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. Several opportunities are offered at 11 am on Sundays, but additional classes are occasionally available during the week. Our program year for Educational Offerings runs September through early May.
Class offerings can be found in Faith Family Matters in the worship bulletin on Sundays.
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!
New Testament Bible Study: Acts and the Epistles
Sunday at 11 am in the Family Room
Sundays through November 3
Led by Phil and Rebecca Courington
Last year’s Bible study course led by the Couringtons took us through the four gospel books of the New Testament. This course will continue that path with a few weeks of reading and discussion of the New Testament book called The Acts of the Apostles. We will follow that with several weeks of attention to the New Testament’s epistolary books, which are a collection of pastoral letters sent from Jesus’s first evangelists to various Christian households and house churches throughout the lands bordering Mediterranean Sea.
Wednesday evenings at 7 pm in the Family Room
Running three consecutive weeks from November 6 to November 20
Led by Pastor Fred Lyon
This course will consider what we believe in relation to traditional Christian confessions, creeds, statements of faith - and how we go beyond what we say we believe to putting our faith into action.
Book Study: Holy Envy
Sunday mornings at 11 am in the Family Room
Running six non-consecutive weeks: November 10, 17, 24, December 8, January 5, 12
Led by Trina Hayes
Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others by Barbara Brown Taylor tackles the questions and concerns that arise when we encounter anything different or “other.” This study will explore the spiritual riches God shares with us through the faith of others while we remain true to our own faith and beliefs. Books will be available through Bookie’s book store, 2015 Ridge Road in Homewood, 708-377-0789.
Bible Study: Christmas in the Bible
Wednesday evenings at 7 pm in the Family Room
Running three consecutive weeks from December 4 to December 18
Led by Pastor Fred Lyon
As part of our Advent observances, we will take a look at the scripture readings that are going to be foregrounded in our Christmas Eve services of Lessons and Carols.
Discovery Book Club novel: Little Faith
Sunday morning at 11 am in the Family Room
1 session only: December 15
Little Faith by Nickolas Butler follows a couple as they grapple with the power and limitations of faith when their daughter falls under the influence of a radical church that threatens the well-being of their family. This, as well as the below Discovery Book Club books, will be available through Bookie’s book store, 2015 Ridge Road in Homewood, 708-377-0789.
Future Discovery Book Club discussions
January 19: Born a Crime (Youth Reader Edition) by Trevor Noah,
March 1: Women Talking by Miriam Toews
March 29: Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga
May 3: Becoming Mrs. Lewis: The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis by Patti Callahan
Sunday Morning Drop-In Classes
11 am in the Bell Chapel
A series of stand-alone classes, chats, and presentations which do not include a commitment of several consecutive weeks or assigned readings for class preparation. Each session will fit in with one or more of the following umbrella categories: Supporting Children and Families, Promoting Diversity and Safe Spaces, Developing Bible Literacy, and Community Engagement.
Getting Dressed for Life October 27
Jessica Groen and Megan Brackin will host a conversation with parents on how we encourage our children to treat their wardrobe and self-styling choices as ways for their bodies to feel good and function well. What are some ways that we can resist reinforcing the common belief that our bodies are primarily for being looked at and earning a gaze of approval by others? Megan will present some insights she learned in Lauren Shields’ book The Beauty Suit, and we will read and discuss a short essay by Ayla Zuraw-Friedland, who took a new approach to her own closet after reading The Beauty Suit.
Old Testament Lecture Series: #2—Adam and Eve November 3
This class will open with a viewing of the second lecture (30 min) in Professor Amy-Jill Levine’s DVD course on the Old Testament. Lecture 2 discusses episodes of Genesis 2 and 3 and discusses their complexity and questions that remain debated. The second half of the class will provide time for sharing our responses to the content of the lecture. This lecture series will be presented once per month during the upcoming year to get up through Lecture 7.
Dear Ijeawele: Suggestions 1-3 November 10
In this drop-in class, we will discuss the first three of fifteen suggestions in a short pamphlet written by author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to a friend of hers from childhood. Her friend, Ijeawele, had asked Adichie for advice on how to raise her baby girl a feminist. We will read aloud together from our personal digital devices, so bring a tablet or smartphone with you. If the link to the pamphlet does not work, please Google "Dear Ijeawele" to find the reading.
Responding to Stress, A Biological Perspective November 17
Audrey Wiedman, Certified Stress Mastery Educator of the American Institute of Stress, will teach us about the biology of how our brains get hijacked by stress. Learn about tools you can use to assess, appreciate, and adjust to stress. You will learn about creating a recharge toolkit that allows you to respond rather than react to stress. The toolkit will enable you to stress less, recharge your own battery, and become the boss of your own brain.
Youth Sports—Skill and Balance December 1
This drop-in class for new and veteran parents of athletes will focus on the growing trend of encouraging young children to specialize in one competitive sport for 7 to 12 months per year of practice and team play. We will discuss an essay by ESPN writer Baxter Holmes, on the serious injury risks of pushing young people to focus on a sole sport in their pre-teen through pre-college years. Parents will have opportunity to discuss their own experiences and challenges on raising children who can play a sport competitively.
Old Testament Lecture Series: #3—Murder, Flood, Dispersion December 8
This class will open with a viewing of the third lecture (30 min) in Professor Amy-Jill Levine’s DVD course on the Old Testament. Lecture 3 covers narratives in Genesis 4-11, focusing on the increasing alienation of humanity from one another and God, as well as the uneasy relationship between animal husbandry and agriculture, the wilderness and the city state. The second half of the class will provide time for sharing our responses to the content of the lecture. This lecture series will be presented once per month during the upcoming year to get up through Lecture 7.
Water, Water, Water December 15
Our planet and our bodies are majority water content, and our lives literally depend on it. But how often do we think about our local watersupply for drinking water, or about the health of the streams and rivers that are part of our residential watershed? A drop-in class on local community resources and issues related to our waterways and water pipes in this part of the south suburbs. Presenter to be determined.
Adult Education Connect Events
Watch for occasional invitations throughout the year to join some fellow members to visit a presentation which is hosted by a different organization but fits well with our scope and priorities for adult education. Here are two that are recommended at the date of this booklet’s printing but watch for more suggestions in Narthex and Bulletin publications throughout the fall.
Red Summer/Winter Blues
Thursday, November 14
DuSable Museum of African American History (740 E 56th Pl, Chicago)
6-8 pm A free event
This event is the final event in a year-long local history project called Chicago 1919: Confronting the Race Riots. The project, funded by The Newberry Library and the National Endowment for the Humanities, has a stated goal to heighten the Chicago-centered events of Red Summer in the city’s collective memory. This November 14 outing will be a viewing and discussion of the rough cut of a documentary called “RedSummer/Winter Blues.” Hosted by Barbara Allen, Cameron McWhirter, and Jacqueline Stewart. Register at www.chicago1919.org
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 this summer, 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 Pavolvitz - 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 devina, 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