Sunday School Classes

All Sunday School classes meet at 10:00am on Sundays in the 3rd floor classrooms.

 

The Feed
Led by Rev. Phillip Blackburn
The Feed will focus on diverse topics ranging from current events to spiritual formation. Like your social media feed, it will constantly refresh with new content. It will also welcome the occasional guest from the community or region.

January 27:  The Didache and You:  The Didache, or “teaching,” is an ancient Christian book that was considered canon by many communities of early Christians.  Its focus is on the “two ways:” the “way of life,” and the “way of death.”  In addition, it has fascinating insights into how some of the earliest Christians organized their worship and theology.  For one Sunday only we will give the Didache a brief examination and discuss its relevant passages. 

The following two Sundays on Flannery O’Connor will be led by Dr. Jessica Wilson. Download Dr. Wilson’s powerpoint from her lectures here

February 3: Flannery O’Connor and the Incarnational Imagination: The Scandalous Flannery: O’Connor’s work makes most people uncomfortable, but, in this, she models Jesus Christ, who did not preach a gospel that pats our back, but one that pierces our side. We’ll look at what about her fiction discomfits us as well as why she wrote in this manner.

February 10: Flannery O’Connor and Suffering: Icons of Suffering: From where do we draw our knowledge of ourselves? If we are looking in a mirror, we may not see ourselves accurately. After all, it is our poor vision attempting to take stock of our reflection. O’Connor’s novels instead hold up icons of sufferers through whose eyes we may see ourselves and see more fully who we truly are.

February 17-24:  Doubt is not a Sin:  For two weeks we will look at doubt and its relationship to faith.  If I doubt, am I a true Christian?  Is doubt a sin?  Can doubt actually help my faith?  These questions and more will be considered as we do a deep dive on doubt.  We will use Daniel Taylor’s book, “The Skeptical Believer” as our orienting material.

March 3:  A Conversation with State Rep. Jay Richardson:  Jay represents the north side of Fort Smith, the seat previously held by Mayor George McGill, of which First Presbyterian is a part.  During our time together he will talk about how he sees the future of the north side of town, what his relationship with the church can and should be, and what legislative issues we should know. 

March 17:  Reflection on Dominique Gilliard:  We will use this time to unpack some of the points brought up by our previous King Speaker and gauge our thoughts and response (both good and bad) to his presentations. 

March 24-31:  Something Happened that I can’t Explain:  The Mystical Experience and Christianity:  Mysticism has always been part of the Christian experience but remains largely unexplored.  We will look at ancient and contemporary mystical experiences and discuss our feelings about spiritual experiences which defy explanation.

April 7-14:  Unpacking the Relationship between Sex and Faith:  Using Rob Bell’s Book “Sex God” we will examine the intersection of sexuality and spirituality.  Should we avoid talking about sex in church?  How does our view of sex affect our faith and vice versa?  Is there more to sex and faith than just celibacy outside of marriage?  These questions and more will be explored! 

For the following series entitled “Podcast Season”, Dr. Rebecca Fleck will serve as co-leader of The Feed.

April 28:  Podcast Season Week 1, “Ear Hustle”:  This episode of the podcast “Ear Hustle,” which originates from San Quentin State Prison, will look at the experience of illegal immigrants in state custody.  Our conversation will respond to the testimonies of those involved and reflect on our own pre-conceptions around the issues of immigration and incarceration. 

May 5:-12  Podcast Season Week 2-3, “The Thread”:  The Thread, which over the course of a season traces the historical roots of an idea, last focused on the idea of non-violence.  Our conversation will focus on two advocates of non-violence, Bayard Rustin and Leo Tolstoy.  The podcast will help us see the role Christianity played in their beliefs and the ways they influenced their successors. 

May 19:  Podcast Season Week 4, “RePlacing Church:  This thoughtful and provocative podcast imagines Church in the 21st century.  Host Ben Katt explores local spirituality, innovative community and social change to help people imagine new expressions of church.

 

 

The Dive
Led by Rev. Tasha Blackburn
The Dive offers a deep and comprehensive study of a single subject or theme. These themes can be a book of the Bible, a theological topic, or a current issue that involves the church. Each course lasts between 6 and 12 weeks and commitment to most or all of the weeks will benefit the participant’s experience. The class offers a combination of lecture and discussion.

January 27-March 3: Heresies and How They Shape Our Faith: Ever wonder why Christians believe what we believe?  The answer to that question will surprise you because many of our most dearly held beliefs were reactions to ancient heresies.  Over the course of six Sundays, we will look at some of the most influential heresies of the ancient world and see how they shaped the beliefs we hold today.

March 10: King Speaker– Dominique Gilliard- No separate classes. Gilliard’s info can be found by clicking here.

March 17-April 28: Why the Crucifixion Matters: What made Jesus the Messiah?  Most often we will say it was his place in the trinity or his resurrection on Easter morning.  But the crucifixion played a key role in the work and role of Jesus Christ as well as shaping the identity of the earliest Christians.  As the crucifixion recedes into the background of modern Christianity we will spend time in Lent rediscovering its meaning and power in our lives and in the story of Jesus.

                            March 17              Why the cross matters and why it is a scandal

                            March 24              A question of justice and the weight of sin

                            March 31              The cross as both pass-over and sacrifice

                            April 7                   The cross as both ransom and a case for court

                            April 14                 The cross as both substitution and representation

                           April 21                  The cross as both victory and descent

                           April 28                 Conclusion and Recap: Why the cross matters

May 5– June 2*: Parable of a Prodigal: Then and Now: Are you the older brother or the younger?  Perhaps the most beloved parable in Scripture is the Prodigal Son, and all of us can find ourselves there.  Spend the month of May on a “deep dive” of this vital passage of Scripture.  As we explore its nuances we will see it, and by connection God’s love for us, in a new way.  

June 9: Pentecost Brunch in Family Center

*Note: no Sunday School on May 26 for Memorial Day

 

 

ABC
Led by Elder Larry Price
ABC (Adult Bible Class) is a small group experience that focuses entirely on the scriptures, studying a book of the Bible at a time. Led by Elder Larry Price, this thoughtful study goes passage by passage, exploring the historical contexts, archaeological finds, theological importance, and meaning the scriptures have for our faith today.

January 27-March 3: The Book of Acts

March 10: King Speaker– Dominique Gilliard- No separate classes. Gilliard’s info can be found by clicking here.

March 17-June 2*: The Book of Acts and New Testament Letters

June 9: Pentecost Brunch in Family Center

*Note: no Sunday School on May 26 for Memorial Day