Adult Education bridges our faith tradition with real life.
Adult Education for 2021-22
Building the Beloved Community: Construction, Restructuring, and Repair
Scripture tells us that we will be known as Jesus’ disciples by how we love each other and that the entirety of scripture can be summed up in two commands: Love God and love your neighbor. Last year, we saw increased awareness about the need to love better–more justly, mercifully, and humbly–but we also saw chasms deepen along political and social lines. Under these circumstances, how should we (and can we?) live together as Beloved Community? We have begun to move past the crisis of COVID, but after a long time of physical separation, how do we come together again and move forward while also remembering what we’ve learned? As the crisis of racial injustice continues, what commitments have we made to new ways of living and being together and how can we build habits and systems that reinforce those? Rather than “getting back to normal,” how do we construct a new normal? What can we learn about healing and repair from Jesus’ approach to connecting with those different from him or the margins?
Join Adult Education this year on Sundays at 9:15 am in person and through Livestream beginning, and watch previous classes on the church’s YouTube channel.
All-Church Book Read
The Night Watchman, by Louise Erdrich
This year’s All-Church Book Read in January 2022 will be the 2021 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, Louise Erdrich’s The Night Watchman. Based on the life of her own grandfather, the book tells the story of a Chippewa council member fighting against Native dispossession. We meet several other characters from the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa in the 1950s and discover their struggles for life and love. As we continue to learn about honoring the land and the people who have historically called this area home, The Night Watchman provides more food for thought and action. The story gives us the opportunity to explore inequities of land ownership and the injustice of human trafficking, both in the past and today. Please join us to read and discuss the book together in January. We will have copies of the book for sale at church.
Save the dates: January 9, 23, and 30 for small group discussions and a guest speaker
The Bible Then and Now
This occasional multi-week class explores themes from the Bible that relate to how we live out our faith. By looking deeper into the ways the Bible first spoke in its original cultural settings, we are better prepared to think faithfully and creatively about what Christian belief should be now, in our culture.
In January 2022, study Belonging and Redemption in the Book of Ruth. Learn more.
Belonging to a Beloved City
Spirituality and Theology for Our Urban World
In January and February 2022, Mark VanderShaaf with the Adult Education Councill will teach a six-session course exploring potential spiritual and theological contributions to a “beloved city.” The first two sessions will consider how two recent transformations in the Twin Cities Area – riverfront redevelopment and light rail line neighborhood changes – can be regarded as well-aligned with a Christian ethos. The remaining four sessions of the course will provide a closer look at the relationship between theology and urban issues.
Wednesdays, from January 19-February 23 at 6:30 pm. In person and online options available. Register to attend.
Lenten Covenant Groups
During Lent, Westminster hosts Covenant Groups as a way for our community to deepen our spiritual journey during the five weeks of Lent. Groups typically meet during the Adult Education hour on Sunday mornings (9:15 am) or pre-existing groups transition into a Lenten Covenant Group for five weeks (such as WestConnect, Moms Group, small groups, etc.). In 2021, the groups met online and the theme was “The Listening Season.”
Small groups at Westminster foster deepening faith, offer new insights to our changing world, and provide opportunities for broader connection in our community. Many groups are open throughout the year to new members, and are listed below. Contact Rachel to join or to learn more.
A monthly small group exploring the joys and challenges of life’s third age will meet for six months to read and share together about their experiences. The group will rotate leadership. Contact Rachel to join or to learn more.
Sunday Sermon Discussion
A weekly small group discussion of the Sunday sermons, possibly over a shared meal. Discussion leadership could rotate among group members and a set of possible discussion questions will be provided. A 6-week initial commitment is encouraged.
Couples Small Group
A regular (weekly or bi-monthly) couples small group meeting to fellowship together and offer support and prayer for the many seasons of a long-term relationship. A 6-month initial commitment is encouraged.
An LGBTQ small group continues to meet weekly and is open to new participants. This group is led by Terry McEowen.
Women’s Ministry Small Groups
Women’s Ministry is interested in initiating a couple of new small groups. Potential groups include one focusing on how grandparents can nurture the faith of their grandchildren, one that regularly gathers socially to welcome new women-identifying people in our community, and/or one that meets regularly to create together, including arts, crafts, and other making opportunities.
Men’s Ministry Small Groups
There is interest in expanding the number of small groups offered through men’s ministries. The existing men’s small groups have offered to walk alongside potential new groups to share their patterns and tips for success.
Join moms with children of all ages for guided conversation and fellowship. This fall will center on the book Only Love Today: Reminders to Breathe More, Stress Less, and Choose Love, by Rachel Macy Stafford. Led by Marie Kruskop, this group meets on Wednesday Mornings.
Family Matters is open to parents and caregivers with children of any age. This fall the group will look at Search Institute’s findings on building (and maintaining) strong parent-child relationships. This group meets on Sunday mornings and is led by Marie Kruskop.
Content experts from the Westminster community have developed a series of self-guided educational tours around the Twin Cities to significant sights with accompanying interpretive and devotional materials to help learners dig deeper. Learn more.