Adult Forum

Adult education at Bethel features a one-hour Sunday morning Adult Forum, a welcoming, inclusive gathering of people who want to learn about and discuss a wide range of topics.  Among our interests are Christian life and faith, including personal life and faith journeys and spiritual growth; contemporary social and ethical issues; Christian history and tradition; understanding the Bible; and non-Christian religions. Session leaders come from a variety of backgrounds and include members of Bethel and visiting scholars and experts.  Those attending and leading the Adult Forum at Bethel engage with one another through open, respectful, questioning conversation.

The Bethel community has a commitment to excellence in Christian education. Over the years, the Adult Forum has also provided the venue for examining our congregational worship life, critiquing and supporting many of Bethel’s areas of mission—care for creation, non-violence, and inter-faith dialogue—and for growing together in spirit, community, and faith.

Adult Education takes place in the Fellowship Hall from 8:45 – 9:45am on Sundays.

We welcome you to attend any or all of the Adult Forum sessions. You can move in and out of the discussions, depending on your interests.  Perhaps you would like to know more about a topic you have never explored, or maybe you are drawn to a conversation for which you have already formulated your own questions and thoughts.  Please come to listen, learn, and converse.  For information about upcoming Adult Forum sessions, please see below.

Adult Forum February 2020

8:30 am, Refreshments, Fellowship Hall
8:45 am, Presentation, Fellowship Hall

February 9

“Relevance of Ancient Creeds & Councils for Today” 

The Rev. Dr. Adam Ployd, Assistant Professor of Church History and Historical Theology at Eden Seminary in Webster Groves.  Dr. Ployd approaches the study of history not simply as facts about the past, but as a resource for our current and future ministries and as a way to broaden our theological imaginations.

Dr. Ployd will lead us in exploring why the Creeds were written, the role played by Church Councils in crafting them, how they shaped/misshaped subsequent theology, and in what way do they continue to be valid for the faithful in our day.  The ELCA is a “creedal church”  subscribing to the “Three Ecumenical Creeds”: Apostles, Nicene, and Athanasian.  For many ELCA Lutherans, such adherence is not without at least some discomfort. 

February 16

“The Intersection of Race and Gender through the Lens of the 15th and 19th Amendments”

Tullia B. Hamilton, Nonprofit Consultant, Bethel Member

The theme for this year’s Black History observances is Voting Rights.  2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.  It also marks the 150th anniversary of the passage of the 15th Amendment which gave Black men the right to vote. This session will examine how “the vote” created divergence between these two movements that had been historically linked. Turning to the present, the session will look at whether that divergence still exists and whether it matters. 

February 23

“Grace, Faith and Your Personality: Part 2”

Dr. Richard Johnson, Counseling Psychologist and Founder of both the Spiritual Strengths Institute and Lifelong Adult Ministry.  

Dr. Johnson has written over 40 books and numerous articles all focusing on God’s expansive Grace.  He is nationally recognized for his pioneering work in Healing and Medical Behavioral Sciences and has led workshops and institutes around the country.  We are thrilled to have Richard and spouse Sandra as a part of the Bethel community.

Building on his well-received presentation of December 8, 2019, Dr. Johnson will continue to address our personality that is constantly at work, how God’s grace and our personal faith formation continue to intersect with our personality, and the Spiritual Strengths Profile that many took that day.  You need not have attended the first presentation to benefit from this one!

Previous Adult Forum Topics….

Mary WorksAdult Forum