Ministry of Adult Spiritual Growth

November 24, 2021

What is the Ministry of Adult Spiritual Growth?

This Ministry is a group of people, including both elected Elders who serve on Session and other volunteers, who oversee adult Christian education and spiritual formation for Forest Hill Church. We design and promote opportunities for adults to learn about Christianity and how to live their Christian faith.

Learning to live your Christian faith may involve more than you would initially imagine — learning the Christian story, both ancient and present, from the Bible and from Christian thinkers throughout the centuries; developing the skills you need to live out your faith as a member of a covenant community, through learning about the practices of Christianity; and reflecting on the Christian story and your own story, in groups and in introspection, in order to live in truth as a self-aware person.

In May of 2021, we adopted a new Statement of our Mission, Vision, Values, and Responsibilities. It was approved by the Session of Forest Hill Church on May 26, 2021.

Here is a brief summary:

The Ministry of Spiritual Growth is responsible for planning, promoting, providing, and evaluating opportunities for adults to learn and mature as Christians. These opportunities can be traditional study and discussion groups, experiential workshops, or other creative types of groups or classes. They can be facilitated or taught by the Pastors, members of the congregation, or people from outside our church whom we invite.

We regularly offer classes and groups focused on Bible study, spiritual formation, Christian discipleship, leadership development, and public and social witness, We also offer classes and groups on other topics according to the interest of members of the congregation.

Because we believe that ALL adult Christians need lifelong Christian education and spiritual formation, we support lifelong growth for people in many life circumstances, using diverse learning styles and methods.

We welcome suggestions and proposals for classes and workshops from members of the congregation. We also welcome people who would like to teach a class or facilitate a discussion group. If you have an idea about a class, workshop, or book discussion that you would like to see, or if you would like to offer a class or facilitate a group, please contact Ann Williams.

Here is a link to a full copy of our Mission, Vision, Values, and Responsibilities, as approved by Session in 2021.SaveSaveSave

Current Classes

Sunday Morning

First Week of Advent: Hope

Hope knows where it needs to go By Jean Reinhold Maybe you’ll fly to Orlando to have the best dinner conversation of your life. Maybe you’ll drive to Erie just to say happy birthday, noticing the blazing trees, wishing they could be the gift you give. Maybe you’ll answer the phone in the middle of […]

Strength to Love

Facilitators: Quentin Smith and Ron ZimmermanDates and Times: Sundays, September 11 through November 20, 9:15-10:15 AMFormat: Zoom onlyResource Text: Strength to Love, by Martin Luther King, Jr.Class Description: The class will examine King’s philosophies and principles in resisting the evils of this world – poverty, racism, and war – through a study of his book […]

Study of the Book of Wisdom

Facilitators: Kathryn Eloff and Tom ZychDates and Times: Sundays, September 11 through November 20, 9:15-10:15 AMFormat: Hybrid (both in person at church and on Zoom)Resource Text: Each week, the facilitators will send an email containing reflections and suggested readingsClass Description: This class continues our long tradition of Sunday morning Bible study. By popular demand, Kathryn […]

Follow Me: Biblical Practices for Faithful Living

Facilitators: Pat Jenkins and Ann WilliamsDates and Time: Sundays, September 18 through December 18, 9:15-110:15 AMPossibly also 4:00-5:15 PM, if there is enough interestFormat: Meeting by Zoom only.Resource Texts: One Follow Me book for each month and your own BibleSeptember – Honoring God’s Diversity October – Practice GenerosityNovember – Make Peace December (Advent) – Go […]

Praying with Others Through the Challenges of Life

Facilitator: Leslie ClementDates and Times: Five days in the Fall, with dates and times to be determined by participantsClass Description: Do you long to deepen your prayer life in company with others who have the same longing? Leslie will be sharing a five-part series written by faculty, program directors, and leaders from the Pittsburgh Theological […]

Racial Equity Book Club

Facilitator: Quentin SmithDates and Times: Many (not all) Saturday mornings from October through June, 10:30 AM to 12:00 NoonClass Description: Join this book club to discuss amazing texts by Black women with fellow FHC and community members. We’ll read the books in advance and come together by Zoom, with discussion prompts and opportunities to reflect, […]

Other Times

Probing the Parables

Facilitator: John LentzDates and Times: Sundays, September 26 through December 5, 4:00-5:30 PMFormat: In person at church, with an option for Zoom participation of neededResource Text: Short Stories by Jesus, by Amy-Jill Levine, and your own BibleClass Description: Using the book Short Stories by Jesus as a guide, we will explore Jesus’s most popular teaching […]

Coming Soon

Developing Your Super Powers:
Disrupting Interpersonal Racism Series – via Zoom!
Danielle Cosgrove, presenter
William Shaul, presenter
Robin Harbage, presenter
Lisa Vahey, host

It can be challenging to talk about racism, white supremacy, and even the news, yet we must build our skills to help us move toward equity and justice. How do we step into the challenge, away from “negative peace, which is the absence of tension, to a positive peace, which is the presence of justice”? […]

Classes and Groups for Fall 2022

The Ministry of Adult Spiritual Growth For the Fall of 2022, the Ministry of Adult Spiritual Growth is pleased to announce the following classes. We have tried to balance our offerings of classes in a variety of areas of Spiritual Growth: Learning about contemporary approaches to scriptures Growing in our ability to follow Jesus Demonstrating […]

Recent Classes

What Has Changed?
Why Has It Changed?
What is the same?  
 What Must/Can We Do?   

On December 3, via zoom, from 10:30 am to noon, we will gather to discuss the above questions. To request the zoom link to join the conversation email racialequitybuddies@fhcpresb.org. Our hosts and leaders for this event are Chiquita Montgomery and ivy tillman. Maya Angelou’s inspirational poem Still I Rise reminds us that despite the difficult past, and […]

First Week of Advent: Hope

Hope knows where it needs to go By Jean Reinhold Maybe you’ll fly to Orlando to have the best dinner conversation of your life. Maybe you’ll drive to Erie just to say happy birthday, noticing the blazing trees, wishing they could be the gift you give. Maybe you’ll answer the phone in the middle of […]

From the Ministry of Adult Spiritual Growth:

Advent is a time of waiting, anticipating the coming of Jesus Christ in a physical body just like ours. Christians everywhere and throughout time have used Advent to reflect, to deepen their experience of God coming to us in the flesh. For Advent this year, the members of the Ministry of Adult Spiritual Growth have […]

“The Sum of Us” Book Discussion

Heather McGhee wonders at the beginning of the book why we can’t have nice things. By that she means policies and systems that work for all of us. Her exploration of that question produced a book that examines all of the ways that the zero-sum game prevents us from creating thriving communities that work for everyone.

History and Reflections: our Journey as a Church into Interfaith Social Justice 

When: Sunday, May 22, 9:30-10:30 AM, before Sunday worship Facilitator: Pastor John Lentz Where: Hybrid in South Hall and on ZoomDescription: An informal discussion of our journey as a church into interfaith work towards social justice. Pastor John Lentz will share his memories of involvement with Northeast Ohio Alliance for Hope and Greater Cleveland Congregations. There will be time […]

Bringing the Border Home

Sunday, April 24 & Sunday, May 1, 2022; 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” — Matthew 25:35 The Immigration Task Force of Forest Hill Church Presbyterian invites you to attend “Bringing the Border […]

Open our Eyes and Hearts to Racial Injustice

Noting that FHC has boldly declared herself a Matthew 25 church, the class asks what does that mean and, more importantly, how does it manifest itself when we also consider Micah 6:8 and Mark 12:28–34.

Discuss “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent” by Isabel Wilkerson

The Black Caucus Book Club will lead a discussion of “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents”, by Isabel Wilkerson on Saturday January 8, 2022, 10:30 AM to Noon.” In this book the author “explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped […]

The Men’s Group – “Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life” by Richard Rohr

Men of the FHC congregation get together early in the morning for a lively group discussion.

The Underground Church:  Reclaiming the Subversive Way of Jesus by Robin Meyers

The Underground Church proposes that the faithful recapture the spirit of the early church with its emphasis on what Christians do rather than what they believe. Robin Meyers proposes that the best way to recapture the spirit of the early Christian church is to recognize that Jesus-following was and must be again subversive in the best sense of the word because the gospel taken seriously turns the world upside down.

Hope, from the curriculum, Follow Me: Biblical Practices for Faithful Living

The first candle on a traditional Advent wreath represents Hope. We will focus on Hope for the entire month of Advent this year.

The Birth of Jesus

This class will first study the two birth narratives in the New Testament. Then, we will take a deep dive into the “world into which Jesus was born,” setting the historical, cultural, and religious context of the first century.  Finally, we will unpack the theology of the Incarnation. The class will be watching two sessions of the “Saving Jesus” DVD published by Living the Questions.

How to decide which class is right for you?

Both classes will help people to prepare themselves to focus on the meaning of Jesus coming to live with us when he is born on Christmas Day, and both include plenty of discussion among the class members. But they are designed for people with different learning needs and styles. “Hope” focuses on each of us hearing […]

Saving Jesus Redux

Ever feel like Jesus has been kidnapped by the Christian Right and discarded by the Secular Left?  “Saving Jesus Redux is a 12-Session small group exploration of the credible Jesus for the third millennium.

Follow Me: Biblical Practices for Faithful Living

How does faith develop? How do lives change? How do communities transform?   The process is a lifelong journey. Faith develops as we practice following what Jesus did, embodied, and taught. We learn to love God and others as we study the Bible both individually and within a group setting.

Spring 2021 Adult Ed Offerings

Two new Adult Ed offerings are coming up. The 1st, from Mar 14-28, will focus on the parables about plants and growth in the Book of Luke, and will be led by Pat Jenkins & Ann Williams. The 2nd, from Apr 11-May 23, will explore ways to pray focused on the Lord’s Prayer. Two groups […]

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