Christian faith is a lifelong journey. God’s not done with you yet.
First United’s Adult Education program offers insight, growth, and fellowship with classes, workshops, intimate discussions, and presentations and lectures by leading scholars. Topics range from church history to current events to race relations to international issues, and always include a biblical perspective. Sometimes a series of classes is scheduled on specific topics that lend themselves to in-depth study. Adult ed is a ministry that drives learning, deepens faith, and wrestles with the relationship between God’s world and the human world.
Sunday morning speaker series
Classes meet at 9:30 a.m. on Sundays from September through late May. Bring your whole self, including your questions, your doubts, and a sense of humor. For more information on any adult education programs, contact Lydia Mulkey, Associate Pastor of Education (firstname.lastname@example.org), 708-386-5215 (ext. 103).
Oct. 6, 13, and 20: Join Lizzy Bortoto, a member of Gilead Church Chicago, for two weeks of storytelling training followed by an opportunity to tell your story! Storytelling is the way our faith has been passed down from generation to generation. We are a people of stories! Since God is present in our ordinary, everyday lives, every story is a God story. Come to hone your skills for spotting the Divine in your everyday life, and your skills for sharing those experiences. All are welcome for any or all sessions, but those who wish to tell their story will need to be present for all three.
- Session 1: Adam and Eve, the Genome, and Human Unity. Both the Genesis creation stories and the science of genetics have the potential to point us to the fundamental unity of all humanity. So how and why have both been used to justify division, oppression, and hate? And how do we recover the fundamental Christian message of love and solidarity?
- Session 2: Human Uniqueness In Religion and Science. The Bible tells us (Genesis 1:27) that we humans are (uniquely?) made in the image of God, and (1:28) that we should “have dominion” over the rest of creation. The scientific method is often traced back to Francis Bacon in the 17th century, who saw scientific investigation as helping humans control nature. Both ideas — Biblical and scientific — have led to devastating exploitation of “the earth … and all that is in it” (Psalms 24:1) that is supposed to belong to God. We’ll examine both Biblical and scientific perspectives on human uniqueness and our interconnectedness with all of nature, to help us consider a more positive relationship with all of God’s creation.
- Session 3: Human Futures: Transhumanism v. Salvation? “Human enhancement” has been around for a very long time: Think false teeth, glasses, or even walking sticks. But technology is rapidly speeding it up. Think organ transplants or even iPhones as “external memory.” Already these enhancements raise ethical questions, which reach their peak when we talk of “transhumanism” — of humans using technology to drive the next “evolutionary” step. What does Christian theology and ethics have to say about such technology-driven futures?
Bible Study and Small Groups
Monday Night Bible Study: 6-7:30 p.m. in the Library.
Wednesday Small Group: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Conference Room.
For information on other Bible studies and small groups contact Lydia Mulkey.
Pick-up book groups are often available! Upcoming book groups:
Book Study Group: Sign up in the Church Lounge for a small book group to read and discuss Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? by Bill McKibben. Leading environmentalist McKibben has written extensively about global warming and the climate crisis. Even as climate change shrinks the space where civilization can exist, new technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics threaten to bleach away the variety of human experience. Falter tells the story of these converging trends and of the ideological fervor that keeps us from bringing them under control. And then, drawing on McKibben’s experience in building 350.org, the first truly global citizens movement to combat climate change, it offers some possible ways out of the trap. Falter is a powerful and sobering call to arms, to save not only our planet but also our humanity.
Young Adult Book Group: Join our young adult book group to read and discuss What is the Bible? How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything, by Rob Bell. Former pastor Rob Bell, the author of 10 books, addresses the concerns of all those who see the Bible as God’s Word but are troubled by the ethical dilemmas, errors, and inconsistencies in scripture. In What Is the Bible? Bell recaptures the Bible’s magic and reaffirms its power and inspiration to shape and inspire our lives today. This book group will choose its meeting time based on availability, so email Ally Vertigan (email@example.com) with your preferred days and times if you are interested.