Whether you’re new to the Christian faith, someone returning to church after a time away, a Christian educated in another tradition, or a life-long Episcopalian, Church of the Nativity aims to meet your needs for education and spiritual formation.
The variety of educational programs offered is broad, ranging from lectures and group study of books about social, political and religious issues, to films, arts and Outreach presentations. Discussion can be lively and we seek to raise questions, rather than provide pat answers. We tap the cultural and intellectual diversity of the Triangle by inviting guest speakers and we have received national grants to hold forums about the intersections of faith and science. Although much of adult education is offered on Sunday mornings, there are small groups, book groups, and other special offerings at other times as well.
The goal of all of these efforts is to inform us about programs and issues important to our understanding of the Christian life.
Upcoming Adult Formation Programs
The classes and courses include in a Lectionary Discussion Group, a book study of A Praying Life, and Great Courses, starting with the last seven sessions of Reading Biblical Literature, and twelve sessions of Science and Religion.
On Wednesday evenings through October 25, we will offer Evening Prayer, dinner, and two programs: The Palestinian Quest for Peace and Parenting as a Sacred Calling. Childcare will be available.
- 10:15 am — Reflections on the Lectionary Readings, meets in the parlor. Join us for a discussion of Sunday’s scripture readings using the bulletin reflection questions.
- 9 and 10:15 am — Reading Biblical Literature: from Genesis to Revelations. Not a traditional Bible study course but an exciting and dramatic presentation of the Old and New Testaments.
- 10:15 am — A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World book study
A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
This book by Paul Miller will challenge each of us to explore the way we pray and communicate with God. Miller has a way of “making it real” by bringing the reader into his life with examples found in his own family. He shows that prayer is a constant conversation with a loving God who is really interested in all the details of His children’s lives. Miller “pulls back the curtain” and shows us examples of when and how he has relied upon this conversation at various times in his life.
The group will be led by a number facilitators including: the Rev. Stephanie Allen, the Rev. David Lynch, Jane Vella, Karen Ridout, Will Gilmore, and Carl Terry
Reading Biblical Literature
(9 and 10:15am, from September 17 through late November, meets in Corlett Hall)
This video course is facilitated by George Douglas and is a continuation of last year’s course, with seven video lectures and discussions about the Book of Acts, the Letters of Paul and other Epistles, and the Book of Revelation.
As always, each video lecture will be followed by group discussion and stands on its own. It is not necessary to have attended any of them last year in order to enjoy these individual sessions.
#35. Letters for Sojourners…Hebrews, James and Peter. (Oct 22)
#36. Revelation’s Vision of New Creation. (Oct 29)
Science and Religion
(9 and 10:15am, from late November and continuing into the first quarter of 2018)
This video lecture (12 sessions) will be delivered by Professor Lawrence M. Principe, PhD, from Johns Hopkins University, and will be followed by a live discussion. These two crucial forces, science and religion, have helped shape Western civilization and continue to interact in our daily lives. What is the nature of their relationship? When do they conflict, and how do they influence each other in pursuit of knowledge and truth? Led by George Douglas.
Wednesday evening programs (6:15 pm, for five weeks through October 25)
The five Wednesday evenings will begin at 6:15 pm with Evening Prayer, dinner at 6:30 pm, and programs at 7 pm. Childcare will be available. Attendees may attend as many or as few sessions as they wish, but please sign up for dinner here.
Attendees will choose from two topics:
Steadfast Hope: The Palestinian Quest for Just Peace
“Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy on us, for we have had more than enough of contempt.”
This is a five week course about the Palestinian quest for just peace. The course will explore: Why is there no peace in Jerusalem? Why are ordinary Palestinians imprisoned behind 25 foot concrete walls surrounding Bethlehem? Seven decades after the establishment of the State of Israel in Palestine, conflict and oppression remain the norm. What is the factual history of this region? What are the personal stories of both peoples? And more importantly, what is our response and responsibility as Christians to address issues of injustice?
This booklet is published by the Episcopal Peace Fellowship and was recommended by our diocesan Palestine-Israel Task Force in 2012. It also comes with a DVD. The discussions will be facilitated by the Rev. Deborah Fox, Alicia Lester-Bodford, and the Rev. Nancy Titus. Please sign up prior to September 20 so the booklets can be ordered.
Parenting as a Sacred Calling
How do we nurture and shape the spiritual and emotional lives of the children in our lives? How does that calling affect our own spiritual journeys? Join us for five weeks of prayerful sharing and collaborating on issues our young people face in this world, and the struggles and joys we face as adults who love and care for them through a spiritual and scriptural lens. We will have a group for parents and a group for grandparents, god-parents, and others as we examine and discuss real life situations experienced by members of our community in the course of their journey as caregivers.
The sessions will be facilitated by the Rev Stephanie Allen, Nancy Terry, and others, and will be stand-alone – feel free to join us for one, or for all five.
Confirmation classes — Sundays at 1pm, October 15–November 12.
Are you interested in being confirmed or received into the Episcopal Church, or want to know more about the Church? Bishop Rodman will be here for confirmation on December 17. Sign up here. Questions? Contact Stephanie (919-744-1663).
Blue Candle Scripture Study Group
BLUE CANDLE meets at Jane Vella’s home every Monday evening from 7 – 9 to pray over one chapter of Scripture. This year we are doing the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). We read the chapter aloud, and use Bishop Curry’s questions as a guide to our dialogue:
What word or phrase struck you in this chapter?
What reminds you of the New Testament?
What is GOD saying to you?”
What is GOD inviting us to do?
We are in our eleventh year of Blue Candle. You are welcome to join us who pray and talk and laugh a lot in what Stephanie has called our ‘worshiping together”! Please contact Jane Vella at email@example.com, if you would like to join this group.
We also offer Education for Ministry (EfM), the premier adult education program in the Episcopal Church. EfM is a four-year theological education program of the School of Theology of the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. Participants commit one year at a time to meet regularly in seminars led by trained mentors. During the four years, participants study the Bible (Old and New Testaments), church history, and theology, while learning to engage in theological reflection.