Adult Education

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Christian Education is a lifelong commitment — which means it matters every day of our lives, all throughout our lives. Christian education is not just for children and youth. It is also for adults, calling for ongoing nurture. Christian education is rooted in the biblical, theological, and spiritual soil of the faith traditions of the church. From this soil, Christian education involves branching into the world by putting our faith into practice.


All adults are invited to renew their commitment to their own Christian education by growing deep and growing forth. Grow deep by cultivating the roots of your faith. Grow forth by cultivating the way you branch out from FCC to share the fruits of your faith with a world crying out for good news. Grow because your life will be fuller for it. Grow because the children and youth of FCC will be less likely to take their own Christian formation seriously if we adults don’t take ours seriously.


To support Flossmoor Community Church’s commitment to lifelong Christian education, the Adult Education Committee schedules a variety of engaging Adult Education classes.  This spring, the committee has scheduled classes at 11:30 am on Sundays, and 7 pm on Wednesdays.

Winter/Spring 2021

Sunday Morning & Wednesday Evening Courses

Adult education courses usually run for several consecutive weeks on Sunday mornings or Wednesday evenings and are designed to build community through shared reading and discussion of a longer text or book.  Drop-in attendees are welcome to come any week, as the discussion will be enriching whether or not you’ve read the assigned selection!    Below is the Zoom Link for all classes.

Meeting ID: 830 1123 2378          Passcode: 2222 


All members of the community are welcome to participate in our classes.  If you are not a member or visitor, please register for any classes by sending an email to Betsy Hanzelin, Director of Congregational Enrichment at

Some courses  recommend participants purchase of a resource or text, usually at a cost of about $15-$30.  Check your local public library system for availability, if you prefer to borrow books, or check with Betsy Hanzelin if the costs of any texts are prohibitive to you.  All books are available for purchase through Bookie’s book store, 2015 Ridge Road in Homewood, 708-377-0789, and we recommend your support of this local business and independent book store.  Bookie’s is generously providing our course participants a 15% discount for all of the books on our course calendar this fall.

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Current & Upcoming Classes

Lent Reflections 

Wednesdays, February 24 to March 31 at 7 pm via Zoom

Led by Pastor Julie Van Til & Betsy Hanzelin


As we walk through the Season of Lent this year, our Narrative Lectionary shares some familiar stories in Luke’s Gospel as Jesus begins his journey towards Jerusalem.  Pastor Julie and Betsy Hanzelin will lead us in study and creative reflection of these sacred stories, as we are invited to walk with Jesus towards the events of Holy Week.  The texts by date are listed below so you may prepare your heart and mind each week to enter the unfolding story of God as shared in the Narrative Lectionary.

February 24: Luke 13:1-9, 31-35

March 3: Luke 15:1-32

March 10: Luke 16:19-31

March 17: Luke 18:31—19:10

March 24: Luke 19-29-44

Finding Your Story

Sundays mornings at 11:30 am via Zoom

March 7, 21 & 28

Led by Trina Hayes


Lent is a season of reflection. We’ll use our wilderness time to find our memories and reflect on our own stories. Using handouts available on the FCC website, we’ll learn mapping exercises, use checklists, and engage in techniques to make our memories into memoirs. We’ll learn how to access memories of our lives and of people, places, and events we don’t think we can remember. 


All materials are posted at the link below. You may also use these techniques and handouts to interview relatives and friends to assist them in preserving memories for future generations. 


If you want to learn more, Writing Life Stories: How to Make Memories Into Memoirs, Ideas Into Essays, and Life Into Literature by Bill Roorbach is an excellent guide. 


Parent - Child Book Club

Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park

Sunday, March 14 at 11:30 am via Zoom


Bring a parent, grandparent, or an older friend to talk about Prairie Lotus. The book embeds the reader in the story of Hanna, a half Chinese, half white, 14-year old girl in 1880 in the Dakota Territory. Readers of The Little House on the Prairie series will have lots to compare. The reading level is for fifth grade and up, but younger, mature readers may also want to read it and attend. 


Discovery Book Club

The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich

Sunday, April 11 at 11:30 am via Zoom


The Night Watchman is based on the life of the author’s grandfather, a night watchman and tribal elder, who fought the US attempt to remove natives from their North Dakota land in 1953. 

Winter/Spring 2021 Past Classes & Resources

Discovery Book Club

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Sunday, January 24 at 1 pm (following Congregational Meeting at 11 am)

Led by Trina Hayes


Pachinko is a historical saga that follows a Korean family from the early 1900s under Japanese occupation through their difficult lives in Japan. This beautiful, character-driven novel shows how damaging being stricken of identity can be.

Bible Study: Reading the Bible with Rev. Dr. Esau McCaulley

Wednesday evenings at 7pm via Zoom

Continuing:  January 6, 13, 20, 27

Led by Jessica Groen


In this course we will take a closer look at various passages of the Bible along with the interpretive scholarship of Rev. Dr. Esau McCaulley.   The two sources we’ll use are a publicly offered webinar course offered through Nashotah House Theological Seminary called "The Bible and Theology in Color” and McCaulley’s recently published book titled Reading While Black.   Our session time will be used to read and discuss Bible chapters together, discuss specific passages of his book, and view relevant selections from his course videos.  Optional homework between weekly class sessions may include reflective writing, viewing of longer webinar segments, or full book chapter readings. 

Participants interested in accessing the full series of lectures in McCaulley's Nashotah house course can use the link below to receive access to those.

Fall 2020 Classes & Resources

(Continuing) Book Study: Holy Envy

Led by Trina Hayes


In October and November 2020, we continued our chapter by chapter book study (started in Fall 2019) of Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others.  This book by Barbara Brown Taylor tackles the questions and concerns that arise when we encounter anything different or “other.” We are exploring the spiritual riches God shares with us through the faith of others while we remain true to our own faith and beliefs.  

Book Study: Stand your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God by The Rev. Canon Kelly Brown Douglas

Led by Jessica Groen


Our Wednesday evening course for October and November was a study and discussion of a 2015 book by the Rev. Canon Kelly Brown Douglas.  The book explores the social and historical frameworks that have developed a stand-your-ground culture in United States.   As a theologian and a Black mother responding to the killing of Trayvon Martin, Douglas argues that ideas of American exceptionalism and Manifest Destiny have been harmful to Black Americans, especially because stand-your-ground culture receives a stamp of approval by mainstream religious groups.  Douglas highlights how the Black faith tradition provides purpose and hope for seeking God during a time of crisis. 


Focus on Race & Social Justice

FCC is offered class sessions on Monday nights, based on topics are perennially relevant, but may be of special interest because of renewed energy to the civil rights movement for Black lives.   Resources used by the classes are available below. 

Excerpts from The 1619 Project

Our discussion of August 18, 2019 issue of The New York Times Magazine called The 1619 Project.  This Project was created with the goal of re-examining the legacy of slavery in the United States and timed for the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans in Virginia.   


The living artists, writers, and scholars who contributed to this magazine issue and the broader project received the primary focus and place of honor as our course teachers.  We spent time to appreciate, in general, their broader life work, but also the courage and care they offered in wrestling with a particular topic or event of US Black history to make their individual contribution to the Project.


The course presentation, including links to further resources is available below, as well as link to The 1619 Project.

Power and Purpose of Protest

We examined the reasons for and history of protests and non-violent resistance, from an article from Anti-Defamation League. 

“Why Bring it Up?” Raising Race Conscious Children

This session was an introduction to a parenting resource: a website called Raising Race Conscious Children.  We discussed “Why Bring it Up? Pushing Back Against White Supremacy” in which a parent describes their process of using multiple daily interactions to help children start noticing how majority white culture is presented as the default culture.

"Slurs and Biased Language"

The article “Slurs and Biased Language” provides a list of open-ended questions that caregivers can use as discussion starters with children, and ideas of how anyone could respond when in the presence of slurs or biased language being used to target someone.

A Church of Readers . . .

Whether it’s One-Book-One-Church, Discovery Book Discussions, or CATS (Church at the Train Station), the people of Flossmoor Community Church read a lot of books. If you’re looking for something to read, try one of these recently discussed titles:

•  Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

•  Benediction by Kent Haruf

•  The Cleaner of Chartres by Salley Vickers

•  The Fisherman by Chigozie Obioma

•  CITIZEN: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

•  Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

•  God, Improv, and the Art of Living by MaryAnn McKibben Dana

•  The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

•  Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

•  The Last Week: What the Gospels Really Teach about Jesus’ Final Days in Jerusalem by Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan

•  Meeting in the Margins by Cynthia Trenshaw

•  Pastrix by Nadia Bolz-Weber

•  The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain

•  Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans

•  The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

•  Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving

•  The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso            


 A master list of all the books discussed with each book’s themes is available below.​

Favorite novels over the years have included:  

•  The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

•  Jayber Crow and Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry

•  The Known World by Edward P. Jones

•  Mr. Ives’ Christmas by Oscar Hijuelos

•  Samurai’s Garden by Gail Tsukiyama  

•  Wonder by R. J. Palacio.

In nonfiction, the group recommends Here If You Need Me by Kate Braestrup and everything by Barbara Brown Taylor.

The Discovery Book Club has met since 1995 and has had extended discussions of books that helped us learn about the Bible, our faith, and our faith in action. We've also met as a book club to discuss novels, memoirs, and nonfiction books that illuminate and help us understand issues that our church is exploring, supporting, and working to comprehend and interpret. We chose these books to give us a view into areas that we might not personally experience. We select titles that immerse us in the lives and experiences of those who represent areas we want to understand better.


Books with Extended Discussions:

Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving - race relations, self awareness

A Bigger Table: Building Messy, Authentic, and Hopeful Spiritual Community by John Pavlovitz   - hospitality, church, authenticity, faith, doubt

Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine - microaggressions, racism

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo - racism, self- awareness, what can we do to combat racism

Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water and Loving the Bible Again by Rachel Held Evans - Bible Study, lectio divina, interpretation, healing


One meeting book club discussions:

Becoming Nicole:The Transformation of An American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt - LGBTQ, transgender, empathy

Beartown by Fredrik Bachman - rape culture, accountability, greed, fear

This is How it Begins by Joan Dempsey - LGBTQ, respect, handling conflict, church and state separation

Sweet Bean Paste by Durian Sukegawa - redemption, fear, prejudice, leprosy

Hum if You Don't Know the Words by Bianca Marais - apartheid, hatred, tribalism, motherhood

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas - Black Lives Matter, racism, gun control, socio-economic issues

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones - racism, incarceration, wrongful conviction, marriage, love, independence