All Are Welcome!
Let's Learn and Grow Together.
Drop-ins are always welcome at all of our Sunday Morning
Adult Education classes. No prior preparation expected.
Beginning This Sunday
October 19 - November 23
11:20 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
World Upside Down? Christian Faith and Contemporary Culture
- Led by Dr. Larry Welborn of Fordham University (Chapel)
Is the Christian West at war with Islam? Meanwhile, at home in America, culture wars rage between the left and the right over gay rights, abortion, immigration, and health care. Religion plays a prominent role in all of these debates. What is the right relationship between Christian faith and contemporary culture? Opposition? Accommodation? Negotiation? In the Book of Acts, the apostle Paul and other Christian missionaries are accused of having “turned the world upside down” by teaching things contrary to Roman law and custom and by proclaiming that there is another king other than Caesar, namely Jesus. Is Christian faith on a collision course with contemporary culture?
Margaret Edison's Wit: A Tale of Redemption
- Led by Vail McGuire (Room 209)
Margaret Edson’s Pulitzer Prize winning play Wit is a profound, sometimes disturbing, sometimes humorous account of a woman’s journey with advanced metastatic ovarian cancer. It has a great deal to say to the challenges in today’s health care system, but more importantly, it is a tale, in Edson’s own words, “of redemption.” It offers thought provoking views of grace, sin, and salvation, many of which run counter to common cultural perceptions. We will be watching HBO’s production of Wit, starring Emma Thompson. We do offer a disclaimer: the play contains intense scenes of dealing with cancer, some of which may be disturbing for individuals who might currently have, or have recently had, an experience with cancer in some way.
Song of Songs
- Led by Dr. Richard Baker (West Parlor)
For all the scriptures are holy, but the Song of Songs is the holiest of all.--Rabbi Akiva. For centuries, Rabbi Akiva's view has held sway: The Song of Songs (also called The Song of Solomon; located the end of the Wisdom Literature in the Old Testament, right before Isaiah) has been considered the holiest of all scriptures. In fact, through the centuries, it has been the third most commented-upon book of the Bible. Of course, readers recognized it as love poetry, but they understood it as describing the love between God and God's people, God and the church, God and the individual soul. In modern times, however, the Song of Songs has fallen on hard times--dismissed as curiosity, a mild scandal, and by and large, ignored. In this class, we will read the Song of Songs to compare ancient readings with the modern (non-)reading, and to see what it has to teach us about God's love and our own.
November 30, December 7 and 21
11:20 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Messiah: Music and Words
Twenty-four days. That’s how long it took George Frederic Handel to write his most famous work, Messiah. And in those twenty-four days, Handel pioneered a new form, the English Oratorio, which is most decidedly not opera. However much opera may have influenced Handel’s music, there is “no acting upon the stage” in the English Oratorio—simply words and music. And the words themselves are exclusively from the Bible: 43 verses from the Old Testament; 30 from the New. Selected by Charles Jennens—a wealthy, and somewhat haughty, English land owner—these verses tell “the mighty drama of human redemption in an epic poem.” So, like many composers, Handel adapted a story already familiar to his audience, and he had help in doing it. And yet it is also fair to say that now, almost 275 years later, many would not know that story, and certainly would never have heard those verses, but for Handel’s music.
To help us further appreciate it, Richard Baker (pastor) and Charles Larkowski (Professor of Music, Emeritus, Wright State University) will co-teach a Sunday morning class on the music and theology of Messiah. We here at Westminster are able to appreciate that music every year when the Dayton Philharmonic Chamber Chorus and Orchestra performs Messiah in our Sanctuary. The performance will be on December 21. We hope to see you in the class at the performance.
Vernon Broyles III, will teach an extended class on Sunday, December 7, 11:20 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in the West Parlor to provide information and offer insight on the 221st General Assembly’s resolution to divest from three corporations as a way to promote a just peace in the Middle East. He will offer a brief background on the General Assembly decision-making process, history on the Assembly’s actions over the past couple of decades regarding the Israel/Palestine conflict, as well as a briefing on the most recent resolution, followed by an opportunity for questions and discussion. Vernon now works as a volunteer with the Office of the General Assembly in Louisville, assisting the Stated Clerk on social witness policy issues, after retiring from his position as the Head of the Office of Public Witness. This is a timely topic in Advent as we prepare for the coming of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
5:30 - 6:45 p.m.
Bible 101: The Whole Story
Led by Dr. Richard Baker and Laurie Davis
Do you wish you had a better basic knowledge of the whole Bible? This class began studying the New Testament in September and will offer a survey of its 27 books. It is a basic introduction and assumes no prior knowledge of the Bible. If you would like to join us, please contact Laurie (223-7285 or Laurie@westminsterdayton.org).