Surprise, Shock, and Gospel: The Parables of Jesus
Rev. George Smiga, STD
Eight Saturdays | January 16 to March 5, 2015 | 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. | $120 |
Forest Hill Church Presbyterian | Bodwell Hall | 3031 Monticello Boulevard | Cleveland Heights – Register
Jesus preferred to teach in parables. The gospels are filled with these images and stories that are both elusive and powerful. They engage, delight, and disturb those who hear them. Join us as we explore what parables are, how they work, and what Jesus’ parables reveal about the Kingdom of God.
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.
Henri Nouwen: Spiritual Guide
Alan Kolp, Ph.D.
Four Mondays, February 8 to February 29, 2016 | $60 | 7 – 9 p.m.
John Knox Presbyterian Church | 25200 Lorain Avenue | North Olmsted | 44070 – Register
The life and teachings of Henri Nouwen offer insightful spiritual guidance for life in our own times. Focused around the four themes of heart, hospitality, healing and hope, the experience and wisdom of Nouwen will unlock new possibilities for spiritual encounter and growth.
Alan Kolp, Ph.D., is currently holder of the Baldwin Wallace Chair in Faith & 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 Fulbright 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).
A book discussion led by Rev. Laury Larson – Register
Tuesday, January 19, 2016, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. [Space limited to 15 participants] | $15
Plymouth Church | 2860 Coventry Road | Shaker Heights | 44120
The featured book is Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Geraldine Brooks’s The Secret Chord (2015). In her vivid and original novel, Brooks tells the story of King David through the eyes of the courtier and prophet Nathan, who both counseled and castigated David, and who is said to have chronicled his life. For the Biblical story of David, read 1st Samuel, chapters 16-31; 2nd Samuel chapters 1-24 and 1st Kings chapters 1-2:11.
Rev. Laury Larson is a retired Presbyterian Church (USA) minister and long-time trustee of the Cleveland Ecumenical Institute for Religious Studies.
Listen for a Change: Sacred Conversations for Racial Justice: An Interactive Theological Conference from Trinity Institute Wall Street with the Keynotes Streamed Live Via Webcast, Featuring:
TI2016 brings action-oriented theologians and thought leaders, including Michele Norris, Nicholas Kristof, Anna Deavere Smith, Emilie Townes, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Victor Rios and Kelly Brown Douglas.
Register: Friday and/or Saturday, January 22, 23, 2016 9:00 a.m. | Cost: TBA.
Location: Trinity Episcopal Cathedral | 2230 Euclid Avenue | Parking off 22nd and Prospect Avenue | Cleveland, Ohio | 44115
Trinity Institute’s 2016 conference (TI2016) is an action-oriented theological conference for racial justice. These life-giving conversations will teach us more about the racial issues of our time, including structural racism, mass incarceration, and policy change. (More information as we receive it on ceirs.org).
TI2016 brings action-oriented theologians and thought leaders, including Michele Norris, Nicholas Kristof, Anna Deavere Smith, Emilie Townes, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Victor Rios and Kelly Brown Douglas to provide better understanding, inspiration, and ideas you can use in your community to make a positive impact. http://www.trinitywallstreet.org/trinity-institute/2016/home
You are welcome to attend the televised opening worship service on Thursday Jan. 21 at 7:00 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral (no charge).
SAVE THE DATES:
Session 1: Exploring the Foundations of Contemplative Living
(Attend one or both sessions).
James Finley, Ph.D.
Friday, April 29 from 7 to 9 p.m.
Location: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church | 2747 Fairmount Blvd. | Cleveland Heights | 44106
James Finley, Ph.D., lived as a monk at the cloistered Trappist monastery of the Abbey of Gethsemane in Kentucky, where the world-renowned monk and author, Thomas Merton, was his spiritual director. Finley, a writer and practicing psychologist, leads retreats and workshops throughout the United States and Canada.
Session 2: A Path to Inner Peace: Freeing the Mind and Heart
Saturday, April 30 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
–through Spiritual Sobriety — Universal principles of awakening and transformation that lead to serenity, clarity, fulfillment and god’s nearness in our daily lives.
Thomas Merton & Teresa of Avila — In this retreat, we will turn to Teresa’s classic work The Interior Castle, in which she helps us find God by guiding us through the mansions of our own soul. Throughout the retreat, we will reflect on passages in Thomas Merton’s writing that resonate with the teachings of Theresa.
The Cleveland Ecumenical Institute of Religious Studies has initiated a book discussion group that will meet periodically. Enjoy the shared experience of reading and discussing books by leading theologians, biblical scholars and other authors addressing religious belief and practice.
Discussion is facilitated by the Rev. Laury W. Larson, a retired Presbyterian Church (USA) minister and long time trustee of the Cleveland Ecumenical Institute
The next CEIRS READS book selection is Pulitzer Prize winning evolutionary biologist E. O. Wilson’s The Meaning of Human Existence (2014). Uniting science and the humanities, Wilson examines humankind’s place in the natural world and the choices we confront if we are to live in peace together and in harmony with nature.
Tuesday, November 17, 1:00 – 3:00 PM
Place: The Plymouth Church 2860 Coventry Rd. Shaker Heights, 44120
To register: You can register and pay by credit card
Respond to this email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or
call 216 283 1507
Space is limited to 15; register soon to reserve your place!
Thomas Merton and the Contemplative Quest for God
Eight Mondays | Thursdays | October 1 = November 19, 2015 | 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. | $120 |
Fairmount Presbyterian Church | 2747 Fairmount Boulevard | Cleveland Heights, Ohio | 44108
For the Trappist monk, Thomas Merton, the contemplative quest included not only monks and nuns in cloisters, but all who seriously sought the Holy in prayer and work, regardless of religious persuasion or temperament. This course will introduce the main themes of Merton’s spiritual vision such as the search for freedom, the true self, and prayer of the heart.
Required Text: Thomas Merton: An Invitation to the Contemplative Life by Wayne Simsic.
Wayne Simsic, M.A. leads seminars and retreats on contemplative spirituality, prayer and the mystics as spiritual guides. He is the author of a number of books, including two on Thomas Merton: “Praying with Thomas Merton,” and “Thomas Merton: An Invitation to the Contemplative Life.”
Bold and Brazen: Hearing the Hebrew Prophets Today
Rev. Barbara J. Essex
Four Thursdays, October 8 to October 29 | 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. | $60
Church of the Saviour | 2537 Lee Road | Cleveland Heights | 44118
We live in a post-everything world, ruled and shaped by technology and scientific advancements. Yet intolerance, violence, exploitation, stereotyping, misunderstandings, and misinformation prevail. In their critique of empire and status quo and the call to action of various kinds, the prophets of ancient Israel
have a message for us today. We will explore various aspects of Hebrew prophecy in ancient contexts as a way of understanding selected current events and how we might respond.
Required texts: any version of the Bible and Bold and Brazen: Exploring Biblical Prophets (Barbara J.Essex; Pilgrim Press, 2010).
Rev. Barbara Essex is an ordained United Church of Christ minister. She is a sought-after preacher and speaker. Her Bible study books focus on biblical personalities. Her work is ecumenical, Bible-based, and theologically and socially progressive. She is presently the Executive Director of United Protestant Campus Ministries in Cleveland and oversees ministries at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, and Cuyahoga Community College, Metro Campus.
CEIRS Reads: Book 1: Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most by Marcus Borg
Rev. Laury Larson, Discussion Facilitator
Tuesday, September 29 | 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m | $15
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church | 2747 Fairmount Boulevard | Cleveland Heights, OH 44106
The Cleveland Ecumenical Institute of Religious Studies is initiating a book discussion group that will meet periodically. Enjoy the shared experience of reading and discussing books by leading theologians, biblical scholars and other authors addressing religious belief and practice.
The first CEIRS READS book selection is best selling author Marcus Borg’s Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most (2014). Part memoir, part manifesto, Convictions is the recently deceased author’s reflections on his life and how he developed his most bedrock convictions and why those convictions matter for all progressive Christians who seek to follow Jesus today.
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.
The next CEIRS READS book discussion is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, November 17. That will require a separate registration, and the cost is $15. Attendees at the Bok I discussion will have preference for registration. Maximum size of the discussion groups: 15.