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ADULT CHRISTIAN EDUCATION - Fall 2014 Class Offerings


Small Group Classes

Enrich your life, your involvement in Riverside’s faith community, and the world by making the commitment to be part of a Small Adult Education Group!

As you choose from among our rich offerings, please know that:
- There is no fee - except for the required books or other materials - for any Small Group class at Riverside!
- KERYGMA guides may be purchased directly from the Adult Christian Education table after service or from the Education Department.
- Books for other classes may be purchased at the Riverside Visitors Center, or online at amazon.com. Used books can be purchased through booksprice.com.
- For further information about Small Group classes or any of our other programs, please call the Education office at 212.870.6833. You can also contact Laura Harris, Chairperson of the Adult Education Committee,
at harrisla22@hotmail.com, or Brian O'Dell, Coordinator of Small Groups and Facilitator Training,
at brian.odell@verizon.net.

Any updates or changes for each Small Group class can be found in the weekly Worship bulletin.

Small Group Class - The Gospel of Mark: Conflict & Discipleship in God's World
Sundays, September 14 - December 21, 9:00 - 10:30 a.m. in Room 20T
In our daily work for justice and peace, and renewal within our church, this course explores what true discipleship should include for those who seek to follow Jesus. In this earliest account of his life, we will study the "good news" through the specific lens of social, political, and economic justice. Jesus's life story has transformative power only if it intersects with each of our own life stories, and with the broader story of the times of conflict in which we live. This course emphasizes in-depth personal Bible study, reading, reflection, prayer, and group discussion.
Facilitator: Brian O'Dell
Required Texts:
Myers, Ched and Dennis, Marie & others, Say to This Mountain: Mark's Story of Discipleship (Orbis Books, 1996). Paperback $24
A Study Bible of your choice

Small Group Class - Biblical Hebrew: Introduction
Sundays, September 21 - December 21, 9:00 - 10:30 a.m. in Room 318 MLK
The Riverside Church is proud to offer Biblical Hebrew, the ancient prose in which Jesus read the Scripture and prayed its Psalms. Delve into the original language of the Old Testament (The Tanakh) that formed His unique rhetoric, undistorted by translation. Enhance your understanding of the grammar, vocabulary, poetry, word play, acrostics, rhymes, and cultural genuineness of the Scriptures. The classes are open to those of all levels who are interested in acquiring or improving their understanding of Biblical Hebrew.
Instructor: Laura Harris
Required Texts:
Pratico, Gary D. and Van Pelt, Miles V., Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar (Zondervan, 2nd Edition, 2007). Hardcover $25
Basics of Biblical Hebrew Workbook (Zondervan, 2nd Edition, 2007). Paperback $15

Small Group Class - Biblical Hebrew: Intermediate - A Close Reading of the Biblical Book of Ruth
Sundays, September 21 - December 21, 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. in Room 419 MLK
The Riverside Church is proud to offer Biblical Hebrew, the ancient prose in which Jesus read the Scripture and prayed its Psalms. Delve into the original language of the Old Testament (The Tanakh) that formed His unique rhetoric, undistorted by translation. Enhance your understanding of the grammar, vocabulary, poetry, word play, acrostics, rhymes, and cultural genuineness of the Scriptures. The classes are open to those who are interested in acquiring or improving their understanding of Biblical Hebrew.
This is an advanced class that requires prior knowledge.
Instructor: Laura Harris
Required Texts:
Pratico, Gary D. and Van Pelt, Miles V., Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar (Zondervan, 2nd Edition, 2007). Hardcover $25
Basics of Biblical Hebrew Workbook (Zondervan, 2nd Edition, 2007). Paperback $15

Small Group Class - JEREMIAH: Tracing an Arc of Sorrow and Steadfast Love
Saturdays, October 4 - December 13, 12:00 to 2:30 p.m. in Room 423 MLK
Perhaps no other book of the Bible depicts the "inner life" of God so dramatically and with such tension as the words of the prophet Jeremiah. His ministry spans the period from 625 BCE to sometime after the fall of Jerusalem in 587 BCE. The prophetic voice of Jeremiah was an inspiration to Riverside's first called minister, The Rev. Harry Emerson Fosdick. And, as a result, when Riverside was built, Fosdick asked that the prophet's story be incorporated into the design of the Nave.
Registration is required by emailing psmith@trcnyc.org. Lunch will be served.
Required Text: A Study Bible of your choice


The Way - Young Adult Ministry

The Way
Sundays, 1:00 p.m. Meditation Chapel

"The Way" is a welcoming fellowship, open to all college students and young adults (ages 18 - 39) who are journeying along the Christian path. New members and friends are always invited! For more information, please contact Jacqueline Hopkins at writetojacqueline@hotmail.com or 212.946.1189.


The Riverside Book Club

The Riverside Book Club
Saturday, November 8 at 11:00 a.m. in Room 240 MLK
Join us as we discuss The Marrow of Tradition, by Charless Chestnutt. This 1901 novel is a landmark of African-American literature. It was among the first literary challenges to racial stereotypes. Its tragic history of two families unfolds against the backdrop of the post-Reconstruction South and climaxes with a race riot based on an actual 1898 incident.
For more information, please contact Mary Biggs at marybiggs44@gmail.comor 718.796.8915. Light refreshments will be provided, and all are welcome!


Open Bible Study

OPEN BIBLE STUDY - November 2014: Forgiveness, Justice, and Reconciliation
Sundays at 9:30 a.m. in Room 15T

November 2 - Doctrines of Forgiveness: For Better or Worse
Facilitator: Rev. Karyn Carlo PhD
Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It can be a liberating and life-altering experience. However, biblically based doctrines of Christian forgiveness can also be problematic, particularly when they are used by oppressors and abusers as a way of coercing or controlling their victims. When this happens, an equally important part of the Christian faith - justice - is compromised. How can we here at The Riverside Church balance the demands of justice with the need for forgiveness in a way that leads to life affirming hope and true reconciliation?
Dr. Karyn Carlo is a retired police Captain turned preacher, teacher, and theologian. A long time Riversider, she currently serves on the Compassionate Ministry Team and as Open Bible Study coordinator.

November 9 - What is Forgiveness and What Is It Not?
Facilitator: Rev. Sally MacNichol PhD - Matthew 18:21-22; Luke 17:3; Matthew 18:15-17; Luke 23:34
Forgiveness is a central and cherished tenet of our Christian faith, yet understanding, believing, practicing forgiveness in the face of small offenses and great harm is often confounding and raises perplexing questions. What is forgiveness and what is it not? To help us sort it out we will look at five types of forgiveness found in Matthew and Luke.
Rev. Sally MacNichol is co executive director of CONNECT, a NYC nonprofit dedicated to the ending interpersonal violence and promoting gender justice. She received an M.Div and PhD from Union Theological Seminary.

November 16 - Radical Forgiveness
Facilitator: Dr. Colleen Birchett - Matthew 18:25-31
Today, economies of the poorest countries (mostly African) are so, largely due to forms of debt bondage to former colonizers (mostly European). In the United States economists and psychologists can still trace persistent forms of poverty among African Americans to the after shocks of slavery. So, the question is, can there be true racial reconciliation without reparations?
Dr Colleen Birchett has an MDiv in Theology from Union Theological Seminary, a Masters of Science in Journalism and a PhD in Instructional Design both from the University of Michigan. Among her publications are Family Ties: Restoring Unity in the African American Family, and Biblical Strategies for a Community in Crisis.

November 23 - The First and Most Painful Forgiving
Facilitator: Dr. Mary Biggs - Romans 14:10-14
Many lesbians and gay men must struggle first with the task of forgiving themselves: for not conforming, for disappointing, for hurting,for lying, for concealing. Only then can they forgive individuals and a larger society that often hurt and reject hem. And only then do they forgive God and discover God in themselves.
Dr. Mary Biggs is a retired English professor. She is secretary of the Education Commission, convener of the Riverside Book Club, and deputy convener of Maranatha: Riversiders for LGBT Concerns.

November 30 - For They Know Not What They Do
Facilitator: Rev. Cari Jackson PhD - Luke 23:32-38
Recognizing that those who participated in his crucifixion acted out of the confused thinking that comes from hurts, anxieties and fears, Jesus prayed for their unforgivable actions to be forgiven. This bible study session explores how practical application of this spiritual approach in our own lives is the pathway to the inner peace and unconditional love of Jesus.
For Dr. Cari, political, social and economic realities are reflections of the emotional and spiritual realities of individual's hearts and minds. As a writer, organizational consultant, and coach, she focuses on visionary leadership to help change agents strengthen the impact of social healing, uplift, and transformation strategies.


For more information about Open Bible Study, contact Dr. Karyn Carlo at karyn.carlo@gmail.com.