St. Matthias' Episcopal Church
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Adult Christian Formation

Classes will be held Wednesday mornings from 10:10 to noon in Morrison Hall.

Summer 2018 reading assignment:
Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones. 2016, 384 pages.


Sept. 5, 12, 19, 26, Oct. 3, 10

Drugs and Addiction

Leader: Ned Armstrong

We will explore the physiology and psychology of psychoactive drugs, both legal and illegal. Emphasis will be on tobacco, alcohol, cocaine/stimulants, and heroine/opioids, but we will also touch on less harmful drugs like marijuana and caffeine, in addition to other behavioral addictions. Besides our summer reading, other source material will include Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs by Johann Hari, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction by Dr. Gabor Mate and High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs by Dr. Carl Price.


Oct. 17, 24, 31

Women in the Bible

Leaders: Mark and Marilynn Swenson

Christianity has been dominated by men for 2000 years, yet many women have a prominent place in our sacred scriptures. This series will explore who these women were and how they have influenced our faith tradition despite centuries of patriarchy.


Nov. 7, 14 and 28

Love Wins

Leader: Barb StoutThis will be a two-week study of the book Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived by Rob Bell. Bell has been named on TIME Magazine’s list of our hundred most influential people. He suggests that eternal life doesn’t start when we die. It starts right now.


Dec. 5, 12

The Books of Maccabees

Leader: Rev. Brenda Overfeld

Most of us never read the books of the Apocrypha, even though they contain valuable insight into the intertestamental period between our Old and New Testaments. The books are recognized as scripture by the Greek and Russian Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Coptic, and Anglican churches, but are not canonical for other Protestants and Jews. We will explore I and II Maccabees.


Jan. 9, 16

The Gospel of Thomas

Leaders: Pat Wing, Sandy Noell, Diane Stark

This gospel was discovered in 1945 as the best –known part of the Nag Hammadi treasure trove of so-called Gnostic writings made available in English translation in the 1970s. We will use The Gospel of Thomas: A New Translation for Spiritual Seekers by Mark. M. Mattison as our study guide. This book of sayings is thought by most scholars to date to the first century and many consider the words of Jesus to be authentic.


Jan. 23, 30

Jonah and Ruth

Leaders: Mark and Marilynn Swenson

These two well-known figures will be the subject of study using the Old Testament books of Ruth and Jonah. No additional books are assigned.


Feb. 6, 13, 20

Paul’s Letter to the Romans

Leaders: Cheryl Boone, Dave Moore

We will survey Paul’s longest and most influential letter. In this epistle Paul explains justification by faith and it is considered by most to be his masterpiece.


Feb. 27


Leader: Jennifer Vaughan

Our guest leader will talk to us about the purpose and benefits of Hospice care.


March 6, 13, 20

Henri Nouwen

Leader: Nancy Matthews

This year our study of great theologians will center on the Dutch Catholic priest who lived 1932-1996. His interests were rooted in psychology, pastoral ministry, spirituality, social justice and community. He was heavily influenced by Thomas Merton.


March 27, April 3

Crucifixion Stories

Leader: TBA

As a lead-up to the Easter season, we will read and discuss the stories of the crucifixion of Jesus as told in the four canonical gospel accounts.


April 10

Matthew’s Genealogy

Leader: Ned Armstrong

We always skip over the genealogies in scripture, but should we? We will dig deeper into the list of names in Matthew Chapter 1 to see what we can find there.


May 24
Open for now


May 1


Leader: Rev. Brenda Overfeld

In this participatory class, we will explore the eastern spiritual practice of Mindfulness and learn how to engage in it on our own and benefit from it.


May 8

Presentation of 2019-20 plans, evaluation of the past year, and pot luck.