherapist and author of Just Conflict: Transformation through Resolution. He hosts Sacred Soup, an inter-spiritual faith community in St. Louis.

September 2015 Adult Education

September 6: Labor Day Weekend—no AE

September 13: PUCC’s COPE Team—Making Second Chances Count

2015-02-02-project-cope.jpgPUCCers engaged in this important ministry want to tell you all about it!
Since 1985, Project COPE has provided transitional housing, case management services, programming, and mentoring to men and women returning from incarceration. Through the dedication of staff and congregational-based mentoring teams, hundreds of ex-offenders have successfully reintegrated into the community; working, raising families, and living successful lives free of crime.

September 20: Florence Simonson—Bible Study on Jonah
diving-blue-whaleYou will enjoy Florence’s approach, spirit, humor and challenge! Come hear the story again—or for the first time—and see how Jonah’s journey fits into your life.
Simplified version—God asks Jon
ah to speak God’s word to a group of people. Jonah goes in the opposite direction. God does not give up on asking Jonah—for the need is still there. God gives Jonah another opportunity. Jonah listens this time. God is with Jonah the entire time—even in the belly of the great big fish!

September 27: Valley of Hope with Dana Gardner
B-W-logo-gold-glow-e1390587726525The Valley Hope Association is a nationally recognized, nonprofit organization dedicated to providing quality drug and alcohol addiction treatment services. They began on the campus of a state hospital in Kansas in1967 and are now in seven states. Valley Hope includes medically monitored detox, residential, day/partial, outpatient and continuing care. Valley Hope encourages family participation because they have been affected and need help too.