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. 10, 2023).
*View the 2023-24 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):
    • This fall, the Reformed and Always Reforming class will tackle David Zahl’s popular book, Seculosity. Zahl makes the case that being religious is alive and well in modern society. While American organized religion may be declining, the desire to fill the void with everyday life pursuits is another form of worship. At the heart of our society lies a universal yearning not to be happy so much as to be enough. To fill the emptiness left by religion, humans look to all sorts of activities—food, family, relationships, social media, elections, social justice movements—for identity, purpose, and meaning once provided by organized religion. Zahl challenges the conventional narrative of religious decline claiming society has become religious about busyness and accomplishments. Eventually, Zahl brings readers to a fresh appreciation for grace—the grace of God in all its countercultural wonder.
  • The Open Door Class (Session Room/Hybrid):
    • In preparation for the visit from our 2023 Edmunds Lecturer, Peter Enns, PhD, the Open Door Class is tackling his acclaimed book Curveball: When Your Faith Takes Turns You Never Saw Coming (or How I Stumbled and Tripped My Way to Finding a Bigger God). Life throws us “curveballs”—from devastating personal losses to world tragedies. These events often leave us doubting God, the Bible, and our faith. But instead of pushing away our reservations, we should embrace them, Peter Enns argues. A leading biblical scholar and Christian mentor, Enns has never been afraid to question the Bible or Christian beliefs. Such thoughtful inquisitiveness, he argues, is part of God’s plan. Enns encourages us to question, because doing so actually leads to a stronger, lasting faith. Come discuss and explore the ways our model of God and faith must evolve as our understanding of the world deepens—just as the Bible describes it should.
  • Covenant Conversation (Reading Room/Hybrid):
    • This Fall, the Covenant Class will consider ways that we Christians get “caught up” in the world around us, allowing society to sometimes influence us in behaving and thinking in ways that do not line up with the bedrock of our Christian faith. Using a video series called “Unoffendable” and the book If God Is Love, Don’t Be a Jerk, we will focus on where we may fall short in embodying Christ among His people and how we can work towards a kinder type of spirituality. We will follow this study by considering assumptions we have grown up with as Christians by discussing some things Christians truly need to believe and some that they don’t! These conversations will be guided by the book What’s the Least I Can Believe and Still Be a Christian? Coupled with the prior series, we will attempt to take an inward look on how we can radiate God’s love outward—even when it feels hard to do! These studies will examine how the beliefs we hold shape our relationships with God and our fellow humans—and how we need to ensure that love has the last, loudest word.
  • 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.

  • Believing & Belonging (Hospitality Room, Seasonal):
    • Fall Dates: October 1 & 8, 2023 @ 9:45 a.m.
    • Spring Dates: TBD
    • Join our ministers George Anderson and Elizabeth Link 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.
  • Christianity and Climate Change (Chapel, Fall Semester):
    • Join members of the 2PC Green Team for a nine-part film series featuring Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, the internationally renowned Christian climate scientist. In each episode, she responds to climate questions from key church leaders and members from across Scotland. Do you want to take a closer look at the climate crisis and how one Christian believes we are called to respond? Come and be a part of the conversation. The most important thing we can do about climate change is to talk about it and to talk about how it affects us where we live. Please join us this fall in the chapel for this groundbreaking and potentially transformational learning opportunity.
    • Dr. Hayhoe captures the essence of the class in the following quote, “For Christians, doing something about climate change is about living out our faith…caring for those who need help and taking responsibility for this planet that God created and entrusted to us. My faith tells me that God does want people to understand climate change and do something about it.”
  • Confirm Not Conform for Adults (Café, Fall Series):
    • Geared toward the parents of confirmands, this 8-week companion class will parallel parts of what our youth will be learning in confirmation this year, encouraging conversations at home. 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.

  • “The Bible in Black and White”
    • (Wednesdays in October at 12 Noon, Fellowship Hall)
      Oct. 4, 11, 18 & 25, 2023
    • This October, the class will be reading Delivered out of Empire: Pivotal Moments in the Book of Exodus by Walter Brueggemann. Again, we will remain attentive to the ways these moments have been understood within the white and black communities. All are welcome to join in this exciting and provocative study.
    • The class is led by Drs. Bill Lee and George Anderson. 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.
  • Men’s Morning Bible Study
    • (Thursdays, 7:15-8:15 a.m., Session Room/Zoom)
    • Taking on a new look, the weekly Men’s Thursday Morning Bible Study will take a deep dive into the commandments of Jesus. Convicted by Jesus’ words in Matthew 28—“teaching them to obey all that I have commanded”—our time together will focus on just what that means for God’s people then and now. We gather in the Session room (and on Zoom) from 7:15 to 8:15 a.m. If interested, please reach out to Ben Brannan for information and to be added to our email list.
  • Women’s Bible Study
    • (Thursdays beginning October 5, 2023, 10:30 a.m., Session Room)
    • For too long the women of the Bible have been depicted in one-dimensional terms. On one side are saints, such as Mary, while on the other are “bad girls,” such as Eve and Jezebel. Just as often, the female characters of the Bible are simply ignored. However, the women of the Bible are complex, multidimensional individuals whose lives are inspiring, funny, and tragic in ways too many of us never hear. In From Widows to Warriors, author Lynn Japinga acquaints us with the women of the Old Testament. From flawed heroes like Ruth and Rahab to fierce fighters like Deborah and Jael to tragic characters like Jephthah’s daughter and the unnamed concubine of the book of Judges, we will encounter a wealth of foremothers in the faith in all their messy, yet redeemable, humanity. This Bible study introduces and retells every female character who contributes to one or more Old Testament stories, diving deeply into what each woman’s story means for us today.

2PC Clubs

2PC Clubs provide our congregation with opportunities that encourage a sense of community and foster not only established friendships but new ones, as well. We are glad to offer expanded club options for the Second Presbyterian Church family this year! Clubs include: Supper, Lunch, Walking, Movie, Restaurant, Coffee, Book, Roots and Wings, Parenting, and Pickleball. Signups were requested by September 17, 2023. If you would like information on joining an existing club, please contact the church.

The Edmunds Lecture

SAVE THE DATE 2023: The upcoming Edmunds Lectures will be offered on November 12 & 13, 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. More information to come.

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.

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.

Gals Gathering

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

  • SAVE THE DATE: Gals Gathering Day Retreat – January 20, 2024: We hope you’ll save the date for our annual Gals Gathering, this year taking form as a local day retreat on Saturday, January 20 (snow date Jan. 27). If you would like to join the planning committee, please contact the church. This is a fun event, and we need help planning what meals to have, crafts to make, tables to decorate, and the best ways to enjoy our time together. Reach out if interested, and stay tuned for more info.

Men's Retreat

This event provides an opportunity for men of all ages to gather for a relaxing weekend of fellowship, build connection with one another and with God, and engage in discussion about work-life balance and what it means to be a Christian today.

  • SAVE THE DATE: Men’s Retreat – November 17-18, 2023: Planning has begun for the Men’s Retreat 2023! This event was first held in November of 2019 followed by a few years of missed opportunities. Second Presbyterian Church at its foundation has always been a multi-generational church. The retreat is for men of all ages, so all are welcome. It is a great way to relax and unplug for the weekend, engage in discussion about work-life balance, what it is to be a Christian in 2023, and to meet some other men of the church. Please consider joining us for the 2023 Men’s Retreat. Our goal is to make this an annual event. Registration will be online, stay tuned for more info.

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.

Trent Getaway Church Retreat

The Trent Getaway Church Retreat at Eagle Eyrie Conference Center outside of Lynchburg, VA is a weekend of intergenerational fellowship which provides opportunities to study, worship, grow spiritually, make new friends, and enjoy time in recreation! A mere hour away from Roanoke, Eagle Eyrie provides accessible hotel style accommodations with a dining hall to meet all tastes and needs. Programs and activities are available for all ages.

  • August 18-20, 2023: Thanks to all those who attended the 2023 Trent Getaway! This year’s theme was “Curious Matters: What physical things from Scripture can teach us,” and our guest speaker was the Rev. Taylor Lewis Guthrie Hartman, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Statesboro, GA. We look forward to spending joyful, restorative time together again next year… more info to come!

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: