Fall 2020 Classes

We are excited to announce the classes we are prepared to offer in the Fall! If you are interested in a class please email Kevin (kthomas@forestlakeumc.org ) with your top three choices.

Below is a course description for classes that we are considering for Fall 2020. We expect these classes will be offered by Zoom, but we’re open to discussing small group gatherings (10 or fewer) observing all appropriate precautions.

Introduction to the Old Testament
Our Christian walks are greatly aided by a healthy relationship with the Bible. This course, based on a Yale University Intro to Old Testament course, will explore the history, context, and content of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). Throughout the fall, you’ll gain a better understanding of
the stories of the scriptures and how they came to be.
— Class Format: class members are asked to watch two Open Yale Course lectures (free) each week on their own. The group will meet once a week to discuss and question what we learned in the lectures.
— Time: flexible, can be determined by those interested in the class.
— Click this link to view a sample of the course. 
https://oyc.yale.edu/religious-studies/rlst-145/lecture-1
— Group Leader: Kevin Thomas and a co-leader.

Race Relations
In order to understand our present racial struggles it is helpful, if not essential, to understand how we got where we are. Our difficulties with equality are rooted in a long history that is too frequently told from only one side. This class, based on a Yale University African-American
History course, will explore the African-American experience from Reconstruction through 2010 (the year of the recording). As we explore the rest of the story, we might discover better opportunities for moving forward together.
— Class Format: class members are asked to watch two Open Yale Course lectures (free) each week on their own. The group will meet once a week to discuss and question what we learned in the lectures.
— Time: flexible, can be determined by those interested in the class
— Click this link to view a sample of the course. 
https://oyc.yale.edu/african-american-studies/afam-162/lecture-1
— Group Leader: Kevin and a co-leader.

The Universal Christ by Richard Rohr (Book Study)
Drawing on scripture, history, and spiritual practice, Rohr articulates a transformative view of Jesus Christ as a portrait of God’s constant, unfolding work in the world. “God loves things by becoming them,” he writes, and Jesus’ life was meant to declare that humanity has never been
separate from God—except by its own negative choice. When we recover this fundamental truth, faith becomes less about proving Jesus was God and more about learning to recognize the Creator’s presence all around us and in everyone we meet.
— Class Format: class members will read the book on their own and meet once a week to
discuss their readings.
— Schedule will be determined by the leader.
— Group Leader: Open for volunteers

Church History/Western Civilization A.D. 284-1000
The 21st Century Church is the product of centuries of evolution influenced by theology, science, politics, and other forces. The class will draw on an Open Yale Course on the Early Middle Ages. While the course was designed as a Western Civilization Course, it will closely mirror church history as well, as the two are inextricably intertwined. Our view of the previous
evolutions of the church might give insight to its future.
— Class Format: class members are asked to watch two Open Yale Course lectures (free) each week on their own. The group will meet once a week to discuss and question what we learned in the lectures.
— Click this link for a sample of the course. 
https://oyc.yale.edu/history/hist-210/lecture-1
— Time: flexible based on participants
— Group Leader: Open for volunteers

The Problem of Evil (Zoom)
If God is all-powerful and perfectly good, then how do we account for all the evil in the world. Drawing on C. S. Lewis’ book, The Problem of Pain, this course will explore the source of evil and how we cope with it in the world.
— Small group discussion around The Problem of Pain and other resources.
— Time and schedule determined by the group leader.
— Group Leader: Bob Haraway

How the Bible Actually Works by Peter Enns (Zoom)
For many Christians, the Bible is a how-to manual filled with literal truths about belief that must be strictly followed. But the Bible is not an instruction manual or rule book but a powerful learning tool that nurtures our spiritual growth, argues Bible scholar Peter Enns. It does not hold
easy answers to the perplexing questions and issues that confront us in our daily lives. Rather, the Bible is a dynamic instrument for study that not only offers an abundance of insights but provokes us to find our own answers to spiritual questions, cultivating God’s wisdom within us.
Explore this thought-provoking book in a weekly small group discussion.
— Format: Class members will read the book on their own and discuss it in a weekly Zoom gathering.
— Time and schedule set by group leader.
— Group Leader: Zac Head