Connect with Adult Classes

We’ll learn about new ways to connect with others and study our faith at the Fall Kickoff on September 10, but meanwhile here’s the news about the ongoing Sunday adult education classes. Both the Heart of Faith class and the Contemporary Issues class begin September 17, from 8:45 to 9:45 a.m.

The  Contemporary Issues class will meet in the Library. Charles Phillips will facilitate the discussion about the introduction to a book by Sendhil Mullainathan  and Eldar Shafir. “Scarcity” is described as “a surprising and intriguing examination of how scarcity—and our flawed responses to it—shapes our lives, our society, and our culture. Drawing on cutting-edge research from behavioral science and economics, Mullainathan and Shafir show that scarcity creates a similar psychology for everyone struggling to manage with less than they need.”  The book “provides a new way of understanding why the poor stay poor and the busy stay busy, and it reveals not only how scarcity leads us astray but also how individuals and organizations can better manage scarcity for greater satisfaction and success.”

Larry Apperson supervises the Heart of Faith Class, which meets in Fellowship Hall and will be taught by Larry (Lawrence) Curtis, a retired United Methodist pastor who served churches and as a district superintendent in northeastern New York and Vermont for over 40 years. He retired from Troy Conference but boundary changes mean he is now a member of the New England Conference . He and his wife Helen (a retired cardiology nurse), moved to New Jersey last year to be near their daughter who is a mathematics professor at the College of New Jersey. Their older daughter is a social worker at a Methodist children’s home in Macon, GA . Their son served as a pastor of inner-city churches and then became a Navy chaplain 10 years ago; he currently serves as chaplain for 300 marines in southern Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Adult Ed Choices — which is for you?


Adults have lots of education opportunities this fall. Two classes meet on Sunday mornings at 9:30. The Contemporary Issues class, in the Library, will study the Historical Figure of Jesus by EP Sanders. top right from those pictured above. This informal class focuses on issues that individuals, families, groups, and countries face in today’s world. Past topics have included changing attitudes towards religion, understanding major world religions, science and faith, and politics and religion.

The Heart of Our Faith class meets in Fellowship Hall at 9:30 on Sundays. Rev. Don Brash, PUMC’s resident theologian, will lead the study of the Epistle to the Hebrews.Hebrews is richly textured with beliefs and ideas,” says Don. “It contributed to Christian thinking about faith, worship, transcendence, ministry, the church, and more.” 

Phoebe Quaynor leads an in-depth 32-week Disciple Bible Study on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. This year’s book in the valuable series, Remember Who You Are,  focuses on such themes as the call to remember, the call to repentance, the need for renewed vision, and the place of community. It includes the major and minor Old Testament prophets (except for Daniel) plus the 13 years traditionally attributed to Paul. For a sample chapter click here.

Informal study groups meet Monday mornings, Tuesday evenings, and Thursday afternoons. To join the Disciple study, contact All the other groups welcome drop-in visitors, so just drop by!


Adult education — drop-ins welcome

Why I am an atheist who believes in God” is the book now being studied by the Contemporary Issues class, which meets in the library at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings. The author, Frank Schaeffer, is the son of noted conservative evangelists who founded L’Abri, a chain of worldwide retreat centers. All are welcome, and new participants or drop-ins are encouraged. Click here for listings of other adult education opportunities — including the new study that starts this Tuesday evening.


Adult Study: “Moral Tribes”

adult ss contemporaryContemporary Issues adult class is reading “Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them,” by Joshua Greene. It meets every Sunday in the PUMC library at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings — with the possible exception of April 27 when there will be only one worship service at 9:30.  “We welcome new attendees at any time,” says Charles.

According to reviewer Vanessa Bush, “Greene’s strategies for examining moral reasoning are as applicable to day-to-day decisions as they are to public policy. This is a highly accessible look at the complexities of morality.”

The Heart of Faith class has moved to the Fellowship Hall at the same time, 9:30, and various studies during the week welcome newcomers.