Adult Faith Formation
It is out of gratitude that we worship God and want to be more like Christ. We hope you will plan to participate in adult faith formation this fall. It can happen 24/7, on campus and off campus, in person and online. The opportunities are rich. Where would you like to get connected on your faith journey in adult faith formation?
Terms to Know
- Small Group +1 – These groups are based on a small group concept; short studies and the group tends to offer support for group members. The +1 is the idea that no group should ever be closed; we should always be inviting others into our ministry and always make room for Christ. “Sunday School” will become a Small Group +1.
- FOCUS – These are intentional, focused events and programs that happen less frequently than small groups. Men’s Group, Older Adults Group, Gathering Around Books (GAB) are FOCUS groups.
- GH – Grace Hall building
- SB – Sea Brook building
Small Groups +1 Opportunities
Sunday Mornings | 10-10:50 a.m.
We are all in the middle of something. Some of us are in the middle of raising kids, our lives, taking care of parents etc. All of us are somewhere in the middle of our faith journey. This group explores and studies God’s message for them in these seasons of life. Current study: 1&2 Timothy. SB 210.
CONNECT 3 (9:30-10:30 a.m.)
This diverse and growing class studies Scripture through thematic and topical studies. Among Bible studies this Small Group +1 class will use is the new PCUSA curriculum Follow Me that looks at Christian Practices. The Wired Word, a weekly email study on current news in and around the world, is also available to all Connect 3 participants. Participants in this class will also engage in mission and service opportunities locally and internationally, with scattered fellowship parties throughout the year! Current study: Words of Life (Ten Commandments). Parlor with Zoom option. Contact Dan Wiard for the link.
ACADEMY OF SAINT JOHN
This lecture-style class approaches Scripture through the lens of academics whenever possible while using DVD resources to deepen the class presentation. Speakers from MPPC missions are scattered throughout the year. Studies include Seeing Grey in a Black and White World (Adam Hamilton), The New Testament You Never Knew (N. T. Wright) and He Chose Nails (Max Lucado). Current study: Simon Peter. SB 206 with Zoom option at 9:30 a.m. Contact Dan Wiard for the link.
SEEKERS AND SOWERS
This class explores the Bible verse by verse using curriculum and creative topics as its guide. This inductive Bible study follows three simple steps: observation, interpretation, and application. 1, 2, 3 John and a theme of “forgiveness” are on tap for this fall. SB 207.
THE HARBOR (9:30-10:30 a.m.)
The Harbor is an in-depth Bible study that includes presentation and discussion. Past studies included a look at Moses and a study of the book of Exodus. No preparation necessary unless participants want to read ahead. The Bible is your study guide and text! GH 222.
While children and youth are connecting in their space, we hope parents and young adults of all walks of life will come together for fellowship, conversation, and study. We begin with one large group and learn about each other. In the following weeks, we will break into smaller groups as we grow together in our discipleship and in the areas you request. GH 123/125.
Small Groups +1
Other Days of the Week...
This weekly Bible Study is open to men and women of all ages and focuses on spiritual development. Current study: The Chosen video study found on YouTube and its own App. Monday at 6:30 p.m.
If you are a young person and looking for a small group for (mostly) post-college young people, consider joining The In-Between. The group is an informal Bible study that gathers around Mount Pleasant for study and fellowship. There is a planning meeting/cookout on Thursday, May 12, 6:30-8:30 p.m. for everyone in this group. Signup here and for additional details. Contact Dan Wiard for more information.
MEN & WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY
Class selects material on a study-by-study basis. This group also typically participates in church-wide small group studies. Meets on the MPPC campus. Sunday at 4 p.m.
MEN’S MORNING STUDY
This is an informal group of men, ranging in age from 20’s to 70’s dedicated to learning more about the Word. We study the Bible a book at a time, reading and discussing about a chapter of a given book a week. NO HOMEWORK. Only text used is the Bible itself, and we have them available if you forget yours. We will meet for breakfast and fellowship at Page’s Okra Grill on the first Friday of the month. First Friday of the month at 7 a.m.
2022 Lenten Small Groups
Conditions allowing, we hope to begin Lent as a Church family, gathered around tables, sharing a light dinner, having conversations about Lent and Easter, and creating a Resurrection Garden that we can watch transform from something barren and parched to something rich and nourishing during the 40 days of Lent. Reservations are required through Realm or by contacting Dan Wiard or Trish Snead in the church office.
About the Book: This year we use the book Seven Words: Listening to Christ from the Cross, by Susan Robb, as our Lenten small group study. Robb says, “Jesus’s last words, uttered as he was dying on Good Friday, offer us the opportunity to lean in and listen closely for messages that are for us. These statements, collected from the various Gospel accounts, have traditionally been called the seven last words of Jesus. It is particularly important to listen to them during Lent because Jesus calls on us to go on the same journey that led him to Golgotha. According to the Gospel writers, he made that call graphically, painfully explicit: ‘If any want to become my followers, let them . . . take up their cross and follow me’ (Mark 8:34). To hear Jesus’s dying words as guideposts for our own journey is to reclaim the power of the words to two beautiful hymns: ‘Must Jesus bear the cross alone, / and all the world go free? / No, there’s a cross for everyone, / and there’s a cross for me.’ Christ’s words become, for us, not merely dying words but words that show us how to live. They point the way as we seek to carry out the mission that we undertake when we commit to follow him and ‘Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim / till all the world adore his sacred name.’” – (Robb, Introduction Seven Words. Page 10) Suggested book donation: $10.
About Small Groups: Registration for Small Groups begins February 1, 2022. Participants can sign up for specific or “open” small groups via Realm or by contacting Trish Snead in the church office. You can access and signup for a group facilitator through your Realm account by going to community/groups/2022 Lent Small Groups. An “open” group means that you are interested in that small group format (in-person or virtual) and are open to who facilitates your group. “Open” group registrants will be paired with a group. If you would like to facilitate a small group, please contact Dan Wiard or Trish Snead at the church.
Sometimes we have questions about Scripture. Do I really believe that? Is that what really happened in the biblical story? What if scholars are shedding new light on how to interpret a passage, but that’s not what I was taught? Or what if asking different questions shows a story in different light? Wondering is a Bible study where we encourage questions; it’s a Bible study that might have more questions than answers. Bring your Bibles and an open mind as we explore the Bible! Register for the Zoom link or contact Dan Wiard. 1st Monday of the month, October-May, 7 p.m. via Zoom.
GENERATION TO GENERATION
After taking a break for Lenten small groups, the Tuesday Bible Study will crank up again in May. Entitled “Generation to Generation,” the study will focus on the New Testament books which were written as the early church established itself and became organized to pass on the faith to future generations: James; I, II, III John; Jude; I Peter, II Peter; Colossians; II Thessalonians; I Timothy, II Timothy; Titus; Ephesians; Hebrews. The class will be facilitated by Lib McGregor Simmons and will meet from 12:10-1 p.m. each Tuesday beginning on May 10. Email Lib to receive the calendar of readings and the Zoom link. Tuesdays, 12:10 p.m. via Zoom, May-July.
GATHERING AROUND BOOKS (The GAB Group)
Do you love to read and discuss what you have read with fellow bibliophiles? This group may be just what you are looking for! Each month we gather for a discussion of a fiction or non-fiction book which may not be overtly religious but contains content and themes that can be discussed from a faith perspective. Discussions are facilitated by Parish Associate Lib McGregor Simmons. Even if you have not finished the book (or haven’t even cracked it open and gotten as far as the first page!), you are invited to grab your favorite happy hour beverage and drop in on the lively Zoom discussion! Register here. 4th Friday of the month at 5:30 p.m. via Zoom.
Books chosen so far:
- 5/27 Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN (PW) CIRCLES
The 2021-22 Presbyterian Women Horizons Bible Study is entitled “What My Grandmothers Taught Me: Learning from the Women in Matthew’s Genealogy of Jesus.” Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary—Matthew names these women for a reason. How might Jesus have heard the stories of his grandmothers? What can these Grandmothers-of-the-Faith teach us? By exploring these stories together, we will gain a richer understanding of God’s good news in Jesus Christ. Times vary, see below.
PW CIRCLE 2 – 3rd Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.
PW CIRCLE 3 – 2nd Tuesday at 2:30 p.m.
PW CIRCLE 4 – 2nd Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.
PW CIRCLE 5 – 2nd Thursday at noon