September 18, 2018

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.