"A Sanctuary in the City… Living Faith"

Christian Education

Commitment

Children and adults can experience many meaningful learning experiences in lessons and activities as a result of well-planned and organized programming by our wonderful staff , teachers, Christian EducationCommittee members, and volunteers.

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Education Programs

Children

Nursery: Infants and children up to age 3 are invited to our nursery on the second floor (ML) during Worship.

    • Children and youth meet in the sanctuary and are dismissed from worship service after the Moment with Young Worshipers, for participation in their respective programs.
    • The youth participate in REVOLUTION, which meets on Sunday evenings from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. for activities and community volunteering opportunities.
    • The Children and Youth Sunday Service in June during worship is a highlight for presenting lessons learned, music and a culmination of the year’s educational growth.
    • Children and Youth Christmas Eve Service is enjoyed by many, and always beautifully presented with Scripture and music.
    • Vacation Bible School is offered in the month of June, is an another important event. We are one of five downtown churches that supports this program. VBS is hosted at First Presbyterian Church.
    • Summer activity trips, mission trips and work camp-community volunteer trips offer a variety of learning experiences for spiritual growth for youth and adult chaperones.

The Church Library, located on the mid-level of the building, has excellent books available for children and adults. A book rack is available in the Gathering Place on Sunday mornings.

Adult Education Offerings

All-Church Read during Lent – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

As we journey through Lent, we will offer opportunities to reflect on the living faith of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Bonhoeffer came of age in Germany between World Wars I and II. As Nazi decrees increased under Hitler, he spoke out in opposition. Though he could have escaped, Bonhoeffer chose to minister among the people of Germany. During the war years, he led an illegal seminary to train pastors, and he operated as an Allied spy. Despite strong pacifist leanings, he helped coordinate an assassination attempt against Hitler. He was imprisoned and ultimately executed by direct order of Hitler just weeks before the war ended.

We have compiled excerpts from Bonhoeffer’s essays, sermons, and poetry, along with reflection by other authors. Copies are available in the church office, with designation of readings for each week. Times to gather for conversation are noted below. And on March 11-12, as our Briner Lecturer for this year, we will host Al Staggs, who offers a first-person portrayal of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. In one letter from prison, Bonhoeffer wrote:

“I’m still discovering right up to this moment, that it is only by living completely in this world that one learns to have faith.… living unreservedly in life’s duties, problems, successes and

failures, experiences and perplexities. In so doing we throw ourselves into the arms of God…”

Meeting schedule:

Mondays at 5:15 pm – hosted by Larry Boutelle (contact Larry for more information)

Tuesdays at 7:00 am – Men’s Group in the Archives, led by Larry Boutelle

Tuesdays at noon – in Room 300, led by Seth Weeldreyer

Thursdays at 9:00 am – Ladies’ Bible Study in Room 301, led by Pat Stromsta

Saturdays at 4:00 pm – in the Gathering Place, led by Chrissy Westbury

Sundays at 8:45 am – in Room 314 / 315, led by Chrissy, Pat, and Seth

 

 

Thursday Morning Women’s Bible Study.  
We begin a new study this week, based on the All-Church Read for Lent materials, which are available at the receptionist desk. We meet at 9:30 for coffee, and our study begins at 9:45.  Child care is available in Room 306 with Jamie Tuin.

Hope Woods Bible Study
This Monday, February 19, we will begin a new study based on the Book of James.  Please join us on the 3rd Monday of each month at 11:00 am in the Community Room on the 3rd floor.  Call Phyllis Curtis for additional information. (269) 345-8195.

Film Screening of “Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope”
“Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope” is a movie that clearly and succinctly describes Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) and how we can support a trauma-informed community for Kalamazoo’s children and families. Screenings are open to the public on February 15 from 10:00–11:30 and from 6:00–7:30 at the Kalamazoo Public Library, and on February 21 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the WMU College of Education and Human Development.  Register at https://tinyurl.com/resiliencemovie  for either 10am or 6pm on February 15 or 21.

Lenten Study: Wednesdays at Noon
Seven Days to Glory: Holy Week by Blaire R. Monie ( February 21-March 28). This six-week study focuses on the days of Holy Week from Monday through Sunday, the Day of Resurrection. We will walk through Jesus’experiences of Holy Week, and reflect on what these experiences mean to us as Christians. Study material will be provided.
This class will meet in the Gathering Place.  Bring your lunch and set aside an hour each Wednesday during Lent to pause and reflect on the death and resurrection of Jesus during Lent.

This class will be open to the congregation and the community. Pat Stromsta will be the facilitator.

Thoughtful Readers Book group
February 26, 7:00 p.m.

Our Thoughtful Readers Book Group will meet on February 26, at 7:00 p.m. in Room 300, to discuss Kalamazoo Public Library’s 2018 Reading Together selection, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the stories of eight families “living on the edge”. This masterful book transforms our understanding of poverty and economic exploitation while providing ideas for solving one of America’s most devastating problems. All are welcome to join the discussion. For more information, contact Kathy Campbell at (517) 803-0481.
Sunday Lectionary Class
This class meets every Sunday in Room 302, from 8:45-9:40 a.m. to read aloud, learn more about, and discuss the Bible passages which are the basis of that day’s sermon and service. Members of this group may volunteer to rotate leadership, but it’s not required. We invite allmembers of the congregation to participate in this enriching fellowship, whether regularly or occasionally.

 

JustFaith Class: “Hunger for Change: A Faithful Response to Food Insecurity.”

Every day 794 million people experience hunger. Hunger for Change explores the reality of food insecurity in the United States and around the world. This 8-week class includes study, rich dialogue, and an immersion experience— a process that inspires participants to take concrete action to end hunger. This class is being offered on Wednesday evenings from 6:15 p.m. — 8:00 p.m., beginning January 17. Pat Stromsta will facilitate this class which is open to members of the congregation and the community. Class size will be limited to 24 participants. Registration forms will available at our church entrances. There is $10.00 fee for materials (plus $10.00 for the book, “Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger”)