Common Threads of Shared Humanity: Living the Gospel

I do think if we’re going to move forward, to unite the country, I think a generosity of spirit is the answer, and with people who you don’t agree with on particular issues. I think a generosity of spirit also includes humility about yourself.John C. Danforth

This fall, you’re invited to develop new perspectives and learn new ways to live a life of faith through our Adult Formation classes. Each class has been designed to help us explore humility and generosity of spirit through our common threads and shared humanity towards living the gospel. From an art therapy program for children with cancer to a comparative religion series, each Sunday morning will challenge us to think about what we might agree and disagree with and to think about our own faith perspectives in relation to other points of view.

Deepen your own spirit of generosity as you attend our adult formation programs, calling us all to live out the Gospel in each of our lives. It is the common threads of our shared humanity that humbles us and moves us forward toward a generosity of spirit. All classes on Sunday mornings at 9:45 AM in Haverkamp Room.

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The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: An Insider’s Perspective

Amir Tibon, Haaretz newspaper
September 8

Join us for a conversation with an award-winning Israeli journalist about the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the potential for Israeli-Palestinian peace. Amir Tibon, the Washington correspondent for Haaretz newspaper, Israel’s paper of record, will speak about his work covering the conflict on the ground, and what he has learned about America’s role in the conflict here in Washington. Why has this conflict been so difficult to resolve? How is the United States affecting the situation? And what can be done to create a better future in the region?

In his role as Washington correspondent for Haaretz, Amir covers the U.S.-Israel relationship, the Middle East peace process and the American Jewish community. His reporting on Israel and the Middle East has appeared in The Atlantic, Foreign Affairs, Politico Magazine, The New Yorker, The New Republic and other leading U.S. publications. In 2015, he was nominated for a National Magazine Award for a story on the last round of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. His first book, a biography of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, was published in 2017.

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Tracy’s Kids: An Art Therapy Program for Children with Cancer

Matt Gerson, founder
September 15

Tracy’s Kids, an Art Therapy Program for children with cancer, goes beyond health to wholeness. Come hear firsthand of children and families enriched by this program as they navigate a difficult and unfair chapter of their lives. Learn about a concept which in Judaism is called Mitzvah Goreret Mitzvah — which mirrors this year’s Adult Formation theme. Such rich full circle stories abound at Tracy’s Kids as it does through the charity’s Founder, Matt Gerson, whose practice of Tikkun Olam is at the heart of Tracy’s Kids and speaks volumes for participating in things greater than ourselves.

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The Bible And…

Dr. Larry Hayward
September 22 & 29, October 6, 13 & 20

What can we learn from the Old and New Testaments about some of the issues and structures that vex us today? Larry will lead us to take a look at government/politics, class differences, legal traditions, the military and the family and challenge us to think about these structures through the lens of the Old and New Testaments.

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In the Bubble: Interfaith Conflict & Dialogue

WPC member Dr. Jim Muyskens
October 27, November 10 & 17

A common criticism of today’s society is that we live in our own particular bubbles and often fail to understand those who have very different beliefs and aspirations than our own. This 3 week interactive course is designed to provide us a better understanding of other major religious traditions as we compare & contrast the basic tenets of Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism with those of Christianity. The hope is we’ll gain greater understanding of other traditions as well as gain a deeper appreciation of our own. Where do various traditions align, and where do they differ from our own? We’ll end with a discussion of effective means for confronting inter-faith conflict and for advancing inter-faith dialogue.

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Senator Gordon H. Smith

Former Senator from Oregon; President of the National Association of Broadcasters
November 3

Elder Gordon H. Smith, has served as member of Sixth Quorum of the Seventy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  In addition to his two terms in the U.S. Senate from Oregon, he’s practiced law at Covington & Burling, and has served as a stake high councilor, bishop, public affairs director and full time missionary in New Zealand.  An hour you won’t likely forget, learn from a life-long Mormon, as passionate about his faith as his country and his service.

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Walking the Camino de Santiago

WPC members Dave & Amy Donselar
November 24

Did you know that annually over 300,000 people from around the world complete the journey to Santiago de Compostela in Western Spain?  Dave & Amy will share their stories about these ancient pathways. Hear about the remarkable people they’ve crossed paths with; the people with whom they’ve shared meals and common experiences that slowly broke down their differences and helped form a global community of pilgrims.  Join in for some light-hearted lessons learned on the Way of St. James across France, Spain, and Portugal.

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Exclusion and Embrace in Advent

Rev. Whitney Fauntleroy
December 1, 8 & 15

As we prepare our hearts, souls, and minds for the Christ-child this Advent, join Whitney as she explores with us what exclusion and embrace meant in the time when Jesus was born and in our modern day. Using Mirasolv Volf’s work, Exclusion and Embrace and the gospel lectionary passages from Matthew, she’ll explore what it means to be a people who embrace others rather than exclude and what a theology of embrace means for us particularly as we celebrate this season.