Faith Forum Presentations
Schedule for Past Faith Forum Presentations
Jan. 7. - Waking Up White, a book by Debby Irving. Irving describes her journey away from racial ignorance. She shares her study of racism and strategies for its undoing while working to educate other white people confused and frustrated by racism. The book comes highly recommended by our Synod of Lincoln Trails. This presentation will be an introduction to the book and offer an optional opportunity to join a discussion group that will read and discuss the book in more detail. The tentative plan, subject to change, is for those interested in a deeper discussion to meet twice a month on Wednesday afternoons in February and March. Presented by Allan Edmonds.
Jan. 14. - Up close introduction to our new organ. Meet with organist Chris Young at the console on the chancel. Maybe he’ll let you play a note! The move down to Room 7, where Jeff Main, chair of the Organ Taskforce, will talk about the process that led to this organ.
Jan. 21. - Environmental Challenges in Some of Our Most Iconic National Parks. With Norm Holy.
Jan. 28. - Characteristics of the Most Successful Churches. With visiting minister, the Rev. David Davis, of Nassau Presbyterian Church, Princeton, NJ.
Feb. 4. - Touring Protestant Reformation Sites, Part 1. With our pastor Andy Kort, as he shares his photos, insights and experiences from his trip this fall.
Feb. 11. - The New "Glory to God" Presbyterian Hymnal. Come find out the strong points of this new hymnal and why the Worship Committee is recommending that we adopt it now. With members of our Worship Committee.
Feb. 18. - Godly Play. Our church's new children's Sunday School curriculum. Come learn more about what it is and how it works. With Kathy Hollinger and Karen Hahn.
Feb. 25. - Our Church's Mission Priorities. With members of the Outreach and Mission Committee, chair David Giedroc.
Mar. 4. - Touring Protestant Reformation Sites, Part 2. With our pastor Andy Kort.
Mar. 11. - Spring Break. No Faith Forum.
Mar. 25. - The Plight of the Kurds. With Sharon Ackerman.
Apr. 1. - Easter. No Faith Forum.
Apr. 8. - Current Trends in Contemporary Islamic Thought. Presented by Kevin Jaques, professor of religious studies at IU. Topic is tentative.
Apr. 15. - What is being done about Indiana's opioid addiction crisis? Presented by Joyce Krothe and colleagues.
Apr. 22. - The Issues Before the 2018 Presbyterian General Assembly. With Susan McGhee, Executive Presbyter of the Presbytery of Ohio Valley.
Apr. 29. - The new children's story Bible "Growing in God's Love" will be introduced by Associate Pastor Kim Adams, who contributed several of the 150 stories. This is the first such book to use inclusive language, recent scholarship, and divers illustrations that are both contemporary and what we imagine the biblical world to be like.
May 6. - Developing Plans for a Bloomington Detox Center. Presented by Dwayne Gordon, Bloomington Wheeler Mission director.
May 13. - Interfaith Conversations. With Rabbi Brian Besser of Bloomington's Congregation Beth Shalom.
May 20. - (Last day of Church School year) Evaluation and Planning. With members of the Adult Chrisitian Education Committee. Grab a cup of coffee and stop by to review programs from the last year and suggest ideas for next year.
Sept. 9. Executive Presbyter Susan McGee will visit with us to talk about actions taken at last summer’s PC(USA) General Assembly. What actions were take? What actions weren’t taken? What are the consequences?
Sept. 16. Mihee Kim-Kort introduces ideas from her new book Outside the Lines. How can embracing queerness can transform faith. Canelled due to illness.
Sept. 23. Judy Holy and Bob Dodd of our Bicentennial Taskforce will discuss the life and work of Austin Seward, one of our church’s founding fathers.
Sept. 30. Non-partisan discussion of election issues, moderated by Bill McGregor. The focus will be on issues facing our democracy, with George Hegeman from the League of Women Voters. A follow-up discussion is planned for Oct. 14.
Oct. 7. Stewardship and our Church’s Mission. Discussion led by Boyd Hahn, chair of the Stewardship Committee.
Oct. 14. Non-partisan discussion of election issues and candidates: likely outcomes, and possible consequences. Moderated by Bill McGregor, with guest Russell Hanson, retired professor of political science at IU and expert on political polling.
Oct. 21. Music and Art as Liturgy. Led by Dave Vandermeer, Minister of Music and Fine Arts Ministries at Central Presbyterian Church, Atlanta.
Oct. 29. No Faith Forum. One service at 10 am, followed by the church’s annual meeting.
Nov.4. Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee: Life and Times of Muhammad Ali. Led by Cooper Harriss, member of FPC and a professor of religious studies at IU.
Nov. 11. No Faith Forum. Annual Heifer Market fundraising event.
Nov. 18. What Just Happened? Non-partisan discussion of the results of the recent election and their consequences. With guest speaker IU political scientist Marjorie Hershey, and discussants Bill McGregor, Andy Ruff and Russell Hanson, who spoke Oct. 14.
Nov. 25. TBA
Dec. 2. Science and Religion, Part 1. Led by Dan Watts. John Calvin wrote that ignoring the works of reason, including science, is to be guilty of sloth. We will discuss the divide in American culture between Faith and Science, including the pressures on people to choose one side or the other.
Dec. 9. Science and Religion, Part 2. Led by Dan Watts. In this follow-up discussion we will especially focus on steps that our congregation, as well as our denomination, might take to respond to related concerns of our youth and visitors to our church.
Dec. 16. The Stories of Some of Our Favorite Christmas Carols. Led by Karen Watts. Listen to some classic recordings. Singing along is optional!
Dec. 23. No Faith Forum.
Dec. 30. No Faith Forum.
January 6. Stonebelt Ministry, Challenges and Rewards. Rev. Sarah VanderZee McKenney explores in greater depth some of the challenges and successes of providing spiritual support for those with disabilities that she presented in her sermon "Godly Wisdom" at FPC last November. Her sermon is available to listen to at https://soundcloud.com/first-presbyterian-church-193910946/godly-wisdom-11112018-rev-sarah-vanderzee-mckenney
January 13. Sabbatical Experiences, Part 1. Pastor Andy Kort shares some of his insights from his recent sabbatical. Where did he go? What did he see? What did he learn? The discussion will continue with Part 2 on February 3
January 20. Program canceled because of Weather Travel Advisory and rescheduled to January 27.
January 27. Letter from the Birmingham Jail, Part 1. Allan Edmonds will lead a discussion of the 1963 letter from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which is a fundamental document of the civil rights era and now under consideration by our denomination for inclusion as a study document in the PC(USA) Book of Confessions. Part 1 will focus on background, context, and history. Click for resources, including the full text of the letter. Part 2 tentatively rescheduled for March 17.
February 3. Sabbatical Experiences, Part 2. Pastor Andy Kort shares more of his insights from his recent sabbatical. Where did he go? What did he see? What did he learn? What questions do you have?
February 10. Lessons Learned: Poverty, People, and Partnerships. Steve Thomas, the Program Director of Monroe County United Ministries' Self-Sufficiency Center, will share some insights MCUM has gained from 80 years of working with people experiencing poverty in our community. The presentation will include an overview of MCUM's 2 major programs and a discussion of how the organization's approach has adapted in recent years to incorporate current brain and behavioral science research.
February 17. Photographic HIstory Tour. Dick Darling and members of the FPC Bicentennial Task Force will present his photographic tour of historic sites around Bloomington related to First Presbyterian Church. There is a rumor of new information from 1819!
February 24. Invitation to Celtic Spirituality. A panel of Kim Adams, Mary McClellan, and Ann Schechter will discuss what it means to explore spirituality through the lens of Celtic wisdom. People interested in such an exploration are invited to participate in a Sunday evening Lenten discussion group. The group will read and discuss The Rebirthing of God: Christianity's Struggle for New Beginnings, by John Philip Newell. Participants should acquire the book on their own and read the opening chapter prior to the initial March 10 meeting of the study group.
March 3. No Faith Forum due to church-wide pancake brunch.
March 10. Spring Break. No Faith Forum.
March 17. Letter from the Birmingham Jail, Part 2. Allan Edmonds and Ginny Coombs will lead a discussion of the content of the 1963 letter from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and its meaning for us today. The letter is a fundamental document of the civil rights era and now under consideration by our denomination for inclusion as a study document in the PC(USA) Book of Confessions. Click for resources, including the full text of the letter.
March 24. Challenges & Opportunities for Theological Education in the 21st Century, with Rev. Dr. Lee Hinson-Hasty, Senior Director, Theological Education Funds Development, with the Presbyterian Foundation, based in Jeffersonville, IN. Lee brings over a decade of experience in theological education to the table and will share what he is learning about preparing enough clergy to meet our churches’ needs for our generation and the next.
March 31. Mortal Republic; How Rome Fell into Tyranny. Edward J. Watts, history professor at UCSD, discusses his new, important, history of the fall of the Roman Republic. Watts explains why Rome exchanged freedom for autocracy. He argues that the death of Rome’s Republic was not inevitable. In Mortal Republic, Watts shows it died because it was allowed to, from thousands of small wounds inflicted by Romans who assumed that it would last forever.
April 7. God and Country: The History, Politics, and Theology of Flags in Church Sanctuaries. Led by Allan Edmonds. Some churches have flags and others do not. When did they get them? Why? Should they? Should we?
April 14. Follow-up Discussion of Flags in Church Sanctuaries. Led by Allan Edmonds. Last week we discussed some of the history and politics. This week we’ll focus on the theological issues and the pros and cons. Participation in the previous discussion not required.
April 21. Easter No Sunday School Classes
April 28. Wheeler Mission in Bloomington. Dana Jones, the Bloomington Area Director for Wheeler Mission, will talk about the results of their partnership with the Interfaith Winter Shelter, expansion plans, continuing needs surrounding homelessness in Bloomington, and future opportunities for partnerships and support.
May 5. Aliens Among Us: The Exuberance of Insect Biology in South Central Indiana. Presented by Armin Moczek, IU professor of biology.
May 12. "Hell." Andy Kort explains his understanding of hell.
May 19. "Hell." Andy Kort continues his presentation about hell.
May 26. Evaluation and Planning. With members of the Adult Chrisitian Education Committee. Grab a cup of coffee and stop by to review programs from the last year and suggest ideas for next year.
September 8. Presbyterians in Cuba. Presented by Sandra Santos and Oscar Cansinaris, who have enriched our FPC community and share the story of Presbyterians in their home country of Cuba.
September 15. No Faith Forum because of a church-wide "town hall" meeting on the associate pastor transition process.
September 22. Building Bridges in Bloomington: People of Faith and Tackling White Nationalism. Presented by Beverly Calender-Anderson, Director of the City of Bloomington's Community and Family Resources Department.
September 29. Science and Faith. Part I.
This is the first in a three-part series involving high school youth and adults in a conversation of how science and faith relate. This session will bring together a panel of local scientists (biologist, chemist, geologist) to stimulate our conversation on how faith influences scientific practice. Both youth and adults confront controversies around beginnings, e.g., creation, that present questions and perspectives for all of us on how science is practiced within the context of faith.
October 6. Science and Faith. Part II.
This is the second in a three-part series involving high school youth and adults in a conversation of how science and faith relate. This session will bring together a panel of local applied scientists (doctor (Chris Holmes), pharmacist (Megan Williams), engineer (Nathan Ernest) as well as a youth member (Addie Schmucker) to stimulate our conversation on how faith influences scientific practice. Both youth and adults confront
controversies around beginnings, e.g., creation, that present questions and perspectives for all of us on how science is practiced within the context of faith. Don’t worry if you missed Part II; you are still welcome.
October 13. Science and Faith. Part III.
This is the final session and will focus on Presbyterian beliefs and perspectives that helps us address the science and faith controversies of our lives. Panelists will include: Rev. Doug Tracy, Rev. Carol Barrett, Karen Watts (biochemist) and two high school youth (Andrew Swank and Addie Schmucker).
October 20. No Faith Forum because of C0ngregational Annual Meeting.
October 27. Come and See What God Is Doing. We will look at what the church is called to in its 201st year and how stewardship relates to that call. Led by Boyd Hahn, chair of the church Stewardship Committee.
November 3. Themes of Outreach at FPC. Led by David Giedroc, chair of the church Outreach Committee.
November 10. No Faith Forum because of annual Heifer Market Fundraiser.
November 17. The Synod of Lincoln Trails. What is it? What does it do? Presented by Sara Dingman, Synod Executive for the Synod of Lincoln Trails.
November 24. Scripture, Theology, and Disability. Together we will look at “disability” in scripture, how that guides our theology, and how we put that into action. What does scripture say about people with disabilities in leadership? Can people with intellectual disabilities be in relationship with God? How can we be a place where all can belong? Together we will explore all of these questions and more; from theology led by scripture to the practical application. Led by Rev. Sarah VanderZee McKenney, who is ordained by the Presbyterian Church USA and serves as the Spiritual Support Coordinator at Stone Belt Arc.
December 1. No Faith Forum this week.
December 8. The Role of Music in Worship. Presented by Grant Farmer, FPC Director of Music.
December 15. Advent Hymns: Some History and a Sing-Along. Led by Karen Watts.
December 22. No Faith Forum because of the holidays.
December 29. No Faith Forum because of the holidays.
January 5. Posoltega, Nicaragua: Mission Update. Debbi and Dan Conkle, who traveled to Posoltega in November, will discuss the political and economic situation in Nicaragua, our ongoing mission in Posoltega, and plans for a June 2020 mission trip.
January 12. The Work of the FPC Membership Committee. The Membership Committee is responsible for welcoming new members and enhancing the membership experience for all. Led by committee member Tim Baldwin.
January 19. Proving Faith? The Use and Abuse of Archaeology in Religion, Part 1. Presented by Nick Blackwell, an assistant professor of Classical Studies at IU. As a classical archaeologist specializing in Greece and the eastern Mediterranean, Nick will explore the intersection of religion, archaeology, and the illicit antiquities market. The discussion will include a report on his recent visit to the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC.
January 26. Proving Faith? The Use and Abuse of Archaeology in Religion, Part 2. Presented by Nick Blackwell. Follow-up discussion.
February 2. History of Antisemitism. Presented by Günther Jikeli, a professor in the Jewish Studies Program at IU, and a historian and sociologist of modern Europe, with particular interests in the history of antisemitism. In Part 1 he will lead a brief guided tour of the history of antisemitism.
February 9. Responding to Recent Antisemitism. In this follow-up Günther Jikeli will discuss some the more recent manifestations of antisemitism, with an emphasis on recognizing and resisting it.
February 16. Monroe County United Ministries. Mary Jean Holwager and Katie Broadfoot
February 23. Saved? Bob Dylan’s Gospel 40 Years Later. Presented by Cooper Harriss, a professor of Religious Studies at IU, as well as an adjunct in Folklore and in Ethnomusicology. One strand of his research explores ways that vernacular music contributes to religious thought, belief, and practice.
March 1. FPC Outreach Committee, a Follow-Up Discussion of Church Opportunities and Priorities. Led by David Giedroc.
March 8. All church brunch. No meeting.
March 15. CANCELED. My Visit to the Mexican Border, Part 1. Andy Kort.
March 22. CANCELED. My Visit to the Mexican Border, Part 2. Andy Kort.
March 29. CANCELED. Introduction to this Year's Easter Music. Music Director Grant Farmer.
April 5. CANCELED. Aging: Its Opportunities, Challenges and Concerns for our Congregation. Rev. Wendy VanderZee and Mary Beth Novy will lead our discussion.
April 12. Easter. No Sunday School Classes
April 19. CANCELED. Three billion missing birds. Ellen Ketterson. In recognition of the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day.
April 26. CANCELED. Bioengineering: Playing God? Some Case Studies. Karen and Dan Watts.
May 3. CANCELED. Bioengineering: Playing God? Continued discussion. Karen and Dan Watts.
May 10. CANCELED. Women Saints of FPC. Judy Holy.
May 17. UNLIKELY. Issues before the 2020 General Assembly. Led by Executive Presbyter Susan McGhee and GA Commisioner from the Presbytery, Jean Brown.
May 24. UNLIKELY. Solar panels and other energy efficiency measures for the church. Allan Edmonds.
May 31. UNLIKELY. Evaluation and Planning. With members of the Adult Chrisitian Education Committee. Grab a cup of coffee and stop by to review programs from the last year and suggest ideas for next year.
Thursday, September 24, 7:30 pm via Zoom What Now? What should we as a church and as individuals do about racism? A discussion led by Allan Edmonds.
Thursday, October 1, 7:30 pm via Zoom. Aging: Its Opportunities, Challenges and Concerns for our Congregation. Rev. Wendy VanderZee and Mary Beth Novy will lead our Zoom discussion.
Thursday, October 15, 7:30 pm via Zoom. Election Issues, or "Plan Your Vote." Bill McGregor will moderate a discussion of election issues including voter suppression, with guests George Hegeman of the League of Women Voters and Russ Hanson, political scientist and polling expert.
Wednesday, October 28, 7:30 pm via Zoom. PC(USA) General Assembly Report.
Each two years as part of the connected nature of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), a General Assembly is held to make decisions that affect our lives as a community of faith.
Thursday, November 5, 7:30 pm via Zoom. Death: Ending Well. Led by our transitional associate pastor Kelley Jepsen.
Thursday, November 19, 7:30 pm via Zoom. The 2020 Elections: What Happened? The hotly contested 2020 elections may well deliver watershed decisions and outcomes both up and down the ballot. Three resource people will lead nonpartisan roundtable discussion of the results: Marjorie Hershey, IU Professor Emerita (Political Science), Russ Hanson, IU Professor Emeritus (Political Science), and Andy Ruff, FPC member and congressional candidate for the Indiana Ninth District. Bill McGregor, Professor Emeritus (O’Neill – SPEA), will moderate.
Thursday, January 7, 7:30 pm via Zoom. The Lure of Genetic Technology and its Implications. The session will be led by Karen Bush and Dan Watts.
Thursday, January 14, 7:30 pm via Zoom. The Lure of Genetic Technology and its Implications, Part 2. The session will be led by Karen Bush and Dan Watts.
Thursday, February 11, 7:30 pm via Zoom. From Cotton Fields to University Leadership. Dr. Charlie Nelms will discuss topics from his recent book (published in 2019 by the I.U. Press), including a glimpse of life for Blacks in rural Arkansas in his youth, and key themes and takeaways, including the role the church played in nurturing and sustaining him.
Thursdays, February 25, March 4, 11, 18, 25; 7:30 pm via Zoom. Virus as a Summons to Faith: Biblical Reflections in a Time of Loss, Grief, and Uncertainty. A five-part study of this recent book by Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann. Led by Rev. David Rosen, a student of Brueggemann, an ordained Presbyterian minister, and an active participant in the life of our church, exploring how Old Testament teachings bring to this pandemic a deeper understanding of our relationship to God and to each other.