Faith Formation for Adults

Faith Formation for Adults

Second Presbyterian is known for its emphasis on education. Discipleship is always a “work in process.” At Second Presbyterian, faith formation for adults strives to offer multiple opportunities for faith to be nurtured, opportunities to grow in wisdom and understanding, and opportunities to deepen knowledge of Biblical story. Adult faith formation offers intergenerational opportunities to learn, grow and fellowship with one another in the faith.

Program Year

Sunday School is offered September – May at 9:45 a.m. (beginning Sept. 18, 2022).
*View the 2022-23 Christian Education Booklet for details about educational opportunities for all ages!

Weekly Sunday School Classes @ 9:45 a.m.

Many of our adult classes are offered via a hybrid (on site/online) model. For more information or to receive the Zoom link for any of our adult Sunday or midweek classes, please contact Pastors’ Assistant Meredith Koliba in the church office.

  • Reformed and Always Reforming (Trent Classroom/Hybrid):
    • Why is it that people who read the same Bible and talk about the same Christ have trouble getting along with each other and committing themselves to a common witness in the world? Join the Reformed and Always Reforming class this fall as they tackle such important questions through the insightful lens of Shirley Guthrie’s book Diversity in Faith – Unity in Christ. Together, the class will work to better understand their own beliefs, learn from one other, and grow more open to working for greater union in addressing serious issues in the life of faith today.
  • The Open Door Class (Session Room/Hybrid):
    • This fall, the Open Door Class takes on a study of acclaimed scholar Kristin Kobes Du Mez’s book Jesus and John Wayne. Described as a sweeping, revisionist history of the last seventy-five years of white evangelicalism, Du Mez describes how fundamentalist evangelical Christians have replaced the Jesus of the Gospels with an idol of Christian nationalism and rugged masculinity. All are welcome to join in exploration of this engaging and challenging work.
  • Covenant Conversation (Reading Room/Hybrid):
    • Something special happens when people come together to talk about faith. Exploring God’s Word in community leads us to hear and understand it in new ways. In questions asked and conversations shared, God’s Word comes alive. Join Covenant Conversation this fall as they explore important and engaging questions of faith about God, knowledge of the holy, and the hard sayings of Jesus using the Question-based Bible Study as their guide. Come explore your own theology, bring your questions, your faith, and your doubt to this safe and welcoming group.
  • POP-UP Sunday School (Fellowship Hall, First Sundays):
    • Gather the first Sunday of the month for POP-UP Sunday school. Drop in for an interesting topic or guest speaker. Topics will include updates from our mission partners, stories from the history of Second, religion in art, and other important topics facing the modern church.

Sunday Evenings
  • Sunday Night Parenting Group (October 2, 9, & 16 from 5:00-6:30 p.m., Reading Room):
    • It can be hard to broach difficult subjects with our children. As Christians, however, we know we have a role to play in shaping young children’s hearts as they grow to encounter difficult realities in our world. Each evening, join this group of adults exploring ways to equip themselves to have difficult but important conversations with the children in their lives about faith, care for the environment, ways to treat our neighbors, and other important issues for today. Come every week, or join in for particular discussions you are interested in. During this time, we hope to not only explore the topic of faith development in young children, but also enjoy fellowship and build relationships with one another. This class meets in conjunction with our Kids’ Fellowship and Youth Group schedules.

  • Believing & Belonging (Hospitality Room, Seasonal):
    • Fall Dates: September 18 & 25, 2022 at 9:45 a.m.
    • Spring Dates: TBD
    • Join our senior minister Dr. George Anderson for a seasonal two-week class on what it means to be a Presbyterian, and what it means to be a member of Second Presbyterian Church. This is a great class for visitors and new members! Contact Christal Pearson, Engagement Coordinator, with questions.
  • Confirm Not Conform for Adults (Location TBD, Fall Series):
    • Sundays beginning Sept. 18, 2022 at 9:45 a.m.
    • Geared toward the parents of confirmands, this 8-week companion class will parallel parts of what our 8th grade youth will be learning in confirmation this year. Participants will be invited to ask questions they have always wanted to ask and explore their faith from an adult perspective. The emphasis will be on building an authentic faith, and lessons will cover basics on the Bible, creeds, sacraments, and topics which may have been ignored or lost in the mists of time.
  • Theology of Tolkien with Carter Brothers (Fellowship Hall, Lent 2023):
    • Sundays in Lent, February 26 – April 2, 2023 at 9:45 a.m.
    • Back by popular demand, Carter Brothers will once again offer his short-term study, “Lent in Middle-earth: Christian Reflections from The Lord of the Rings” with updated content, including the “Rings of Power” series on Amazon Prime. Stay tuned for more details!

  • “The Bible in Black and White” 5-week Bible Study, May 2023:
    • (Wednesdays, May 3, 10, 17, 24, & 31, 12:00 p.m., Fellowship Hall)
    • Dr. Bill Lee is the retired Senior Minister of Louden Ave Christian Church, a predominately African-American congregation he served for 39 years. Dr. George Anderson is the Senior Minister of Second Presbyterian Church, a predominately white congregation.
    • Worship! This will be the topic for this May’s installment of The Bible in Black and White series. Drs. Bill Lee and George Anderson will address topics like preaching, praying, singing, baptism, weddings, liturgy and more. Once again, we hope to have a racially diverse community where we can widen our horizons and grow in appreciation for experiences and perspectives that are not the same. Come join us at noon on the five Wednesdays in May in the Fellowship Hall of Second Presbyterian Church.
  • Men’s Morning Bible Study
    • (Thursdays, 7:15-8:15 a.m., Session Room/Zoom)
    • On Thursday mornings, Rev. Ben Brannan and Aaron Copeland lead a Bible study open to all men of the church. Each week we will dive deep into the sermon Scripture from the previous Sunday, as we seek to understand what the sermon and the scripture passage call us to be and do in the world today.
  • Women’s Bible Study
    • (Thursdays, 11:00 a.m., Session Room/Zoom)
    • Join Rev. Elizabeth Link for a Thursday morning Bible study based on Amy-Jill Levine’s acclaimed book Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi. Copies of the book are available for purchase in Elizabeth Link’s office, $15.

Evening VBS

Evening VBS is an intergenerational, annual event at Second Pres, and it showcases special opportunities for education and growth for all ages. Evening VBS encompasses four evenings full of fellowship, learning and fun! Each summer, we host an invited speaker to speak for four nights about a specific topic or theme.

June 11-14, 2023 Evening VBS: “Lost and Found: Stories of Celebration” with Guest Speaker the Rev. Millie Snyder
Sunday, June 11: 6:00-8:00 p.m. with dinner
Monday-Wednesday, June 12-14: 6:30-7:45 p.m. with refreshments

  • For Adults: How does it feel to be included? How does it feel to be left out? We will dig into the parables of Luke 15. These are stories about a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a prodigal son. Each of the stories ends with a celebration, celebrating the return of the lost. We will explore how we can share in that joyful celebration in our own lives now.
  • Millie is from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and was raised in the Moravian Church. She graduated from Davidson College with honors in psychology and from Princeton Seminary with a concentration in preaching and worship. She was ordained to ministry in the PC(USA) in 1991 and has served as associate pastor of University Presbyterian Church in Rochester, Michigan, and pastor of MorningStar Presbyterian Church in Matthews, North Carolina. Since 2004, Millie has served at Myers Park Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, as the executive pastor. She is married to Leif Aus and they have two young adult daughters, Clare and Linnea.
  • For 4-year-olds – Middle Schoolers: Children’s Theatre Camp: This summer, we are thrilled to welcome Meghan Griffith as the leader for our Evening VBS Children’s Theatre Camp! Children are welcome to bring friends. The children’s program is free of charge, thanks to a gift from the Trent Fund.

The Edmunds Lecture

SAVE THE DATE: The upcoming Edmunds Lecture will be offered on Sunday, November 12, 2023 featuring guest speaker Dr. Peter Enns. Peter is a  biblical scholar who teaches and writes on Old Testament, New Testament, Second Temple Judaism, and the intersection of biblical studies and contemporary Christian faith. Stay tuned for more information.

The Edmunds Lecture Series of Second Presbyterian was established in 1985 by S. Spencer “Buddy” Edmunds as a way of honoring his father’s commitment to joining scholarship with congregational life. Dr. Spencer Edmunds served Second Presbyterian as its Senior Minister from 1923-1941. The lectures continue to attract outstanding preachers and theologians to educate and inspire the Roanoke Valley.

Past lecturers include Bud Robertson, Walter Brueggemann, Barbara Brown Taylor, Miroslov Volf, N.T. Wright, F. Dale Bruner, Brian Blount, Eric Wall, Ted Wardlaw, and Ben Witherington, to name a few.

Original art has been produced for every lecture series since 1999, when Dr. Bud Robertson was the speaker. Each piece depicts the theme of the lecture the year in which it was commissioned. All the works can be found somewhere in the church facilities, with several them hanging in the hallway between the Associate Pastors’ offices. The hope is that the art collection of the church will inspire both memories and theological reflection.

The 2022 Edmunds Lectures took place on November 6 & 7 and featured guest speaker Dr. Ben Witherington III, Bible scholar and Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary. A graduate of UNC, Chapel Hill, Dr. Witherington went on to receive a M.Div. degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Ph.D. from the University of Durham in England. He is now considered one of the top evangelical scholars in the world, and is an elected member of the prestigious SNTS, a society dedicated to New Testament studies. A popular lecturer, Witherington has presented seminars for churches, colleges and biblical meetings not only in the United States but also in England, Estonia, Russia, Europe, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Australia. Witherington has written over sixty books, including The Jesus Quest and The Paul Quest, both of which were selected as top biblical studies works by Christianity Today. In 2020, he won the AAP Prose Award in Theology and Religious Studies for Biblical Theology: The Convergence of the Canon (Cambridge U. Press, 2020). Along with many interviews on radio networks across the country, Witherington has been seen on the History Channel, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, The Discovery Channel, A&E, and the PAX Network.

The Edmunds Lecture Series is hosted in conjunction with St. John’s Dodson Lecture Series. Second Presbyterian hosts the series on even-numbered years.

Trent Getaway

The Trent Getaway Church Retreat is a weekend of intergenerational fellowship which provides opportunities to study, worship, grow spiritually, make new friends, and enjoy time in recreation! Programs and activities are available for all ages.

  • August 18-20, 2023: We hope you can join us for our annual church retreat, the Trent Getaway! Eagle Eyrie Conference Center outside of Lynchburg, VA provides accessible hotel style accommodations, with a dining hall to meet all tastes and needs. Programs for adults, youth, and children will be provided, with plenty of opportunities for fellowship and fun. Childcare will also be provided for our youngest attendees. Register by Monday, June 5. Click HERE for more information!

Gals Gathering

Each fall, women are invited for a weekend of refreshment and nurturing of faith and fellowship.

  • Gals Gathering November 11-12, 2022 “Midwives of a New Creation”: We are so excited for this year’s Gals weekend retreat at Eagle Eyrie! This is a special overnight event for women in our church to grow closer to one another and closer to God through study, conversation, crafts, and shared meals. The theme this year is “Midwives of a New Creation,” and our guest speaker will be the Rev. Jen Brothers, who currently works for the Presbytery of the Peaks helping churches thrive through change and is a cofounder of House of Bread in Roanoke.
    • Friday, November 11 at 4:00 p.m. to Saturday, November 12 at 2:00 p.m.
    • The cost for the retreat is $100.00 per person and is required when you submit your registration.
    • Check out our Upcoming Events for more details and REGISTER TODAY!

Kairos Worship & Study

(Wednesdays in Lent) – Kairos is an ancient Greek word that means “the right or opportune moment.” It has been used over the centuries to describe time for spiritual reflection, and even, to put it simply, “God’s time.” For the Wednesdays in Lent, we invite you to create space in your week to experience the Holy.

2023 Kairos Offerings: Throughout Lent 2023 we offered a blended format for Kairos worship. Ash Wednesday and Maundy Thursday services were held in person at the church, and midweek video reflections with the theme “Strong Roots, Wide Reach” were offered in the weeks between via our church YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Presbyterian Women

Presbyterian Women (PW) is an independent organization of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and generously supported by Second Presbyterian Church. The three main ideas for Presbyterian Women are Bible study, fellowship and mission. This is a wonderful way to make closer friends within the church family; explore faith; participate in local, national and global mission work; and grow spiritually. PW is open to all women and is a friendly, welcoming community.

PW Resource Links:

During this time of social distancing, it is important that we remain connected, remain hopeful, and continue to find ways to further grow in our faith. In the spring of 2020, our pastors made available online Adult Sunday School lessons each week. These videos were added to our YouTube channel, Second Presbyterian Church Roanoke, and are available here. It is our hope that these lessons reach you wherever you are, and provide hope and encouragement during these turbulent times.