120 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Green Wood Location:
1001 Green Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES FOR ADULTS
Throughout the year, a variety of Adult Education opportunities are available through First Church. We hope you will find something that piques your interest and nourishes your faith.
Come back often to check out our schedule of adult education offerings. If you are interested in leading a class or are looking for a specific topic, be sure to contact Debbie Houghton.
Studies in April and May 2013:
In the Beginning - Join us on Sunday, April 28th from 1-2:30 p.m. to enrich your understanding & enjoyment of Haydyn’s oratorio through discussion of the creation story in scripture, environmental concerns and the music of The Creation itself. According to Haydn, the "Creation" oratorio was written to inspire “the adoration and worship of the Creator” and to put the listener "in a frame of mind where he is most susceptible to the kindess and omnipotence of the Creator.” Led by Debbie Houghton and Ann Marie Koukios – look for the online sign up on the church website. Later come and catch a glimpse of "God's creation" through Haydn's inspired setting of the story of Genesis on May 5, at 7:00 p.m. Register here
The Wired Word -- led by Jim Higdon. This class is offered to both adults and youth, 8th grade and up. Jim will lead the group in discussions and study around real news events such as the winning of the Iditarod sled race, the selection of Pope Francis, and the admission of Lance Armstrong to using performance-enhancing drugs during the Tour de France, just to name a few past topics from Wired Word. Each session will work with a recent news headline -- join us for Biblical commentary, discussion, and reflection on these current events. • This Sunday class will meet April 14, 28, May 12, and 19 at 9:30 a.m. in the Chapel.Register here
Bible Basics - led by Rev. Nancy Lynn. Rev. Nancy will lead this class which is a general introduction to the Bible including its organization, history, social and cultural context -- this is for all and any who feel they need a Bible brush up or are looking to know more about the Scripture. • This Sunday class will meet April 14, 21, 28, May 5 at 6:30 p.m. in the Asbury room.Register here
The Church: Always Reforming? - led by Professor Daniel Ramirez. Listen and discuss the possibilities of reform as today's church confronts the question: "When is reform necessary?" Professor Dan Ramirez, Assistant Professor of North American Religious History at the University of Michigan, will lead the class as it explores the need for change and implementation of reform in the church from a historical perspective. • This Sunday class will meet April 14 and 21 from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in Calkins Hall.Register here
Please contact Debbie Houghton (email@example.com) with interest in or questions about any of the above studies.
Continuing: Global Issues (drop ins are welcome) Have an opinion on events? (who doesn’t!) Come join us and learn with us about various perspectives on important issues impacting us locally, nationally, and globally. We meet Sundays from 11 to noon in the Aldersgate Room downtown. We use the GREAT DECISIONS series of DVD and text to cover major issues, members also lead discussions on books they have read or on their favorite editorials. Bring your perspectives to the discussion! Contact Leo Shedden if you are interested in the Global Issues class, or just drop in some Sunday morning. (No meetings in July/August.)
Continuing: Men Of Faith(drop ins are welcome)
A Gathering of men interested in exploring faith expression, meeting on Saturday mornings at 8am in the Asbury room downtown. Coffee and bagels served! We typically adjourn by 9:15. We might also pool our collective wisdom on season prospects of our favorite football team — time providing.
Other studies we have offered in the past
The Heart of Christianity - Join Pastor Doug as he leads a book study for Lent, featuring the Marcus Borg classic, The Heart of Christianity. Marcus Borg provides an “emerging paradigm” for those who question some of the doctrines of Christianity, aligning this new paradigm of the faith with God, Jesus, the Bible, tradition, and religious practice, which constitute the heart of Christianity. This study offers a way to live the Christian life daily and wholeheartedly.
Theology 101: the Basics of Christian Faith - A class offered by Pastor Nancy for 4 weeks that covered some of the basic questions of Christian theology. For example, What beliefs do United Methodists have in common with other Christian denominations? This class is for both those who are unclear about Christian theology as well as those wishing to revisit it. Some of the concepts discussed will include the trinity, humanity and evil, forgiveness and grace, and the kingdom of God.
Spirituality 101: the Basics of Christian Experience - Led by Pastor Bob for 3 weeks, this study explored soulful, spirit-filled ways of living. The group sampled the spirituality of John Wesley, Prof. John S. Dunne & deep ecumenism, and creation spirituality (featuring the insights of Sister Jose Hobday, St. Francis & others). As Matthew Fox has said, "Spirituality does not make us otherworldly; it render us more fully alive.” Spirituality is about finding a path – what is the best way for you? .
Social Holiness – A panel discussion featuring Bishop Jesse Dewitt, the Rev. Bob Roth and others.Bishop Jesse and others discussed and took questions about the social activism so central to the Methodist tradition. Topics included fair labor practices, civil rights, and peace activism.
Is Abraham the father of all?“Children of Abraham: Understanding the Links between Judaism, Islam and Christianity” was a 5 week series. We explored the story of Abraham through different faith traditions, innovative ways that Christians, Jews, and Muslims are finding common ground, and beautiful passages from the Bible, the Torah, and the Qur’an.. .
This I Know – Jesus calls us to act out of love, not fear. This is the guiding principle for the 6 week study led by Bethany Meier, based on the film For The Bible Tells Me So. This study examines the issue of homosexuality and faith, using the film, which follows five gay/lesbian Christians and their families as they struggle with inclusion in the church, and the writings of current Christian ministers and scholars. If you saw the film last year at FUMC and enjoyed it, this is the class for you!
Year of Plenty: One Suburban Family, Four Rules, and 365 Days of Homegrown Adventure in Pursuit of Christian Living - In 2008, Pastor Craig Goodwin and his young family embarked on a year-long experiment to consume only what was local, used, homegrown, or homemade. Year of Plenty explores how an average suburban family stumbled onto the cultural cutting edge of locavores, backyard chickens, farmers markets, simple living, and going green. More than that, it is the timely tale of Christians exploring the intersections of faith, environment, and everyday life. A Guide for Caregivers: Keeping Your Spirit Healthy… - In 1 out 3 households, someone is a caretaker -- come and join us in this spring Sunday morning book group as we discuss the ways to revive the spirit and soul when we are in the midst of this difficult role. Benjamin Pratt’s book, A Guide for Caretakers, is easy to read and packed with wisdom and practical help, and is drawn from the experiences of fellow caregivers.
The Red Letters: The Words of Jesus for Today's World - Do we value the words of Jesus? Do we live his words? Join us as we listen to Tony Campolo, pastor, author, sociologist and public speaker, challenge all Christians to actually follow the "red letters" of the Bible -- the words of Jesus. This will prove to produce many engaging and thought provoking conversations as participants discuss the priorities that Dr Campolo sets before them.
The Awkward Season: A Contemplative Lent Study - Believers approach Lent in a variety of ways - we will use Pamela Hawkins' book, "The Awkward Season", to discover a prayer path to follow through this holy time. Come join in prayers of invocation, confession, intercession and thanksgiving, and discover other prayer tools to help you find a road map for the Lenten journey.
Disciplines for Life: States of Bliss and Yearning by John Bell - Lent is a season for thinking about spiritual disciplines...join us as we explore three different kinds of disciplines: remembering, waiting and imagining. Based on John Bell's book "States of Bliss and Yearning," this class will discuss the need for a nourishing spirituality that embraces both bliss and yearning. If you enjoyed the recent John Bell visit, this could be a great Lent activity for you!
Lenten Simplicity - Come to Green Wood for Communion, a simple meal, and the study of Richard Rohr’s book "Simplicity: The Freedom of Letting Go." The book helps us recognize our radical dependence on others, helps us understand why less is more, and with contemplation helps us embrace deeper spiritual freedom.
So you want to be a United Methodist. Not only was this a title of Pastor Doug’s sermon, it will also be an adult education offering this winter. Come and join Pastor Nancy for four weeks on Sunday nights as she guides participants through the history, theology,and polity of the United Methodist Church. This is a great class for new AND old members who wish to know more about their place of worship.
“In these pages, you will meet heroes...” These words open the book, Blessed Are the Peacemakers, the source for a joint adult education class offered by the Wesley Foundation and FUMC. David Crumm, content editor for Our Values.org, returns to lead this 4-week course based on Daniel Buttry’s book — an amazing collection of 62 mini-bios of peacemakers organized by areas of peacemaking work. As Dan Buttry says, “I [get inspired by] these ordinary folks who did extraordinary things in their time and place.”
Power, corruption, violence, and courage — is it a Clive Cussler novel? No, it is the Study of Esther, in the form of a curriculum called Uppity Women of the Bible. Both men and women can join Julie Roesch as she leads the class in a 6-week exploration of Esther, which has complex characters, twisty plots and slapstick farce — all without mentioning God. You will enjoy Rev. Dr. Lisa Wolfe’s video presentations of this fascinating, action-filled book of the Bible!
Civil Discourse -- How do we engage in civil discourse around public triggers such as abortion, racism, and global ethics? Dr. Wayne Baker, sociologist on the senior faculty of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and creator/host of the Our Values site on the Read the Spirit online magazine, will lead a five-week class created by Krista Tippett, host of the NPR show “Krista Tippett on Being” that is designed to open hearts and minds by joining contemporary political and moral leaders as they explore complicated and explosive issues. This study, called includes interviews from Tippett’s show with Richard Mouw, Frances Kissling, Elizabeth Alexander, Nicholas Kristof and E. Ethelbert Miller.
24 Hours that Changed the World
Several groups have decided to journey through a Lenten small-group study called "24 Hours that Changed the World." (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIOVIyeYR4o)This seven-session DVD and book study by Adam Hamilton takes the reader through Jesus' last hours, visiting sites in the holy land and drawing readers into the Last Supper, Garden of Gethsemane, crucifixion and resurrection.
This study explores the basics of Christianity, and can be completed in 9-12 weeks. An Introduction to Christian Faith centers around a question for each session:
• So, is this all there is? (Introduction)
• Who is Jesus, and why should I care? (Jesus Christ)
• Why am I not where I want to be? (Sin and the Cross)
• What happens when I die? (Death and Resurrection)
• Can I trust God? (Providence and Suffering)
• How does God speak to me? (The Bible)
• If I don’t feel lost, why do I need to be found? (Salvation and Conversion)
• Can I start again? (Forgiveness and Wholeness)
• How do I speak to God? (Prayer)
• How can I make a life and not just a living? (The Good Life)
• Why should I join any group that will have me as a member? (Church Membership)
• Love feast! (Remembering, Sharing, and Continuing the Journey)
"Disciple" Bible Study, including "Christian Believer" and "Jesus in the Gospels"
In a 32- to 34-week study, participants discuss scripture based on careful study and preparation, bringing their own experiences and struggles to the discussion. Registration runs from August-September. Disciple classes typically run from September-April.
The Disciple Bible Study program is designed to develop strong Christian local churches through the in-depth study of Scripture. Through these Bible studies, persons are strengthened in their faith and guided into service and ministry. This series of in-depth, high commitment studies take participants from Genesis through Revelation.
Have You Considered Disciple Bible Study?
Often, it seems like we know far too little about what the scriptures actually say or how they are relevant to our daily lives. You have the opportunity to change all that. Disciple 1 Bible Study is a weekly program in which small groups meet to understand scripture. It's a chance to read, interpret, and discuss the Bible in an accepting community and apply it to your faith journey.
Please fill out and return this interest form to the church office.
If you have questions or interest in the Disciple studies at First United Methodist Church, please contact Debbie Houghton or Amy Kennedy (994-4083).
Christian Believer is from the author of the Back Side Books, J. Ellsworth Kalas. Have you ever sung a hymn or recited a creed and asked, “Why do we say that?” Discover the church’s answer to questions that grow out of human life and Christian experience as you study church history and doctrine in this in-depth look at the classical doctrines.
In Jesus in the Gospels participants study the name, the place, and the people — encountering the Jesus who is both hard to ignore and hard to control as portrayed in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
School of Christian Living (SCL)
SCL was developed with an emphasis to learn, share, and grow as persons of God. Small and large group opportunities are offered to deepen our faith, enhance our relationships, and increase our understanding of the world around us. These four- to six-week series of classes are typically offered during Lent.
Looking for a study for your small group? We've discovered a wonderful tool called "CORriculator" from Church of the Ressurection in Kansas City that will give you many options to choose from -- but once you've found something interesting, please order your books from one of our local bookstores or call the church office for assistance.