Classes

Where every book study is a Bible study.

“My mind has been challenged and awakened by our time together. I have become so bored with Bible studies. Even thinking I know more than I do! But you have awakened me to dig deeper. It’s not just a story, but a journey of God’s people. I keep discovering pieces that put the puzzle together into a beautiful story of the unconditional love of our God. I can’t wait until next week.”

All classes meet online using Zoom unless otherwise noted in the description. After registration, you will receive confirmation within moments. A couple of weeks prior to the first class, you will receive an email that will provide all the details you will need for the class. You will be sent a Zoom link on the day of the class. There is no cost for these classes; donations will be requested and are always optional.

All times are Eastern Standard Time.

CURRENT & UPCOMING CLASSES

Wakening in the Word

Sundays
September 11 – November 6, 2022
9:00 – 10:45 am EST

Come as you are and when you can. 

Through this personal and interactive study, you will become more biblically literate, theologically confident, and spiritually aware as we dig into the Bible, one chapter at a time. You don’t have to know anything about the Bible to learn from the Bible. Come and see. Bring your coffee/tea, Bible and a candle. 

We will be reading the Gospel of John this Fall. If you miss a week, you can attend the class on Monday nights. 

Need a Bible? Request a free one.

The Gospel of John

Mondays
September 12 – November 7, 2022
7:00 – 8:45 pm EST

Bring your Bible as we dive deep into the Gospel of John. We will read and discuss 2-3 chapters each week and then watch the story come alive through a clip from the word-for-word dramatization based on the New International Version of the Bible. Whether you’ve never studied the Bible before or you are a master of the text, you will engage with this gospel in a new way. Join us as we walk with Jesus through his life, ministry, death and resurrection. 

Need a Bible? Request a free one.

Inspired

3rd Tuesdays
September – May (no class in December)
7:00 – 8:45 pm EST 

What do people mean when they say the Bible is inspired? Drawing on the best in recent scholarship and using her well-honed literary expertise, Rachel Held Evans examines some of our favorite Bible stories and retelling them as only RHE can. Undaunted by the Bible’s most difficult passages, Evans discovers the Bible is not a static work but is a living, breathing, captivating, and confounding book that is able to equip us to join God’s loving and redemptive work in the world. 

We will look at: Origin Stories, Deliverance Stories, War Stories, Wisdom Stories, Resistance Stories, Gospel Stories, Fish Stories, and Church Stories.

A Complicated Choice

Tuesdays
September 27 and October 4 & 11, 2022
7:00 – 8:45 pm EST 

A Complicated Choice goes beyond the terms “pro-life” and “pro-choice” that define the public abortion debate and centers on the real people making the decision to end a pregnancy. Within the life of the church, these stories are silenced and women feel ashamed. Rev. Katey Zeh invites us to examine our judgments about people who have abortions through the act of sacred listening to the real stories of those most impacted. 

Wakening Anti-Racism

2nd SUNDAYS
September through May (no class in December)
5:15-6:45 pm EST

This group commits to meet monthly to learn, explore and engage with one another as we grow in our understanding of racism. We are committed to live as antiracists. White Fragility and So You Want to Talk About Race are books that have helped us start these conversations. This is a safe place to learn about our history which will inform our present struggles.

As elections are approaching this Fall, we will use the book, Now What? How to Move Forward When We Are Divided (About Basically Everything).

Our purpose is to grow in knowledge as we move towards action. Living as an antiracist requires us to speak up and step in whenever we witness injustice. We encourage all to take small steps in our current sphere of influence and work to expand our sphere of influence.

Our discussions are facilitated by Rev. Linda Zastovnik, Rev. Dr. John Ryan, Dionne Howard and Frances Hamilton. Rev. Dr. John Ryan has a MA from the Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond, VA. He received his D.Ed.Min. from the Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. He serves as Pastor for Faith Formation at Davidson College Presbyterian Church in Davidson, NC. Dionne Howard, Ed.S. has enjoyed a 30 year career as a classroom teacher, adjunct professor, instructional coach, and staff developer. Frances Hamilton is a retired career educator with experience as a classroom teacher, literacy facilitator, curriculum writer and staff in-service developer. Additionally, she has been a Montessori teacher and held a position in a School Admissions Office. As a Black woman, she also brings the experience of growing up in the Jim Crow South

COMING IN JANUARY

The Prayers of Jesus

Prayer was the backbone of Jesus’ life and ministry. From his baptism to his crucifixion, the Gospels portray Jesus as a man of prayer who knew and deeply valued intimate communion with his heavenly Father. What can we learn from the prayers he prayed? This study will reveal new insights into prayer and the character of God. 

The Screwtape Letters

The Screwtape Letters is a brilliant and satirical look at spiritual warfare and the dynamics of temptation. Screwtape, a senior demon in the bureaucracy of Hell, writes letters to his incompetent nephew Wormwood, a junior devil. The younger demon’s assignment is to corrupt a young man living in London during the tumultuous days of World War II. 

This 12-week Bible study will expand upon C.S. Lewis’s thoughts found in each letter and the unique insight into the battles being waged in the spiritual world. 

Celebration of Discipline: Part 1

Hailed by many as the best modern book on Christian spirituality, Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster explores the classic spiritual disciplines or practices of the Christian faith. Dividing the disciplines into three movements of the Spirit, Foster shows how each of these areas contribute to a more balanced spiritual life. Part 1 includes the inward disciplines of meditation, prayer, fasting, and study which offer avenues of personal examination and change. We will read & discuss the chapter one week and practice it and meet to share our experiences the next. 

PAST CLASSES

Summer Reading 2022

JUNE
Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
Discussion on the Last Wednesday
June 29, 2022
7:00 – 9:00 pm EST

Most of us believe in God’s grace – in theory. But somehow we can’t seem to apply it in our daily lives. We beat ourselves up over our failures and, in the process, pull away from God because we subconsciously believe God tallies our defects and is disappointed. Brennan Manning reminds us that nothing could be further from the truth. The Father beckons us with a “furious love” that burns brightly and constantly. Only when we truly embrace God’s grace can we bask in the joy of a gospel that enfolds the “ragamuffins.”

Brennan Manning’s now-classic meditation on grace and what it takes to access it—simple honesty—has changed thousands of lives. Now with a Ragamuffin’s thirty-day spiritual journey guide, it will change yours, too.

paperback

JULY
The Boy Who Cried Abba
by Brennan Manning
Discussion on the Last Wednesday
July 27, 2022
7:00 – 9:00 pm EST

Jesus told parables to communicate God’s love. Brennan Manning creates Willie Juan, a young orphan and social outcast, who learns the lessons of forgiveness, self-acceptance, and happiness, as he realizes the unconditional love of God.

During July, we will be following the thirty-day spiritual journey guide from Ragamuffin Gospel) and reading this parable.

hardcover

The Forgiveness of Jesus

Thursdays (6 sessions)
May 5 – June 9, 2022
7:00 – 8:45 pm EST

We all carry guilt and shame – it drags us down and keeps us from enjoying life to the fullest. This class will offer a deeper understanding of the reason Jesus Christ gave his life on the cross. Jesus came to forgive us, allowing us to move from guilt and shame to freedom and forgiveness. As we examine the people he met and set free, you will be transformed by your encounter with the God who loves you so much that he runs to you.

Along the Road by John A. Beck Book Cover

Summer Light: Hearing God

Mondays
June 6, 13, 20, 2022
7:00 – 8:45 pm EST

“God spoke to me.” “The Spirit spoke to my heart.” “God revealed the idea to me.” Being close to God means communicating with him — telling God what is on our hearts in prayer and hearing and understanding what God is saying to us. It is this second half of our conversation with God that is so important but that can also be so difficult. How do we hear God’s voice? How can we be sure that what we think we hear is not our own subconscious? What role does the Bible play?

Along the Road by John A. Beck Book Cover

(not required)

Searching for Sunday

Meets Monthly, 3rd Tuesdays, mostly
7:00 – 8:45 pm EST

Like millions of her millennial peers, Rachel Held Evans didn’t want to go to church anymore. The hypocrisy, the politics, the gargantuan building budgets, the scandals–church culture seemed so far removed from Jesus. Yet, despite her cynicism and misgivings, something kept drawing her back to Church. And so she set out on a journey to understand Church and to find her place in it.

Centered around seven sacraments, Evans’ quest takes readers through a liturgical year with stories about baptism, communion, confirmation, confession, marriage, vocation, and death that are funny, heartbreaking, and sharply honest. A memoir about making do and taking risks, about the messiness of community and the power of grace, Searching for Sunday is about overcoming cynicism to find hope and, somewhere in between, Church.

Christ in the Passover

Friday, April 15, 2022
7:00 – 9:00 pm

This year, Passover begins on Good Friday—nothing could be more meaningful! Wonder why? This 2 hour event will help you understand the connections between the Old Testament and the New Testament, between the Jewish and Christian faiths.  The Passover is the Old Testament feast that celebrates and remembers God’s liberation of Israel from Egypt. It also foreshadows Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Learn the history and significance of this sacred event. You will receive details to prepare your own simplified Seder meal for the event (optional).

The Last Days of Jesus

The Last Days of Jesus provides an overview of six major events surrounding Jesus’ death and resurrection. We will begin each session in Israel— showing key places, such as the Garden of Gethsemane, a rolling stone tomb, Mount of Olives, and more. Featuring beautiful retellings, solid overviews, and incredible cultural insights from top Bible scholars, this class will deepen your understanding of key Easter events.

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus

Nabeel Qureshi describes his dramatic journey from Islam to Christianity. Providing an intimate window into a loving Muslim home, Qureshi shares how he developed a passion for Islam before discovering, almost against his will, evidence that Jesus rose from the dead and claimed to be God. Unable to deny the arguments but not wanting to deny his family, Qureshi struggled with an inner turmoil that will challenge Christians, Muslims, and all those who are interested in the world’s greatest religions.

Engaging and thought-provoking, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus tells a powerful story of the clash between Islam and Christianity in one man’s heart–and of the peace he eventually found in Jesus.

Taught by Lea Burt, Led by Rev. Linda Zastovnik. Lea Burt is semi-retired from the air conditioning business where he was a design engineer for 40 years. Now he enjoys traveling with his wife, Robin. When not working on their horse farm, Lea enjoys fly fishing, golf, and road biking. Lea was raised in a Methodist family and has been active in the church ever since.

Galatians: Accepted and Free

Once you place faith in Jesus you are transformed. You are made new. You are forever part of the family of God. You are fully accepted, and you are free. Join Pastor Linda as we read this passionate letter that is now called the book of Galatians, led by Jada Edwards. The Study Guide is required. Bring a Bible (any version) to class.

  • The Hidden Power of Acceptance
  • Your Life is Rich in Purpose
  • Approval in Christ > Human Approval
  • The Truth About Your Inheritance
  • You’ve Been Set Free For This
  • Your Restoration Restores Others

Cold Case Christianity

Christianity, with all of its claims could easily be described as a “cold-case”; a case for which insufficient hard evidence exists to make any sound conclusions about its truth claims. However, in Cold-Case Christianity, J. Warner Wallace uses his nationally acclaimed skills as a homicide detective to look at the evidence and eyewitnesses behind Christian beliefs. He includes gripping stories from his career and the visual and interrogation techniques he developed while a police officer. Along the way, he uses analogy and anecdotes to examine the powerful evidence that validates the claims of Christianity.

Cold Case Christianity speaks to readers’ intense interest in detective stories, and inspires readers to have confidence in Christ as it prepares them to articulate the case for Christianity. Study the evidence. Test the witnesses. Defend the truth. During these 8-sessions, Wallace examines the authors of the Gospels and asks four critical questions used by detectives.

  • Were they present?
  • Were they corroborated?
  • Were they accurate?
  • Were they biased?

Lea Burt

Lea Burt will teach each session while Linda Zastovnik leads our class discussions. The book is required, the study guide is optional.

Holy Land Study: Along the Road with Jesus

Jesus’s teaching gains fresh relevance through this fascinating study of Bible stories separated by centuries, but related by shared geography. In Along the Road, John “Jack” Beck delves into the conversations that would naturally occur if you had walked with Jesus along a first-century road. Journey with us as we weave the Old Testament context of each locale into Jesus’s experience there, and discover how these easily overlooked geographical and cultural details can enhance our understanding of the scriptures. In addition to the book, a Bible (any version) is necessary for the class.

The Story

God goes to great lengths to rescue lost and hurting people. That is what The Story is all about: the story of the Bible, God’s great love affair with humanity. This study helps us to understand how the Upper Story (God) intersects with the Lower Story (Us).

Praying for Afghanistan 

As the anniversary of 9/11 approaches we reflect on our world, on the serious life changes for the people of Afghanistan, and for the future of the thousands of refugees who have fled their homeland. We are mindful of the extreme emotions of our own troops who have served. Our country is so fragile due to polarizing opinions, views, facts and lies.

Come and sit with us; bring your worries and your fears. Lea Burt will share a bit of what he has learned about the differences between Islam, the Taliban and ISIS-K. He will also address your questions (submitted in advance) and we will close with a short prayer service.

Along the Road by John A. Beck Book Cover

Murals on the walls at the US embassy on July 30, 2021 in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Summer Reading 2021

So many books, so little time! For all (meaning all genders, all ages), this summer you will love each of these three books. We will meet on the last Tuesday of each month to discuss. Sign up for one, two, or all three. Include your spouse and/or friend.

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger. Discussion led by Carey Bullock. Tragedy strikes Frank’s family—which includes his Methodist minister father, his mother, older sister and kid brother—he finds himself thrust into an adult world full of secrets, lies, adultery, and betrayal. Forty years later, he discovers the terrible price of wisdom and the enduring grace of God. 

Wearing God by Lauren F. Winner. Discussion led by Rev. Kake Nations. Lauren Winner, an Episcopal priest who teaches at Duke Divinity School, notes there are hundreds of metaphors for God, but the church only uses a few familiar images: creator, judge, savior, father. Let’s explore some others: God as clothing (“clothed with Christ”), as the vine/vintner who animates life; the lactation consultant; and the comedian. Oh, I love God as the comedian!

Peace Like a River by Leif Enger. Discussion led by Janice Mack. Eleven-year-old Reuben Land, an asthmatic boy in the Midwest has reason to believe in miracles. Along with his sister and father, Reuben finds himself on a cross-country search for his outlaw older brother who has been charged with murder. Family, love, and faith can stand up to the most terrifying of enemies, and the most tragic of fates. 

Book Study: A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans

 

Rachel Held Evans died unexpectedly last year at the age of 37. Strong-willed and independent, she embarked on a radical life experiment–a year of biblical womanhood. Intrigued, she vowed to take all of the Bible’s instructions for women as literally as possible for a year. Pursuing a different virtue each month, we will delve into the scriptures alongside her book. With just the right mixture of humor and insight, compassion and incredulity, A Year of Biblical Womanhood is an exercise in scriptural exploration and spiritual contemplation. Join us in the lessons of her life.  

In the Holy Land

with Ray Vander Laan

During The Rock, the Road, and the Rabbi, we learned about teacher and guide, Ray Vander Laan. This class includes visiting 5 sites in the Holy Land-virtually-with Pastor Ray. You will be amazed with each class how the land informs your understanding of scripture.

Wakening Women

June-August

Wakening Women returns this summer with more stories of biblical women—some we’ve met before, some will be new—and connecting them to contemporary global gender issues. In doing so, Rev. Katey Zeh speaks truth to women’s oppression and erasure while reminding us of the sacredness of women’s experience, wisdom, solidarity, and sisterhood.

Book Study: The Rock, the Road, and the Rabbi 

Connect deeper with the Bible and your faith as Kathie Lee Gifford journeys with Messianic Rabbi Jason Sobel through Israel, studying the Bible in its Hebrew context.

The Rock (Jesus Christ): Hear directly from Kathie about her life-changing and ever-deepening connection with Jesus, the Lover of her soul.

The Road (Israel): Explore dozens of ancient landmarks and historical sites from Israel, the promised land of God’s covenant.

The Rabbi (God’s Word): Go beyond a Sunday-school approach to the Bible by digging into the original languages and deeper meanings of the Holy Scriptures. Jason’s insight into the Hebrew language, culture, and heritage will open your eyes to the Bible like never before.

Bible Study: In the Beginning

You may think you know these stories. Or, you may have begun to read the Bible, but couldn’t get through Leviticus (I know!). From Genesis to Deuteronomy, we will get the big picture of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible and learn its foundational message. In addition to the scriptures and the stories we will learn more about The Torah and its significance to Jews – during the time of Jesus and today. Our class time will include viewing videos produced by The Bible Project. If you join in to Zoom by audio only, you can view the videos on your own.

No book is needed but your Bible (any version). If you do not yet have one, let me know. Invite others!

The Journey

It’s a story you know by heart, but The Journey combines historical information and archaeology with Adam Hamilton’s thoughtful, conversational teaching style to give you a new perspective on the story of Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem.
Journey to the Holy Land with pastor and best-selling author Adam Hamilton retracing the actual path of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem.

Bible Study: Revelation

There have been quite a few jokes about 2020 being a year that everything has gone wrong: a global pandemic, fires, hurricanes, and riots. What does the Bible say about such things? Where is God in the midst of it all? What is the truth about the “End Times?”

Book Discussion: Clutter Free by Kathi Lipp

Peace within us can be impeded by clutter around us. Learn new habits to help clear out your clutter, simplify your space, and take back your life. Do you spend valuable time moving your piles around the house, but you can never find that piece of paper when you need it? As you try out the many easy, doable solutions within the book, you’ll begin to understand why you hold on to the things you do, eliminate what’s crowding out real life, and make room for the life of true abundance God wants for you. 

Prayer & Discernment

Learn more about prayer by practicing prayer. For 7 weeks, we will learn about prayer through the book, The Quest, by Beth Moore. Is there a question you have for God? Is there a decision or a concern where you are seeking direction?

People of Peace

Meet 6 people who have made a difference by choosing peace: Jesus Christ, Mother Teresa, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Mahatma Gandhi, Elisabeth Elliot & Rachel Saint. You will receive a handout each week prior to the class. 

Abundant Peace — Jesus Christ
Calming Peace — Mother Teresa
Worldly Peace —  Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Living Peace — Mahatma Gandhi
Forgiving Peace — Elisabeth Elliot & Rachel Saint

Seeking Peace One Day

Do you know that International Peace Day is September 21? If not, it’s because you have never heard the story behind it. Once you do, you will never forget it. You will be sent the link to view the documentary online. 

Join us online as we pray for peace on Peace Day. We will join the “Global Peace Wave” with a Minute of Silence at noon.

September 21 from 11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Online Prayer for Peace
Global Minute of Silence at Noon

Christianity and World Religions

Adam Hamilton, explores four major world religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Judaismand compares the beliefs of each with those of Christianity. As Christians, we must build bridges with others so that we might grow in our faith and seek peace in our world.


Matthew Bible Study

Dig into the very first book in the New Testament.. We will read 2-3 chapters each week and view a short clip from the Visual Bible: Matthew. In this dramatization, the complete Gospel is presented word-for-word based on the New International Version of the Bible. Whether you’ve never studied the Bible before or you are a master of the text, you will engage with this gospel in a new way. Join us as we walk with Jesus through his life, ministry, death and resurrection.

 

The New Testament You Never Knew

N.T. Wright will lead us in discovering things we never knew about the stories within the New Testament. Through reading the New Testament we continually discover that God indeed keeps his promises, but those
promises don’t always look like what people expected. Especially when it comes to Jesus. Sessions include: The Books of the New Testament; The World of Jesus and the Apostles; The Life and Death of Jesus; The Resurrection of Jesus; The Ministry of the Apostle Paul; The Early Christians and the Church; The Mission of the Church; The Creation of the New Testament.

 

Beginning in the Bible

Everyone began learning what’s in the Bible by first learning about the Bible. Through this class you will learn the basics: Old & New Testaments, Bible Stories, How to Find Things, Understanding The Big Picture, and about different Bible Versions.
No Bible? No problem! Request a free one!

White Fragility

White fragility is defined as the discomfort and defensiveness on the part of a white person when confronted by information about racial inequality and injustice. In this in-depth exploration, Robin DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.

 

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