A James Finley Retreat

A James Finley Retreat: Exploring the Foundations of Contemplative Living

Listen to the audio of this retreat held at St. Paul’s on April 29-30, 2016

*Dr. Finley is happy to share these audio recordings with the request that copies NOT be made for sale.

Winter Programs 2017

The Cleveland Ecumenical Institute for Religious Studies:

Winter Offerings, 2017

The Moral Teaching of the Historical Jesus

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Rev. George Smiga, STD

Eight Saturdays | January 14 to March 4, 2017 | 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. | $120 |

Forest Hill Church Presbyterian | | Bodwell Hall | 3031 Monticello Boulevard | Cleveland Heights

How did Jesus expect his followers to live a moral life? Answering this question is more complex than it seems. The four gospels contain many statements of Jesus on divorce, oaths, Sabbath rest, and love of neighbor. But these texts do not always agree and frequently contain adaptations by the gospel writers who wish to address the circumstances of their particular audiences. This course will explore what moral commands can be associated with Jesus’ original teaching, how they may differ from the beliefs of other Jews of the first century, and what wisdom they may offer for Christian discipleship today.

Rev. George Smiga, STD, received his doctorate from the Gregorian University in Rome and teaches as part of the scripture department of St. Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology in Wickliffe. He is the author of Pain and Polemic: Anti-Judaism in the Christian Gospels and has recently published The Gospel of John Set Free: Preaching Without Anti-Judaism. He is a priest and the pastor of St. Noel Parish in Willoughby Hills.  See his website at: www.buildingontheword.org.

Vocation, Mission, Message and Meaning: Pillars of the Spiritual Journey

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Alan Kolp, Ph.D.

Four Mondays | January 30 to February 27, 2017 (no class on February 20) | $60

Lakewood Presbyterian Church | 14502 Detroit Avenue | Lakewood | 44107

Regardless of our theology or tradition, there are four basic pillars of the spiritual journey.  These pillars sustain a life-long growth into the Spirit.  Any one of the four—or all four—may evolve or change over time, but they need to be present for an authentic journey deeper in the Spirit.  Some significant models from different spiritualities will be used to help personal and group reflection on each of the pillars.

             Alan Kolp, Ph.D., is currently holder of the Baldwin-Wallace Chair in Faith and Life and Professor of Religion at Baldwin-Wallace University.  Dr. Kolp earned a B.A. from Guilford College, a B.D. from Harvard Divinity School and a Ph.D. from Harvard University.  He was a Fullbright Fellow in Germany.  He has been Visiting Fellow at U. of Birmingham and Kellogg College, Oxford U. in England as well as at The Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley).

CEIRS READS: A Book Discussion

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Rev. Laury Larson, Discussion Facilitator

Tuesday | January 17, 2017 | 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. | $15

The Plymouth Church | 2860 Coventry Road | Shaker Heights, Ohio | 44120

 This month’s selection is Martin E. Marty’s October 31, 1517: Martin Luther and the Day that Changed the World.

Rev. Laury Larson is a retired Presbyterian Church (USA) minister and long-time Trustee of the Cleveland Ecumenical Institute. Please borrow the book from the Library or order the text online. The discussion will assume you have already read the text.

Spring Programs 2017

The Cleveland Ecumenical Institute for Religious Studies:

Spring Offerings, 2017

 Religion and the Poet’s Voice: The Poetry of the Bible, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Emily Dickinson and Wallace Stevens.

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Rabbi Roger Klein, Ph.D.

Six Wednesdays, April 5 to May 10, 2017  | $90 | 7:00 p.m. – 9:00  p.m.

TBA (Location to be Announced Later)

Rabbi Roger Klein, Ph.D. is the Associate Rabbi at The Temple-Tifereth Israel in Beachwood.  He is also Assistant Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at Case Western Reserve University and Adjunct Professor of Jewish Studies at the Cleveland College of Jewish Studies.  Rabbi Klein received his Ph.D. from The University of Chicago in Philosophy. He is a sought-after lecturer and has often given pre-concert lectures for The Cleveland Orchestra, the Cleveland Chamber Music Society and CIM.  He has written articles, reviews and book chapters.

 Retreat: Praying with St. Francis

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Wayne Simsic, M.A.

A Retreat Workshop, Saturday | April 1, 2017 | 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. | $50 (plus $10 for Lunch)

Church of the Gesu (McAuley Hall) |  2470 Miramar Blvd, | University Hts, OH | 44118

Most are familiar with Francis’ life, his dedication to a simple and humble path, yet few know about his prayer life.  This retreat workshop will explore what it means to pray as a Franciscan.

Wayne Simsic, M.A. directs retreats and workshops on the mystics and has authored several books on spirituality including Living the Wisdom of St. Francis; Thomas Merton: An Invitation to the Contemplative Life; and Seeking the Beloved: A Prayer Journey with St. John of the Cross. He also received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to study Franciscan spirituality for three months in Italy. He also teaches in the Religious Studies Department and the Ministry Program at Ursuline College.

CEIRS READS: A Book Discussion

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Rev. Laury Larson, Discussion Facilitator

Tuesday | March 21, 2017 and May 23, 2017 | 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. | $15 each session

The Plymouth Church | 2860 Coventry Road | Shaker Heights, Ohio | 44120

 The March 21 selection is Addison Hodges Hart’s The Women, the Hour & the Garden: A Study of Imagery in the Gospel of John.

 The May 23 selection is William P. Brown’s Sacred Sense: Discovering the Wonder of God’s Word and World. 

 Please sign up for each session separately.  If you sign up for BOTH sessions, only one payment (for $30) is necessary. 

Information about these books and the book discussion group schedule will be added to the Ecumenical Institute’s website www.ceirs.org as it becomes available.  The Institute will also email informational flyers well in advance of each meeting of the book discussion group.

Rev. Laury Larson is a retired Presbyterian Church (USA) minister and long-time Trustee of the Cleveland Ecumenical Institute. Please borrow the books from the Library or order the text online. The discussion will assume you have already read the text.

Fall Programs – 2016

The Cleveland Ecumenical Institute for Religious Studies:

Fall Offerings, 2016

NOTICE OF TWO CLOSINGS:  (1) Mr. Simsic’s class on “The Life and Spiritual Vision of Francis of Assisi” is NOT meeting on Monday, October 10, 2016.  The next class will be on Monday, October 17; (2) The whole course that was to begin on Saturday, October 15 (“Teachings on the Nature of Happiness”) has had to be canceled because of insufficient enrollment.

The Life and Spiritual Vision of Francis of Assisi

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Wayne Simsic, M.A.

Six Mondays,  October 3, 2016 to November 7, 2016 | 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. | $90

NOTE: The class scheduled for Monday, October 10, is canceled because the site is closed for Columbus Day.

The Plymouth Church | 2860 Coventry Road | Shaker Heights | 44120

 The way to uncover Franciscan spirituality is to explore its development in the life of St. Francis where we find his dream unfolding in stages.  This course, then, will concentrate on the main events in Francis’ life as the seedbed for his vision of simplicity, poverty, prayer, peace, joy and reverence for creation.  (Participants will need the text, God’s Fool: The Life and Times of Francis of Assisi by Julien Green) 

Wayne Simsic, M.A., received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to study Franciscan spirituality in Italy. He leads seminars and directs retreats on Franciscan spirituality, and has published Living the Wisdom of St. Francis.

TEACHINGS ON THE NATURE OF HAPPINESS: A Buddhist Perspective

This course is cancelled!

Ani Palmo Rybicki

A One-Day Workshop, Saturday, October 15, 2016 | 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. | $50 plus $10 for Lunch (or bring your own)

University Circle United Methodist Church | 1919 E. 107th Street | Cleveland | 44106

Join Buddhist nun and local Clevelander, Ani Palmo Rybicki for a day-long seminar exploring the very first teaching of the Buddha “The Four Noble Truths.” Applicable to Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike, these teachings outline the nature of our dissatisfaction, the mistakes we make when trying to achieve happiness, and how to correct them. Through discussion and meditation, we will examine how we are looking for happiness in all the wrong places and how we can change. Meditation instruction included.

Ani Palmo Rybicki, a native Clevelander, has been a practicing Buddhist since 1988 and an ordained nun since 1994. She is the Director of Songtsen Gampo Buddhist Center of Cleveland (www.sgbcc.org) and offers public talks and classes in Buddhism and Meditation at the Center and throughout the Greater Cleveland Area.  She recently completed a year-long soliLtary and silent retreat.

AN INTER-FAITH DISCUSSION OF POPE FRANCIS’ LAUDATO SI: ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME

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Rabbi Roger Klein, Ph.D. and Father George Smiga, STD

A One-Day Workshop, Tuesday, November 22, 2016 | 7 to 9 p.m. | $25

Church of the Gesu | McAuley Hall | 2470 Miramar Boulevard | University Heights  | 44118  

 

Pope Francis has issued an encyclical on the crucial issues of the environment for our times. This program will attempt to identify some of the biblical and theological implications of Francis’ thought from both Jewish and Catholic perspectives. It will discuss how the Pope has drawn upon previous religious thinking and has in some ways moved beyond it.  This program is a further consideration of the previous one offered at John Carroll University in November, 2015.

Rabbi Roger Klein, Ph.D. is the Associate Rabbi at The Temple-Tifereth Israel in Beachwood.  He is also Assistant Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at Case Western Reserve University and Adjunct Professor of Jewish Studies at the Cleveland College of Jewish Studies.  Rabbi Klein received his Ph.D. from The University of Chicago in Philosophy. He is a sought-after lecturer and has often given pre-concert lectures for The Cleveland Orchestra, the Cleveland Chamber Music Society and CIM.  He has written articles, reviews and book chapters.

Rev. George Smiga, STD, received his doctorate from the Gregorian University in Rome and teaches as part of the scripture department of St. Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology in Wickliffe. He is the author of Pain and Polemic: Anti-Judaism in the Christian Gospels and has recently published The Gospel of John Set Free: Preaching Without Anti-Judaism. He is a priest and the pastor of St. Noel Parish in Willoughby Hills.  He writes regularly about faith issues at: www.buildingontheword.org.

 CEIRS READS:  

Rev. Laury Larson, Discussion Facilitator

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Tuesday | September 20, 2016 | 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. | $15

Tuesday | November 15 | 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. | $15

The Plymouth Church | 2860 Coventry Road | Shaker Heights | 44120

The November  CEIRS READS book selection is: Jesus’ Abba: The God Who Has Not Failed

(2015) by John Cobb.

Preeminent theologian and global leader of process theology, Cobb, has spent six decades observing mainline and liberal Christianity–his self-professed home–and he doesn’t like what he sees.  In Jesus Abba, Cobb gives his ultimate statement on the nature of God and declares a clarion call: We must see God through the eyes of Jesus, who understood God primarily as ABBA, and who was passionately devoted to God and the world.

Rev. Laury Larson is a retired Presbyterian Church (USA) minister and long-time Trustee of the Cleveland Ecumenical Institute. Borrow the book from the Library or order the text online. The discussion will assume you have already read the text.