BETHESDA IS BACK
Program Year Is Here!
All classes are accessible on Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86058259817.
We will continue to add classes throughout the fall and will update regularly as well as include offerings in the email blast.
Living together in faith; how to disagree and live in Christian unity | Wednesday, November 4 | 6:30 p.m.
After a particularly divisive election season, how do we as people of faith live together in unity? How do we as Christians, particularly Episcopalians, whose breadth of diversity is characteristic of our tradition, gather within a polarized climate, respect one another, and continue to pray and break bread together? Join the Bethesda clergy in this conversation about how to find common ground and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
A massacre and its legacy; American reconciliation amidst Damaged Heritage | Wednesday, November 11 | 6:30 p.m.
Possibly the largest and bloodiest racial conflict in the history of the United States occurred in 1919 in Elaine, Arkansas, but few have spoken about the tragedy until now. Author J. Chester Johnson, who wrote the Litany of Offense and Apology for a National Day of Repentance of The Episcopal Church, returns to the Bethesda community to speak about the massacre, the startling discovery he made in researching the event, and the road to reconciliation that has begun in the Arkansas Delta.
Mr. Johnson’s latest publication, Damaged Heritage: The Elaine Race Massacre and a Story of Reconciliation is available for purchase through Amazon or the bookstore of your choice.
Spiritual Truth—Tuesdays @ 11:00 a.m., from 29 September to 17 November
Tired of “Fake News” about the Bible? Join The Rev. Canon Elizabeth Geitz and Canon Tom O’Brien for a series of interactive, open-ended, one-hour discussions of Canon Geitz’s most recent book, Spiritual Truth in the Age of Fake News. There will be eight sessions, but each one will be a “standalone,” so you can join as many sessions as convenient. Among the topics discussed will be Feminine Images in the Bible, Sexism, Racism, Heterosexism, Anti-Semitism, Xenophobia and other issues of current importance.
For the first session, participants are asked to read the Preface, the Epilogue, and pages 1-5 in the chapter on Feminine Imagery. A full syllabus will be sent by email to participants. For more information contact Canon Geitz at email@example.com or Canon O’Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The book, Spiritual Truth in the Age of Fake News is available at both Amazon and Wipfandstock.com for about $16.00.
Theology in Film—Tuesdays @ 7:00 p.m., recurring, beginning 15 September
Bethesda will be bringing back Theology in Film this Fall with an online twist. Instead of watching movies on our own and then getting together to discuss, we will actually be watching entire movies together and having an online discussion while streaming. Utilizing the Netflix Party application, exclusively for Google Chrome internet browsers and available for download at netflixparty.com, participants will be able to watch a film at the same time and text each other on a private message board. Subjects will include Works from Black Filmmakers, Biblical Epics, Films of the Coen Brothers, Documentaries, and more. It should be noted that this is a class for adults and we will be watching films that range from being rated PG to R. To learn more details about how to sign up, please email Greg Knight at email@example.com.
Virtual Yoga—Thursdays @ 10:00 a.m., recurring beginning 1 October
Join physical therapist and yoga therapist Emily Large every Thursday morning for a truly unique experience of holistic worship by integrating the body, mind and spirit. In each class, Emily guides participants through appropriate movements, breathing techniques, use of sound, mental focus, reflection and prayer with intention to commune with God at every dimension of our human experience. Everybody and every body is welcome. Bring the kids and the grandparents! Emily skillfully offers appropriate modifications to those in need. Email Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Previewing the Lectionary—Fridays @ 1:00 p.m., recurring, beginning 18 September
Join Canon Tom O’Brien for a one-hour, open-ended, interactive and freewheeling discussion of the Bible readings for next Sunday. No Bible expertise is needed, just a willingness to discuss and learn. Each session is a “stand alone” session, so you can join any week. Having a Bible at hand to follow the readings is a plus, but not essential. For more information contact Canon O’Brien at email@example.com.
CHILDREN & YOUTH
Sunday School (Kindergarten-5th Grade; 10:00 a.m. Sunday mornings)
Our Zoom Sunday School is open to all children from Kindergarten through 5th Grade. Each month we discuss a different theme from the bible, do a fun, engaging craft, and pray for everyone we love. Our Zoom Sunday School has been meeting every week since the suspension of our usual format in March and it’s a great way to check in with other children and families that call Bethesda home. Teachers: Greg Knight & Johanna Reyers
Confirmation Class (8th Grade; 7:00 p.m. Sunday evenings)
Our Confirmation Class is available to all youth entering 8th Grade who are interested in possibly receiving the sacrament of Confirmation at our next bishop’s visitation. It should be noted that Confirmation is not required of all participants, however. Each week we talk through different aspects of what it means to be Episcopalian including the sacraments of the Church, the bible, Church history, and even the top ten reasons to be Episcopalian. You don’t want to listen to me talk for an hour, though, so we mix things up with games and activities as well. It’s a great way for our newly-minted teenagers to learn more about what we believe and why. Teachers: Beth Cole & Greg Knight
Pilgrimage Group (9th-12th Grade; 8:00 p.m. Monday evenings)
The most difficult part of planning a program year in the midst of a pandemic is not knowing what the future holds with any kind of certainty. How do you find the balance between being cautious and living without fear? 2021 was always slated as a pilgrimage year for our high school students at Bethesda, and we’re going to proceed with that guiding vision. This year our 9th-12th graders will, hopefully, work towards a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain walking the Camino Ingles in June 2021. Over the course of the year we’re going to be learning more about the twelve disciples and how they followed Jesus even though they didn’t know what the future held for them either. Teachers: Madie Anderson, Ashley Fogwell, Cody Fogwell, & Greg Knight
Youth Group (6th-12th Grade; 6:30 p.m. Wednesday evenings)
Our Youth Group continues to meet on Wednesday nights during the program year. This is less a class and more a chance for our young people to check in with each other, play games, and relax from all the typical online school atmosphere. The Bethesda Youth Group is a stress-free, judgment-free place for teenagers to hang out. Teacher: Greg Knight
Parents Group (0-5 years old; Monthly on Thursday @ 10:00 a.m.)
Unfortunately, our meetup group for pre-K children that we had been offering each month doesn’t necessarily work during a pandemic. However, we feel it’s important (especially for parents of young children) to have a spiritual support system. Beginning on Thursday, September 24 at 10:00 a.m. we will offer a monthly Parents Group meeting focusing on issues like being perfect, judgment, balancing work and family, etc. This meeting is open to all parents with children ages 5 and under. Hopefully, later in the year we will also be able to add distanced meetups with children at local playgrounds as well. Teachers: Greg Knight & Gretchen Matthews
For more information about our weekly children & youth activities visit the Youth and Families page.