Adult Forum

Special COVID-19 Announcement

Due to the COVID-19, Bethel is canceling all onsite events until further notice.  Adult Forums are currently scheduled on Wednesday evenings via the Zoom video conferencing service. Please check the Bethel Connection emails with information about how to connect to Zoom-based Adult Forum sessions.

Adult education at Bethel features a one-hour 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 April 2021

The Adult Forum will be delivered via a Zoom Meeting on Wednesday evenings at 7 pm. Information on how to connect to the Zoom meeting will be shared via a Bethel Connection email. If you are not receiving the Bethel Connection emails, please contact the church office office @ bethelstl.org to be added to the email list.

WEDNESDAY April 7 & 14, 2021, 7:00 – 8:00pm

“Best Practices for Healthy Conversations about Racial Justice”

Dr. Joe Bartzel, Bethel member and Visiting Research Fellow at Washington University’s John C. Danforth Center on Religion & Politics

Questions about racial justice have become prominent in American public discourse in recent years. Here in the St. Louis region, protests following the shooting of Michael Brown brought the region’s history of racial discrimination against African American residents to the forefront of public attention, and race became a fixture of both public and private conversations among many St. Louisans. Even so, having healthy conversations about the fraught topic of race can be difficult. How can we conduct those conversations productively across the many divisions that often impede mutual understanding—divisions in race itself, as well as in worldview, life experience, and the many other differences that often lead conversations about race to produce more heat than light? We will examine best practices for healthy and productive conversations about race, and the place that communities like Bethel might have in fostering those conversations in our local community.

WEDNESDAY, April 21 & 28, 2021, 7:00 -8:00 pm

“A New ‘Women’s Lectionary

Dr. Wil Gafney, Professor of Hebrew Bible, Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas and former teacher of LCM/LuMin Campus Pastor Tina Reyes

After Dr. Mary Streufert’s presentation and a few other observations about the *use and misuse* of the traditional lectionary, Matt Bear researched Dr. Gafney’s work on the Women’s Lectionary. She is nearing completion of that work. As she lifts up the many named and unnamed Biblical women and their stories, especially in the Hebrew Bible, she is motivated by a deeper purpose:  making the claim that we are misled and hurt by sacred books when we read texts out of context without familiarity with the stories, cultures, and world views that give rise to the particular text.  She would like to see a focus on Biblical literacy for authentic interpretations.   There are also other issues that such a lectionary revision addresses. We will base her two-session Zoom Forum presentation on the Virtual Rector’s Forum at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, CA with Fr. Mike Kinman, former Wash U Episcopal Chaplain at Rockwell House next door to LCM/LuMin. For advance viewing, here is the link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33niWbSzFjo

Previous Adult Forum Topics….

Mary WorksAdult Forum