Cary Presbyterian Church:

Adult Christian Faith Formation, 2017-2018

We hope you will share the excitement we have about our classes. We believe they better meet needs for solid, traditional style classes, classes that are more relationship-oriented, and more fluid offerings that do not require a series or weekly, consecutive attendance. We trust that all of these offerings will be relevant and will enrich your faith journey.

The scope of Adult Christian Faith Formation, concentrated in the Sunday School hour on Sunday mornings, is very broad since we see faith as relevant to every area of our lives. We seek to provide biblical, theological, and historical context for both new and old insights to be examined by presentation and open discussion. Subject matter is biblically oriented, while also including diverse topics and ways of looking at faith. There are courses offering help and hope for spiritual growth and courses exploring the implications of our faith.

Recognizing the diversity of our member needs and interests, we offer variety in format. Please note that there are three continuing classes and two new classes being formed on Sunday mornings. (Adult I Bible Study, Bible and Beyond, Young Families all return. Faith TODAY and possibly several Connections Classes début.) With enough interest, some courses or educational experiences may be offered throughout the year. Watch for news of these in future months.

The Christian Faith Formation (CFF) Team wishes to support your personal, individual learning as well. We have our own faith formation website called Faith Formation 24-7, with websites for prayer, Bible study, and other support. There is also a page for adult learning, a page for parents, for teens and for children. Here is a link to it:


We invite you to read below about upcoming adult faith formation classes and feel the excitement about new learning. See you in class!

Adult Christian Faith Formation Sunday School: 9:45 to 10:45 a.m.

Continuing Classes

Adult 1 (Parlor): Covenants with God, September - June

This popular adult curriculum, based on the Uniform Series, enables Christians across the globe to study the same Scriptures and topics on the same Sundays throughout the year.

“Covenants With God” considers the major covenants God made with people on behalf of the earth and the human community. Beginning with Noah, God promised benevolence toward creation. God made similar commitments with Abram, Phinehas, and Ezekiel. Ultimately, the covenant forms the foundation for the coming Messiah and salvation for the world.

Leaders: Kim Herring, Wayne Honeycutt, and Libby Graybeal

Bible and Beyond (Room 109)

The class will explore several of the following:

• DVD series The Call by Adam Hamilton - 6 weeks, about the Apostle Paul, January through February. This is the story of the Apostle Paul, whose writings shape our New Testament and who is the person second only to Jesus in his influence on the Christian faith. The aim of the study is not simply to teach about Paul, but to help Christians today deepen their faith and answer God’s call upon their lives.

• The Rise and Fall of the Bible. In this exploration, critically acclaimed author and professor Timothy Beal takes us back to early Christianity to ask how a box of handwritten scrolls became the Bible, and forward to see how the multibillion-dollar business that brought us Biblezines and Manga Bibles is selling down the Bible’s sacred capital. Showing how a single official text was created from the proliferation of different scripts, Beal traces its path as it became embraced as the word of God and Book of books.

• Books between the testaments, Books that didn’t make the Bible, and the Gospel of Judas - 5 weeks, from The Thoughtful Christian

• Uppity Women of the Bible, DVD series from Living the Questions.

And also, the Efird Comprehensive Overview of the Bible on DVD - The Prophets (4 lessons) and Wisdom Literature (2 lessons) Celebrates the fruits of the Reformation while exploring difficult questions about the cost of division: Could schism have been avoided? Is there hope for reunification? What did Jesus really mean when He prayed for His followers to be “one”?

NEW in 2018: Faith and Family Class (Room 100):

A class focused on developing faith in families. The class is designed so that people may come in an out without judgment or fear of missing out! Subjects for discussion include parenting topics, Bible study, faith at home and in the world and more.

New Classes for 2017-2018

Faith TODAY (Room 102): All Year

This class responds to the need for flexibility in attendance and topic. The class will be different each week. (Occasionally, the same resource may be used with a different focus.) This allows drop-in attendance and permits regular learners to engage with a variety of current subjects. Imbedded will be topics of special interest to prospective or new members, and those who want to revisit learning about particular Presbyterian perspectives and practices or about Cary Presbyterian Church. Individual sessions will be publicized regularly.

Jan 7: New Year; Now What? Rev Mitzi Lesher-Thomas

The plainness of January after the excess of Christmas, the intentionality of planning for the “most wonderful time of the year” followed by the clean-up, literally and figuratively, and the cultural expectations of making resolutions provide fodder for a discussion about What now? Come and consider a way to have meaning through this time.

Jan 14: To Whom Does Christianity Belong? Medora Hix

Christianity is changing. That is true today as it has been true at other times. This will be a brief glimpse to help us identify major changes that have taken place in recent years in the world’s largest religion. This discussion will share a global perspective on what is happening within Christianity today, which may be a surprise.

Jan 21: Half Truths: God Helps Those Who Help Themselves – Jerry Slaymaker

Simple but seemingly profound, many phrases abound that sound like something you’d find in the Bible - but aren’t. The study compares a common Christian saying with the wisdom in Scripture, this time with the most common statement, one which is loaded with a particular understanding of theology.

Jan 28: More Than Enough: Living Abundantly in a Culture of Excess, Part II; Sheri Mitten

A second session that meets us where many are - physically comfortable with our lives and conveniences but spiritually less comfortable with our privilege - and gives us a way to think about the good life in Christian terms so we don’t have to live in painful paradox. Attendance at the first session is not required. Each of these is a stand-alone discussion.

Feb 4: 8 Trends for Churches to Watch; 21st Century Reformation video with Rodger Nishioka

This is a kind of TED talk by a leading Presbyterian thinker that should stimulate discussion about the world we currently inhabit and how the church might navigate its waters. This is a session for everyone and anyone, namely, you!

Feb 11: More ‘More Than You Know;’ Mitzi Lesher-Thomas

No, this is not a typo. With so much to share about CPC while having fun doing it, this is all about the ministries of the church, from the sublime to the tiniest details, similar to the session in offered last October. Do you know where the computer lab is? How is the preschool related to the church? Who counts the offering and how are they chosen?

Feb 18: Know Chocolate for Lent special event; Medora Hix and others

Know Chocolate for Lent uses the growing and manufacturing process of chocolate as a metaphor for the grown of faith and discipleship in the Christian life, appropriate for Lenten reflections. Consideration of the gifts we often take for granted—the gift of chocolate and the gift of faith—this program will create connections that demonstrate that faith is more satisfying when we know the story behind the traditions we celebrate. There will be adult learning components as well as learning activities suited for children and youth. This is an all Sunday School event with different activities for different stages.

Feb 25: Worship Peace; Rev Mitzi Lesher-Thomas

Using a kind of “stump the pastor” approach, this session is your chance to ask ; why?’ and ‘why not?’ about the service on Sunday and other times. Not worship wars, but worship peace, when understanding and potential creative thinking about what is really happening in worship and who is really the audience, occurs.

Mar 4: Back to Basics: Core Theology of Presbyterians; Emmie Brown

Presbyterian theology has some significant things to offer the world but we often feel a challenge understanding or articulating even the basics. This session will introduce us to or remind us of the core principles of our Reformed tradition’s approach.

Mar 11: Part II of Back to Basics: Core Theology

Mar 18: Mindfulness II; Jason Troiano

Mindfulness meditation helps reduce stress, anxiety, and promotes well-being. Here Jason offers the second of these sessions; you do not need to have attended the first.

Mar 25: TED Talk of the day

April 1: EASTER breakfast for all

April 8: More Than Enough: Living Abundantly in a Culture of Excess, Part II; Sheri Mitten

A third session that meets us where many are - physically comfortable with our lives and conveniences but spiritually less comfortable with our privilege - and gives us a way to think about the good life in Christian terms so we don’t have to live in painful paradox. Attendance at the prior sessions is not required as there are as many as six ways to approach this topic. Each of these is a stand-alone discussion.

April 15 – May 20 To Be Announced

Connections Class(es): (Fellowship Hall, other customized spaces)

New this year, several Connection Classes may be formed as participation warrants. Created in response to those who desire to have a more relationship-based learning experience.

Connection Classes are similar to Connection Groups currently in existence.

Here are the characteristics of Connection Classes (the format is an adaptation of a Share, Word, Care model):

• meet weekly, so classes will meet each Sunday morning

• are self-formed, numbering no less than 5 persons but not more than 10

• use a simple format of:

—checking in with one another, which may include sharing things from one’s daily life, concerns about issues in the world, and so forth

—discussing a reading, whether from the Bible, or from an agreed upon book, video, film, or article which helps further faith in some way. Examples will be available at Rally Day. Participants obtain the books together or individually, similar to a book club group (though this is not the same)

— praying together, for one another, and for others

Connections are most successful when similar life-stages and gender meet together, but there is not a hard and fast rule about this. Please fill out the Connections Class interest form found in the narthex or contact Director of Christian Education, Medora Hix, by telephone (919-819-5360 cell) or by email, medora.hix@carypresbyterian.org.

These new opportunities for Adult Faith Formation Sunday School have an experimental quality to them. We hope you will try something new on for size, but we also wish to acknowledge the great ministry of our continuing classes, which always accept and encourage new participation. Many blessings to all as we go through this new program year.