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.
*Click HERE to view our 2021-22 Christian Education Booklet with details about education opportunities for all ages!

Weekly Sunday School Classes @ 10:00 a.m.

Many of our Adult Sunday School classes are moving to a hybrid (on site/online) model this year. 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.

  • The Open Door Class (Session Room/Zoom Hybrid)
    • On Jan 9 & 16, the Open Door class will view and discuss a video from Steven Charleston, elder in the Choctaw Nation and retired Episcopal Bishop of Alaska. The video connects the class’ recently completed study of Marcus Borg, and their upcoming book study of White Too Long.
    • On Sunday, January 23, the class will begin a study of White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity by Robert P. Jones. Anyone interested in engaging challenging yet profoundly needed conversation about the role white Christianity played and continues to play in consciously and unconsciously establishing and perpetuating racial inequity is welcomed to join us.
    • In White Too Long Dr. Jones does more than report history. He provides us with stories, names, words, and actions that speak the truth about our past, including his own past growing up in the deep South. He also reflects with hope on the events of today while never abandoning the truth about the depth of our divisions, the power of our complicity, the immensity of the task, nor the possibility for new life that awaits us at the end of the journey.
  • Covenant Conversation (Reading Room/Zoom Hybrid)
    • Do you enjoy learning and seeking spiritual growth through open dialogue and discussion of intriguing Christian topics? Then the Covenant Conversation class is the perfect place for you! The class brings a range of Christian studies, theological concepts, and ideas to the table for open discussion.
    • You are invited to join the Covenant Conversation Class as they begin a new study of Tish Warren’s book Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life. Many of us find our days filled with schedules, deadlines, and activities that seem to leave little room for moments dedicated to our faith or quiet reflection on God. In this series the class will consider overlooked moments and routines of our day in which we can become aware of God’s presence in surprising ways. This study is framed around one ordinary day as it explores daily life through the lens of liturgy, small practices, and habits that form us. Join the class as they discover the holiness of the every day!
    • Later this winter, the class will begin a six-week Lenten journey by taking an in-depth dive into the life, faith, and character of Simon Peter. Guided by Adam Hamilton’s Simon Peter: Flawed but Faithful Disciple, we will learn more about this ordinary fisherman who heard and answered an extraordinary call. This study will take us through six events in the life of Peter and will reflect back on how each experience lends more meaning to our own journeys of faith.
  • Reformed and Always Reforming (Trent Room/Zoom Hybrid)
    • Picking back up on January 9, join pastors George Anderson and Elizabeth Link for an adult Sunday school class based on the history and doctrines of Reformed theology. Guided by Shirley Guthrie’s classic book Christian Doctrine, the class will introduce participants to the tenets of the Christian faith. Whether you’ve read the whole book or are jumping in mid-stream, the class will be thrilled to have you! Come with your questions, dive into our history, and discover the ways Christians have interpreted the faith throughout the centuries.
  • Believing & Belonging
    • (Spring Dates: April 3 & 10, 2022 at 9:45 a.m., Trent Room/Zoom Hybrid)
    • Join two of our pastors 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. The spring class will meet on Sunday mornings April 3 and 10 at 9:45 a.m. in the Trent Room and via Zoom. Contact Engagement Coordinator Christal Pearson to register and receive the information.
  • Confirm Not Conform for Adults
    • Geared toward the parents of confirmands, this eight-week companion class parallels part of what the 8th grade youth learn during confirmation class. Participants are invited to ask questions they have always wanted to ask and to explore their faith from an adult perspective.
Midweek at Second
  • Women’s Bible Study
    • (Thursdays at 9:00 a.m. – Session Room/Zoom Hybrid)
    • The Bible includes any number of “tyrannical texts” that have proved to be profoundly oppressive in the lives of many people. Among them are Pauline texts that have circumscribed the lives and ministries of women throughout Christian history. What are people who honor Scripture to do with such texts, and what does it mean to speak of biblical authority in their presence? As the group reads Frances Taylor Gench’s Bible study, Encountering God in Tyrannical Texts, they will explore strategies for engaging such texts with integrity—that is, without dismissing them, whitewashing them, or acquiescing to them—and as potential sources of edification for the church. This class will begin on Thursday, October 7.
  • Contemplative Prayer
    • (Tuesdays, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. via Zoom)
    • Join this small group of seekers for the weekly experience of contemplative prayer and discussion. Explore spiritual practices, both ancient and new, and reflect with a group of faithful disciples on God’s work in the world and in our lives. This group will begin with looking at the foundational spiritual Enneagram principles as presented by Don Riso and Russ Hudson. All are welcome to join this supportive group on their journey.

Special Opportunities for Adults

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 2021 Adult Evening VBS: “Follow the Leader: How the Prophet, Priest, and King Can Equip Us to Serve God in All Parts of Life” with Guest Speaker the Rev. Andrew C. Whaley
    Walk into Barnes and Noble or check the lists on Amazon and you can find innumerable books on effective leadership. There is wisdom from successful business people, psychologists, athletic coaches and players, movie stars, and talk show hosts. As Christian people, formed by the texts of Israel and the Church, is there guidance for our lives in the stories of the Bible that can help us figure out how to lead in our spheres of influence today? Join our good friend and neighbor, the Rev. Andrew C. Whaley of Raleigh Court Presbyterian Church as he invites us to “Follow the Leader.” Looking at the three-fold leadership guide from ancient Israel of Prophet, Priest, and King, we will see effective and ineffective leadership through a variety of stories in the books of 1 and 2 Kings. View the live stream from the event on our YouTube Channel!
The Edmunds Lecture:

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

The Edmunds Lecture

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, and Eric Wall, 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 2018 Edmunds Lecture, “Memory and Hope – To Do Them Well,” was held on November 11 and 12. The Rev. Dr. Theodore J. Wardlaw, President of Austin Theological Presbyterian Seminary, was our speaker.

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 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.

After much consideration, consultation, and prayer, the Trent Getaway planning team has decided to postpone the 2021 church retreat until August of 2022. If you have any questions or if you are interested in helping to plan for the August 2022 retreat, please contact the church office.

Gals Gathering

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

  • Gals Gathering, Spring, 2022: The fall 2021 Gals Gathering has been postponed until the spring of 2022. This year’s guest speaker will be the Rev. Jen Brothers. More details to come; stay tuned!
  • An outdoor and socially distanced “Gals Gather ‘Round” one-day event was held in 2020 at Braeloch Pavilion. The gals of Second Presbyterian Church gathered for socially distanced fellowship, a time of devotion, a boxed dinner, and a make and take craft.
  • The 2019 Gals Retreat was held at Camp Alta Mons on November 1st & 2nd. The theme was “The Greatest of These is Love,” and our guest speaker was Ginny Taylor-Troutman from Chapel Hill, NC. She is a PC(USA) minister, former director of campus ministries at Virginia Tech, and currently a stay-at-home mother and wife.

Men's Retreat

Our first ever Men’s Retreat was held at Eagle Eyrie Conference Center on November 8-9, 2019. The Men’s Retreat serves as an opportunity to reflect with others about how to keep one’s Christian balance at home, work, church and among friends.

  • The theme for 2019 centered on the life of David, a deeply flawed man who, nevertheless, is remembered for being a man of great faith. The retreat was led by Dr. George C. Anderson, Senior Pastor.
  • The 2020 Men’s Reatreat has been postponed.

Kairos Worship & Study

(Wednesdays in Lent) – Beginning with Ash Wednesday, a casual Lenten worship service is offered for six weeks (6:00-6:30pm), followed by opportunities for study (6:40-7:30pm).

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 these six Wednesdays in Lent, we invite you to create space in your week to experience the Holy.

In 2021, the pastors offered weekly video reflections throughout the season of Lent focusing on the theme “Along the Way.” These 5-8 minute offerings are grounded in scripture and centered around ways to help us prepare our hearts and minds for Holy Week and the Good News of Easter. They can be viewed below.

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.

There are two Circles of Presbyterian Women at Second. The meetings take place at the church on the second Tuesday of the month from September through June. The Morning Circle meets at 10:30 a.m. and Evening Circle meets at 7:00 p.m.  There are no dues, and missions are supported by pledges of the members.

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.  Please contact Carol Cole for more information.

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.