Courses

Learning for Life For Laity and Clergy
Classes on six Mondays and Tuesdays
February 25 – April 2
Snow dates: April 8 & 9

1 No Fortune Cookies, Just Chinese Philosophy – Mondays 1:00 – 3:00 Whether or not you believe in fortune cookies, there is a lot to learn from the Chinese philosophers Confucius, Menicus, Laozi, Zhaungzi and Xunzi, about the art of living. Our focus will be on the primary writings and thinking of these Chinese philosophers – what insights on living a full and happy life with moral value and integrity can they teach us? How can we integrate truth and values taught by these teachers into our own faith, spiritual and moral journeys? Our text is The Path by Michael Puett. Raymond Moreland served as the Executive Director of the Maryland Bible Society for 14 years. He is a retired United Methodist Minister and an Adjunct Faculty Member at Frederick Community College. He holds M.A., M.Div., D.Min. and Ph.D. degrees.

2 Building Your Own Ethics: What’s Fair? Who Decides? – Mondays 1:00 – 3:00 Consider your beliefs, values and convictions in light of ethical dilemmas in dialogue with your classmates. are you consistent in your ethical framework? Why or why not? is consistency a virtue or vice? Underneath your reasoning, is there a pattern (logic/reason/emotion)? do you find yourself changing from your initial “gut” reaction through the discussion process? Why or why not? Carl Gregg is the minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Frederick. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Furman University, with a B.A. in Religion and Philosophy. He earned a M.Div. from the Brite Divinity School and a D.Min. from San Francisco Theological Seminary.

3 Henri Nouwen: A Spirituality of living – Mondays 7:00 – 9:00 A Catholic priest, Henri presented spiritual realities in a nondenominational way that defined spirituality for the modern era. His core insight that, like Jesus, we are the beloved sons and daughters of God, permeates his writing. Henri’s particular gift was his rare ability to simply, yet profoundly, share his own spiritual struggles in a way that helps others to live a spiritual life and grow in relationship with Jesus. the two nouwen texts for this course are: A Spirituality of Living and Here and Now: Living in The Spirit. Ray Glennon is a board member of the Henri Nouwen Society and a facilitator of many Nouwen book discussions.  A graduate of the U.S. Naval  (B.S.) and George Washington University (M.S.A.), he is active in lay ministry and religious education in his Catholic parish.

4 Stressproofing Your Mind: Meditation –  Mondays 7:00 – 9:00 For centuries religious and spiritual traditions have valued quiet time for centering and reflection. in our increasingly busy and hyper-connected culture, doctors, religious leaders and therapists have rediscovered the power of mindfulness practices. But what is “mindfulness”? Very simply it’s waking up to the here and now, bringing our full attention to the present moment using breathing and other focusing techniques in order to experience health for body, mind and spirit. no required book, suggested readings are Buddha’s Brain by rick Hanson and Real Happiness by Sharon Salzberg. Beth O’Malley is Dean of the Chapel at Hood College, ordained in the United Church of Christ, graduate of Hiram College and Yale Divinity School, with a certificate from Case Western Reserve’s Pastoral Psychology Institute. She is completing training in Duke University’s Koru Mindfulness Meditation program.

5 Concepts of Jewish Theology, Practice and history – Tuesdays 1:00 – 3:00 this course will serve as an introduction as to who the Jewish People are, what our expressions of religious faith consist of and how we understand the relationship between god, the Jewish people and the human family. Jordan Hersh has served as the rabbi of Beth Sholom Congregation since 2013. He began his formal Jewish studies at a Yeshiva in Jerusalem and received both rabbinic ordination and an M.A. in Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Languages from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

6 Warrior God and Prince of Peace? – Tuesdays 1:00 – 3:00 is the god who commands the genocide of the Canaanites the same god who is incarnated as the Prince of Peace? How do we reconcile a Jesus who commands his disciples to lay down their swords with the sword-wielding Jesus of the book of revelation? is violence against evil a just response or a perpetuation of evil? in this class we’ll examine the violent images of god in the Bible, violent and non-violent models of the atonement, Just War theory and Christian peace traditions. Larry Eubanks is pastor of First Baptist Church of Frederick.. He earned a B.S., a M.Div. and a Ph.D. in Old Testament Literature. He blogs on biblical interpretation (larryeubanks.com), is a contributor at EthicsDaily.com and MissioAlliance.com and is author of The Essence of Jesus: A Fresh Look at the Beatitudes.

7 The Magnificat – Tuesdays 1:00 – 3:00 Mary’s song of praise, as recorded in the first chapter of Luke’s gospel, is a remarkable combination of ecstatic praise, inspirational poetry and revolutionary proclamation. as such, it has inspired writers, composers, liturgists and preachers from the earliest days of Christianity. in this course we will examine and explore commentaries, devotions, translations and, especially, the many musical compositions that have been inspired by these ancient-yet-ever-contemporary verses. Wayne L. Wold is Professor of Music and Chair of the Music Department at Hood College, Director of Music at First Lutheran Church of Ellicott City and an active performer, composer, author and clinician. He holds degrees from Shenandoah Conservatory, Wittenberg University and Concordia College.

Geography: A lens for interpreting Jesus’ Teachings – Tuesdays 7:00 – 9:00 Place matters. Office seekers choose a special place to announce their candidacy. Business leaders locate in particular parts of the country or cities. Our choice of where to live, work, or vacation has meaning. geography is neither random nor irrelevant. How did Jesus’ location affect his agenda and message? When gospel writers tell the same story but place it in a different location, does that shift the meaning? We will follow Jesus from his baptism to the Mount of transfiguration to his arrest, asking how place matters. David Cooney is a retired United Methodist Minister. He earned his BA from McDaniel College, Master of Divinity from Wesley Seminary and Ph.D. from the Iliff School of Theology. He has taught at the University of Denver, the Iliff School of Theology and Wesley Theological Seminary.

9 Islam? Your Questions – Tuesdays 7:00 – 9:00 Have questions about islam? Perhaps you have wondered about islamic practices in life and death? What about the Hajj or ramadan and fasting? Perhaps the role of Sharia in our country where there is separation of church and state? Other questions? Your neighbors from the islamic Society of Frederick will be here to discuss and answer your questions. Sayed Haque, a local physician and Frederick News Post contributor, has gathered members of the Islamic community to present on the various subjects.