Adult Christian Education (ACE)
Adult Bible Study: meets every Wednesday at 10:30 AM, facilitated by Senior Minister Kelly Brill. Our fall discussion focuses on the book of Matthew.
Sunday Roundtable: is an opportunity to discuss the week’s scripture and sermon topic either before worship (for the 11:00 New Horizons worshipers) or after (for the 9 AM worshipers.) Sunday Roundtable meets in the Adult Ed Conference Room from 10:10 – 10:50.
Men’s Prayer Group: meets the first and third Mondays at 6:30 AM: an opportunity for discussion of biblical passages, prayer and personal sharing.
Book Clubs: ALUCC supports two book clubs. One meets at the church, usually the last Tuesday of the month and reads a wide variety of books. The First Tuesday Book Club meets usually in homes and reads mostly theologically-oriented books. Information on both book clubs is regularly posted in the weekly bulletin and email announcements.
Women’s Retreat: Friday, January 27, 5:30 PM – Saturday, January 28, 3:00 PM at the Jesuit Retreat House in Parma. This year’s retreat leader is Kim Langley; Download this Women’s Retreat 2017, registration form for details and registration information. Mail or drop this form and payment at church – OR – Register and pay online at: https://avonlakeucc.breezechms.com/form/womensretreat2017
Mom’s Group: for mothers with children elementary-aged and younger. Organizational meeting featuring Kelsey Elizabeth desserts will be Tuesday, September 20, at 7:00 PM. Come, meet other moms, and learn about our schedule of activities for the year, including TWO cooking nights
Cross Training: six weeks of programming, twice a year, once during fall and once during Lent. The fall dates are October 5 – November 9. Three adult classes and one inter-generational class will be offered. Details for Cross Training classes and registration will be available soon HERE.
Statement of Mission
Christian faith is a journey, not a destination. We believe that an active and inquiring mind is an essential part of the process of faith development and that it is our nature to ask questions and critically examine the world around us in all its mystery and complexity. Therefore, we encourage, and aim to promote, serious study, discussion and exploration as a part of our religious practice. Our faith is richer and our congregation is stronger when adult Christian education plays a significant role in our individual and collective faith journey.
The purpose of adult education at ALUCC is to help us be aware of the multiplicity and variety of biblical and theological scholarship as we each discern ways of understanding that make sense in our own changing lives. The point is not to indoctrinate nor to reach consensus, but to learn with open minds, to listen respectfully, to foster a sense of community, and to enrich our faith and our lives.
In short, adult education programming at ALUCC aims to support life-long learning, fellowship, intellectual growth and spiritual development. All are welcome to participate and, as they are willing and able, to teach classes, lead discussions, develop learning materials, or otherwise plan and promote activities that will enhance learning and galvanize our congregation.
The classes and activities described below contribute to the aims of our church and the mission of our Adult Christian Education program:
Adult Bible Study. Led by Senior Minister Kelly Brill, Adult Bible Study meets Wednesday mornings at 10:30 AM from September through May, and involves participants in close reading and discussion of Biblical texts. Both the historical context of the texts and their application to daily life are emphasized. The format of the class varies. Sometimes the group reads the biblical selection for the coming week’s sermon, sometimes they discuss a book of the Bible, and occasionally they will read books or articles together. New members are always welcome.
Podcast Discussions. Once a month, the Adult Christian Education team hosts an online podcast discussion on matters of theology, religion, faith, spirituality, and the like. Individuals participate by visiting the ALUCC Facebook page, clicking on the link to the podcast, listening, and then posting their thoughts. For more information, consult the monthly Drummer, Sunday bulletins, and weekly membership emails.
Sermon Roundtable. Offered Sundays in the gap between the 9 AM and 11 AM worship services, Sermon Roundtable aims to promote conversation about the day’s scripture passage and sermon. All are invited for open, judgment-free discussion and joyful fellowship with their partners-in-faith.
Cross Training is a mid-week enrichment program offered on Wednesday evenings for six weeks every fall and six weeks during the season of Lent. The evening begins at 6:00 PM with dinner. Informal worship in the Chapel for all ages is held at 6:30 PM. Classes are held from 7:00-8:00 PM. All are welcome!
Book Discussion Groups
Two book groups are available to members and friends.
- The ALUCC Book Club, founded in 2002, meets 10 times a year at the church (on the 4th Tuesday of the month) to discuss books that may delight, challenge, provoke thought, educate or promote controversy. Wherever you are in life’s reading journey, you are welcome – so many books, so little time! Recent titles include: Winesburg Ohio by Sherwood Anderson; The Book Thief by Markus Zusak; The Girl Who Sang with the Buffalo by Kent Nerburn; and The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissson.
- The First Tuesday Book Study Group meets off-campus on the first Tuesday of every month; its focus is books that address spiritual, religious or theological topics and issues. Recently studied books include Zealot by Reza Aslan; Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire by Rita Nakashima Brock and Rebecca Ann Parker; and The Faith Club: A Muslim, A Christian, A Jew– Three Women Search for Understanding by Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver, and Priscilla Warner.
The women’s retreat is an annual tradition at ALUCC. Open to all adult women (friends, relatives, guests,) the retreat typically takes place in late January at the Jesuit Retreat House in Parma, an oasis of quiet with private bedrooms, in a 50-acre wooded setting. The retreat begins with dinner on Friday and concludes mid-afternoon on Saturday. The purpose is relationship-building, spiritual growth and development. Sometimes an outside speaker serves as the retreat leader; sometimes ALUCC members and staff provide the leadership. Past topics have included the pursuit of joy, wellness, boundaries, poetry, and creativity.
ALUCC men are invited to take part in two off-campus retreats.
Each fall the ALUCC men gather at Pilgrim Hills to enjoy fellowship, to savor the beauty of the outdoors, and to engage in inquiry, reflection and challenging conversation. The weekend usually includes a round of golf, a fishing trip, or a relaxing afternoon at camp. The retreat is open to all men in the church family 18 years and older. Our next Fall Men’s Retreat is October 22-23, 2016.
The spring retreat is an event where the men of ALUCC and our sister church, St. Paul’s, spend a relaxing day sharing stories about their respective faith journeys. Occasionally a guest speaker will give a talk and lead discussion on some aspect of Christian theology and practice. No one is ever pressured or should feel obligated to share his personal experience. The goal is a greater understanding of the varied ways in which men experience their faith as well as an opportunity for camaraderie and socializing.
Special Topics Classes
Periodically, guests or members teach or lead programs designed to address perceived needs or interests. A recent program offered by the church is Financial Peace University, a program that uses video teaching, class discussions and interactive small group activities to promote better money handling and fiscal responsibility. For class and discussion topics, refer to the monthly Drummer and Adult Christian Education calendar.