ADULT EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES are scheduled regularly. Examples from the recent past, and others that may be offered in the near future include:
- Conversations with the Bible, a lectionary based discussion of the biblical text for that day, is offered every Sunday morning one hour before worship
- Bad Girls of the Bible, an evening 4-session study series was led this Fall by Pastor Deborah Dean-Ware; she will offer a second short series in early 2015.
Dream of Justice
starting in July, 2014, monthly education & action meetings have been held to work on the tragedy of mass incarceration, the new racial caste system, and the racism inherent in the industrial prison and criminal justice system.
- Lessons from Ferguson Community Forum, attended by over 125 persons on October 15, was organized by our church and co-sponsored by the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice. Moderated by Rev. Jamie Hawley of New Vision Ministries, panelists were the Ann Arbor Chief of Police John Seto, Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton, and Michigan ACLU Field Director Rodd Monts.
- Ecumenical Advocacy Days, April 17 – 21, 2015 in Washington, DC. We plan to organize people to attend this event about mass incarceration, as we lobby Congress for legislative change on Capitol Hill.
- Proclaim Release to the Captives: this Resolution, first adopted by our church, was then adopted by the Michigan Conference United Church of Christ. It has since become a catalyst for a new resolution being prepared to be voted upon at the UCC General Synod, June 26-30, 2015 in Cleveland. Good Shepherd Church will be present as advocates.
Other Opportunities have included: a forum on “The Sandwich Generation;” “What Comes After the Bucket List?” (last chapter of life issues); and viewing “The Mountaintop” about the last night of Dr. King’s life, at Performance Network Theatre.
- Recent books read have included: “Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time” and “The Heart of Christianity” by Marcus Borg; “Half the Sky” by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn; “Our Divided Political Heart” by E.J. Dionne, and “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness” by Michelle Alexander.
- Future possibilities include: “The (Un)Common Good: How the Gospel Brings Hope to a World Divided” by Jim Wallis; “The Fourth Gospel” by Bishop Spong; “Making Sense of the Bible: Rediscovering the Power of Scripture Today” by Adam Hamilton; "Occupy the Bible: What Jesus Really Said (and Did) about Money and Power" by Susan Thistlewaite.
Future Topics Suggested include: the Problem of Evil, Living the Questions, Prayer and Spirituality, Environmental Stewardship and Justice. The list of possibilities grows continuously!