2015 Summer Series


What Separates Us, What Brings Us Together

Sundays in June, July, and August

9:45 a.m.   |   The Atrium, Ground Floor of the Oglesby Building

In the Summer Adult Education Series we will explore several dimensions of life that have significant impact on how we view ourselves in relation with others and how we interact with others. Since the meanings we ascribe to our experience and perceptions differ from person to person and from group to group, we are divided about some things and united by others. 

In the Summer Series we will explore the dynamics, complexities and moral questions raised in by certain aspects of socio-economics, politics. We plan to address faith traditions and the role they play in bringing us together in a time with rapidly changing demographics. We also will strengthen our understanding and appreciation of the role of music and art in bringing people together.

Many moral questions arise at the intersection between economy and society. Success and failure are attributed to the individual, with little notice of the larger social and political realities.

Referred to as the “Great Divide,” contemporary American politics is deeply polarized to the extreme detriment of our most marginalized citizens.

Within and among faith traditions and communities, divisions indicate the need for ongoing conversations. Some say that tradition may separate us, yet the Bible’s message brings us together.

Music has been described as the “universal language” that transcends differences and creates community. People come together through art, music, dance and celebration.

May 31

Our Story in Pictures – An Introduction to Celebrating Central (Putting things in perspective)
Leaders:  Norm and Kathy Kohn, Michael Lloyd

Norm and Kathy, active members of Central for many years, will share stories about Central’s urban outreach and our continuous commitment to the people of downtown Atlanta.  We will learn more about the evolving nature of our involvement with inner city Atlanta as we recognize and celebrate some key events and the people who made these things possible.  

June 7

Adult Education at Central 
Leader: Rod Hunter

Rod is Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Theology, Candler School of Theology, Emory University.  Since 1968 Rod has been a significant contributor to Adult Christian Education at Central.  Some of the many classes taught include the Twenties and Thirties Class, teacher of the Brotherhood Class monthly for 25 years and various elective courses. Rod also created a class known as Christianity 101, “intended for new people as an introduction to Christianity.” Rod will share his experience with adult Christian education programs, what he has learned as a Sunday School teacher and his thoughts about structuring effective, theologically sound adult learning curricula.

June 14

Youth and Children's Education at Central
Leader:  Bruce Edenfield

"Mr. Bruce" has been a faithful and admired teacher of children at Central.  He will share some stories that illustrate his teaching experiences and his approach to children’s Christian education.  Additionally, Bruce will share some concerns and recommendations about on-going children's Christian education.

June 21

Making Connections - Central's Circles, Study Groups, and Retreats
Leaders:  Debbie Miller, Phyllis Lloyd

Debbie and Phyllis will share their experience with the Circles, the Women's Study Group and the Women’s Retreats by providing examples of areas presented and discussed, review the roles of the women's programs in recent times and open discussion about how women can connect and get to know one another through these three on-going programs.

June 28

The Montreat Every Member Retreats
Leaders:  Martha Kimes, Marcia Hunter

Lake Susan, barn square dance, rock-hopping, Graybeard trail, wonderful group dinners, and enriching learning programs --- Central has a long tradition of annual retreats at Montreat every Labor Day weekend.  Martha and Marcia will share some experiences and stories about the retreats and what they meant to so many Centralites of all ages.

July 5

Local Mission and Outreach Work
Leader: Mary Caroline Lindsay

Our local mission and outreach, especially to the inner city, have a strong impact on who we are and what we do.  There are many people "behind the scenes" of Central's local mission and outreach and many stories to tell.  How did some of these programs begin and why did they begin?  There are many things and people we may not know about or perhaps cannot readily recall.  Who can better jog our memory than Mary Caroline?

July 12

International Mission Trips
Leader:  Michael Lloyd

Central has had and continues to have an active International Mission ministry. During this class we get to learn about the experiences of the May 16 - May 29, 2015 Interfaith Peace Delegation to Israel/Palestine.  Other delegates participating in this class will also have the chance to share what they learned during the May trip this May.  Some photos of the trip will be part of the presentation.

July 19

Elders, Deacons and Parishes
Leaders:  Bede Campbell, Em McNair, Linda Lehfeldt

Three of our most knowledgeable members will share experiences related to these three dynamic ministries of leadership and service.  Elders, deacons and parishes help to shape the vision and direction of the church as well as provide spiritual leadership. What are some of Central’s outstanding leadership contributions and initiatives?  How have the parishes enriched our faith community? These are among the subjects to be presented and discussed during the class.

July 26

Multi-Generational Families
Leaders: Charlie Richards, Paul Greene, Lamar Oglesby

As implied by the name of this class, many families continue to bless us with their talents and other contributions from generation to generation.  The Richards, Greenes and Oglesbys are high on this list.  How have these families in particular contributed to the spiritual and physical growth of Central.  What are some examples of their role modelling over the years?  This is a time to recognize and honor these contributions.  Charlie, Paul and Lamar will provide us with stories by which to remember their forbearers’ legacies.    

August 2

Music at Central
Leader: Michael Morgan

Michael Morgan, Organist Emeritus, came to Central in 1972 as organist, and has a particular passion for the Psalms.  Michael wrote The Psalter for Christian Worship (1999). In 2014 King University conferred Michael the Honorary Doctorate of Letters in recognition of scholarship in the history of the English Bible and the Psalms. Michael has worked with Dave VanderMeer, Don Robinson, and Marilyn (Micki) Gonzalez, not only as organist, but as a music composer and liturgist.  Michael is an eloquent speaker and master story-teller who has a rich musical and liturgical experience to share with us.

August 9

Preaching the Word: Worship at Central
Leaders:  Lee Carroll and Cheryl Gosa

Lee is Associate Professor Emeritus of Supervised Ministry at Columbia Theological Seminary, where he served from 1983-2009. Prior to that he was a pastor of congregations in Memphis TN, Louisville KY and Charleston WV. Lee’s career has been devoted to helping students and pastoral supervisors integrate theology and the practice of ministry. He is currently on the Board of Central Outreach and Advocacy Center where he recently completed serving as Board Chair. He has also been board chair of Our House in Decatur, GA; Appalachian Ministries Educational Resource Center in Berea KY; and the Urban Training Organization of Atlanta. Cheryl received her Master of Divinity degree from Columbia Theological Seminary and her Doctor of Ministry degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. She served on the pastoral staff of the First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta for ten years as parish liturgist and director of the broadcast ministry. Cheryl has extensive experience with broadcast programming, film, radio, video, television production, journalism and creative liturgy.  Preaching is deeply rooted in the life of the faith community.  We owe a lot to the gifted preachers who have led our congregation over the years. Rather than individuals, Lee and Cheryl will focus on the overall worship experience and the integral place of preaching in communal worship and spiritual life.  

August 16

Central's Resident Pastor Program
Leaders:  Jamie Butcher and others TBD

In 1999 Lilly Endowment began supporting a small number of pilot projects aimed at assisting new pastors in making the critical transition from seminary student to full-time pastor as part of its larger effort to strengthen the preparation of pastoral leaders. The majority of projects are congregation-based residency programs in which, like the medical school model, new pastors spend time as "residents" in a teaching congregation before assuming leadership of their own church. In part, the goal of the Lilly-funded Pastoral Residency Program is to strengthen pastoral leadership by supporting a variety of projects that test new ways for helping new pastors move through the transition from student to pastor. Few things have enriched Central more than the Resident Pastor Program.  Here we will share how the program began, who provided the resources for the program and how the program is structured. Also, we will hear many examples of the contributions of Resident Pastors since the program's inception.

August 23

Reflections from Resident Pastors, Past and Present
Leaders:  Cat Goodrich, Sally Ann Sisk, Anna Traynham

Since the initial two-year program we have expanded the residency to three years. Resident pastors at Central now serve in overlapping terms with each newly arriving resident joining and learning from peers who are continuing their ministry in a second and third year. In this class resident pastors past and present will share their personal journeys and what the program means or has meant to them.  It will be a wonderful time to hear firsthand about the work of our resident pastors and the value they continue to bring to our faith community.

August 30

Central's Endowments (Summer Series Conclusion) 
Leaders:  Brian Bishop, Tony Amos and Tracy Moore

Endowment gifts are statements which demonstrate the belief that we are never ultimately proprietors or owners, but stewards, lifetime guardians entrusted by God to use wisely what God has placed in our hands. When an individual creates an endowment gift for the church during or beyond their lifetime, it declares to the present and future generations the importance of our faith and trust in God. During this class we will show how our generous endowments over the years have enabled programs that have become part and parcel of our church community. We depend on endowments to continue many of our ministries. We will discuss the endowment funds, their origin and the related administration, the decision - making processes and the practical stewardship involved.