~ CURRENT SUNDAY MORNING CLASSES ~
Adult Education classes are offered each Sunday morning.
Classes begin at 9:45 a.m. and run for one hour.
SPECIAL FALL SESSION: September 17 – October 1
THIS CHANGED EVERYTHING: 500 Years of the Reformation
The Reformation is more than a fascinating period of history—it significantly impacted the formation of Western civilization. The questions reformers raised remain critical for the church today. Like the reformers, we must still discern what or who is our ultimate authority. We continue to seek understanding about what it means to be saved by grace through faith, even when we know that faith without works is dead. We persist in debating the meaning of baptism and communion, the role of Scripture and of the clergy, and the definition of the true church. We continue to struggle with the relationship between church and state. This series is not only a journey into our past but also an essential exercise for discerning how we are to live as Christians in a divided church.
In the last 500 years, the church has grown comfortable with ever increasing divisions. While the
Reformers brought about desperately needed moral reform and a renewed emphasis on God’s Grace, they also brought up a whole new set of questions. Is a divided church in conflict with Jesus’ prayer for unity, found in John 17? Can we remember what binds us together and embrace one another as one, so that the world might believe in him? Can we hold truth in high regard, even as we show respect for those who reach different conclusions? Are there truths worth speaking and standing for no matter what the cost?
This three-part series presents the Reformation journalistically, engaging the history of the Reformation from various perspectives and asking experts to debate the issues. The experts interviewed for the series represent a wide range of Christian traditions and theological positions, including Catholic, Lutheran, Reformed, Anglican, and Anabaptist traditions with the intent to facilitate informed thought, prayer, discussion, and debate.
- September 17 – Episode One: Meet Martin Luther, the law student turned monk whose bold personality, controversial ideas sparked a revolution that rocked the corrupt medieval Church and changed the face of the world. In nearby Switzerland, a priest named Huldrych Zwingli was sparking his own spiritual and social revolution. These two reformers shared much in common but their differences would lead to a legacy of discord.
- September 24 – Episode Two: The Protestant Reformation spread quickly across Europe. But in England, the staunchly Catholic Henry VIII effectively suppressed the movement. That is, until his own personal and political affairs led to a split with Rome and an opening for Protestatnt ideas. Meanwhile, Protestantism continued to splinter as radical reformers championed their own ideas.
- October 1 – Episode Three: The series concludes with a look at recent events in church history, including the modern Ecumenical Movement and Vatican II. Experts discuss the legacy of the Reformation and ask whether Christianity can ever be reunified.
Location: Fellowship Hall
MODULE ONE: OCTOBER 1 – 22
TRANSFORMATIONAL TEXTS – REFORMATION ERA BEST SELLERS
The Protestant Reformation was made possible in no small part by the printing press and its use by the forces committed to achieving reform in the life of the Christian church. This series of lectures is designed to explore what that meant through an examination of the stories of four key texts that played an important role in bringing about the Reformation.
1) “Freedom of a Christian” by Martin Luther (1520)
2) Thomas Müntzer, “A Sermon before the Princes” (1524)
3) Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin (1536-1559)
4) The Geneva Bible (1559)
Instructor: R.Bruce Douglass, Director, Reformed Institute of Metropolitan Washington
THE BIBLE PROJECT: THE SHEMA SERIES
Please Note: This class begins on October 8th.
One of the most famous (and important) prayers contained in the Bible is one that we see the Hebrew people repeat over and over again throughout the Old Testament – the Shema. In Deuteronomy 6:4-5, we first see this prayer, which says, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one, and as for you, you shall Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”
It is a powerful prayer, and one with a lot of meaning packed into just a few words. The Shema, which is the Hebrew word for “listen,” is the centerpiece of the last speech Moses gave to the Israelites before they went down into the promised land. After entering the promised land, the Shema became a prayer that the Israelites prayed twice a day.
The Shema was still a significant part of their religion when Christ was born. Jesus references the Shema in Mark 12:29-31 when He says, “The first of all the commandments is, ‘Listen, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Without a doubt, the Shema is an important prayer and one of the cornerstones of the Christian faith. In this video series, we will unpack some of the meaning and significance behind this beautiful prayer.
- October 8 – Shema/Listen
- October 15 – YHWH/Lord
- October 22 – Ahavah/Love
Are you a relative newcomer to the Lewinsville community of faith? Would you like to learn more about this congregation: its ministries in the community, beliefs, how and why we do what we do and who we are? Perhaps you’d like to explore membership at Lewinsville and what that might mean for you and for your life. The Inquirers Class is designed for you.
During the four week class, we’ll explore
- worship at Lewinsville Church
- the beliefs and theology of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
- the history of our congregation
- the various mission projects and other ministries of this community of faith
- how your spirit might be nourished here
- how God might be calling you to use your gifts, joining us in ministry
The class is held in the Library and each class lasts 1 hour, beginning at 9:45am. Interim Pastor Scott Ramsey and Associate Pastor Emily Berman D’Andrea teach the class and church members John & Ruth Thomas serve as hosts. At the conclusion of the class, participants are given the opportunity to become members of Lewinsville Presbyterian Church.
Instructors: Rev. Emily D’Andrea & Rev. Scott Ramsey
SPECIAL SESSION: OCTOBER 29
CALLED TO SERVE: Reformation and Re-Imagining Priesthood
Commemorating 500 years since events associated with “Reformation,” we recall that Protestantism helped to renew some ideas of perpetual relevance for Christianity. One of those is the “priesthood of believers.” To say you agree with “priesthood of believers” means much more than the dismissive assertion: “everyone has a bible and thus the very idea of priestly intercession is passé.” Unfortunately, the interim of 500 years has succeeded more conspicuously in the negative side of this issue. Many Protestants today (including many Presbyterians) have assumed a deep aversion to the very word priesthood without much reflection on its positive aspects. This is a loss to the rich legacy of Protestantism. Many questions can help restore that legacy.
What is priesthood? Who are priests? What does priesthood mean for questions of our own salvation? How is the idea of priesthood essential to the way Christians live in the world, including their “secular” vocations?
Such questions may yield a better picture of the Reformation. May they also prompt more eager, joyful, and courageous lives of faith today!
Instructor: Jon Wood
~ CURRENT WEEKDAY CLASS ~
WEDNESDAY BIBLE STUDY with Bag Lunch
Each WEDNESDAY, a weekly Wednesday Bible Study will be held in the Chapel from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm. The Bible study will generally involve an exploration of the biblical text that will be preached the following Sunday. The study will usually be facilitated by either Rev. Scott Ramsey or Rev. Emily Berman D’Andrea — whoever will be preaching the next Sunday.
ABOUT CHRISTIAN EDUCATION AT LEWINSVILLE
Lewinsville offers a variety of classes and special events to guide us during the program year in our individual and corporate journeys of faith, discovery, discernment, and service.
Lively discussions on faith and social issues. Look for our “Faith & Public Policy” classes during select modules during the year.
Probing Biblical and theological study. Each Adult Education module includes a course on the Bible and/or theology.
Life skills and religion and the arts. Our Adult Education classes include one course in this subject area.
Family of Faith Focus. We have an ongoing group of parents who explore what it means and how to raise children in our reformed tradition.
Multiple times and places for learning, including online. Even if you can’t attend all sessions of a class during the 9:45–10:45 hour on Sunday mornings, come when you can. Watch for our annual Lenten Studies program during Lent with a Biblical scholar, our Salzman Lecture each fall, and special Inter-generational events with an education focus.
Faith has been described as belief, commitment, relationship, and mystery. Lewinsville’s adult education program, Christ Care groups, women’s circles, faith and public policy breakfasts, and men’s and women’s retreats are opportunities to explore these dimensions of faith with others.