St Paul’s has a very active adult education program, which takes many forms. The different venues are led by The Rev. Dr. Shane O’Neill, and many individuals in the congregation.
Sunday Morning Adult Ed Class
The Sunday Morning Adult Ed Class meets at 9:15 AM on Sundays in the Begley Annex and welcomes anyone from college students to seniors and everyone in between. The goal of the class is for participants to grow spiritually and intellectually as they explore scripture, our world and our faith. Throughout each curriculum year, different approaches are used to accomplish this goal. For example, in the 2009-10 year, time was spent with a series of faith lessons using archeological site visitation and scripture presented by Ray VanderLaan (archeologist, biblical scholar and historian); the novel: “The Shack;” some of the healing miracles of Jesus; and “The Gospel According to Mayberry” – all presented in a series timed to correspond to the church calendar. In the 2010-11 year the class will respond to “An Invitation to the Psalms;” new presentations from Ray VanderLaan and other topics yet to be determined. The style of the class is a short presentation of material and then open discussion through open ended questions.
Focus Groups & Short Term Studies
Various focus groups are formed from time to time for a variety of purposes by various ministries of the church. The most recent focused around the theme, “Speaking of Faith.” A core group explored a video produced by Rick Richardson, the book, “ReImagining Evangelism” by Rick Richardson, and the book, “Holy Conversation” by Richard Peace. The core group invited the church members to a “Congregational Café” and an opportunity to explore the same materials the core group studied. There will be another round of opportunities to explore the materials and then all participants will be asked to provide guidance for the future.
Several years ago the congregation was involved in a series of focus groups to provide direction on the membership’s thoughts on priorities for the church. World events or special ministry or congregational needs have created short term study programs in the past, and the leadership remains open to continue to use this venue to keep the congregation involved and informed.