Adult Christian Formation, Fall 2019

Controversial Texts: Exploring Our Faith Through Writings Included and Excluded from the Bible

September 15 – May 2020, weekly sessions at 10 AM

Location: Parlor

Facilitator: Jerrod Smith

Supplemental Materials: Study Guide to the Apocrypha

Anyone who has attended an Episcopal Church for any length of time has come across them, maybe in the scripture readings on a Sunday morning, or in words read aloud at weddings: names like Tobit, Baruch, The Book of Wisdom…names that sound just Biblical enough, but not exactly familiar. Or perhaps you’ve caught a show on the History Channel about gospels out there other than the four we consider to be holy texts, with names like The Gospel of Thomas, or the Gnostic Gospels. And then there was that time you tried to read the entire Bible and were stunned at the content of books like The Song of Solomon, or the Book of Revelation, or you pondered why a book like Esther, which never even mentions God, would be included in our Old Testament. 

These moments bring us face to face with the reality that The Bible has a rich and dynamic history, and that for centuries, Christian faith has been enriched by wrestling with what is, and what is not, considered holy text.  In this ongoing group Bible study, we will examine and discuss many of these texts together, through the lenses of the Episcopal tradition, historical context, the Holy Bible itself, and our own faith.  We’ll begin with a history lesson on the Bible, and then move into explorations of the Apocrypha,the books of the Old and New Testaments whose inclusion in the Holy Bible were debated by the early church, and the non-canonical gospels.  Come with questions, your own experience, and an eagerness to discuss scripture with other believers.

Stephen Ministry: Everything you ever wanted to know about Stephen Ministry (but were too puzzled to ask)

Starting September 15 at 10 AM, continuing quarterly

Location: Community Room

Facilitator: Debbie Lewallen

In Galatians 6:2, we are directed to “Bear on another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”  In today’s world we need to do this more than ever.  Here at, All Saints’, our mission is to Love like God does and, in that vein, we have a well-trained group of Stephen Ministers providing loving care to those in distress.

Stephen Ministry is an international program of 13,000 congregations and more than 600,000 Stephen Ministers who provide one-to-one lay caring ministry to their congregations and communities at-large. All Saints’ has been proving this ministry since 2014 to individuals within our church and community.  This has translated into over 1,500 hours, as of the 2018 annual report, of one-to-one confidential care for our care receivers. 

The High Cost of Gun Violence, Part 1

November 10, 10 AM

Location: Parish Hall

Facilitators: Rabbi Dr. Barbara Thiede & Alexandria Osborne

On April 30, 2019, UNC Charlotte became a victim of the gun violence epidemic that has spread across this country. The shooting resulted in the death of two students, injuries to four more students, and a traumatic life-changing experience for countless other people in the UNCC community. Rabbi Dr. Barbara Thiede, a professor at UNCC, will speak together with Alexandria Osborne, a student at UNCC who was in a neighboring building and witnessed events as they were unfolding. Rabbi Dr. Barbara Thiede teaches at the university and serves as the director of the graduate program in Religious Studies. Alexandria Osborn is an undergraduate who will be entering the Religious Studies graduate program in fall of 2020.

The High Cost of Gun Violence, Part 2

November 17, 10 AM

Location: Parish Hall

Facilitators: Rabbi Dr. Barbara Thiede & Jeff Baker, UNCC Chief of Campus Police

Jeff Baker, UNCC Chief of Campus Police, was on the scene of the campus shooting in 2019, and he played a leadership role in the university’s response to this tragic incident. Chief Baker joined the UNC Charlotte team in 2009 after spending 28 years as a member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. He earned his BS Degree from Gardner- Webb University as well as an Associate’s Degree from Central Piedmont Community College. Chief Baker was awarded the Charlotte Police Medal of Merit for bravery in the line of duty, and he was named Campus Safety Director of the Year in 2013 by Campus Safety and Security Magazine.

Faithful Questions

Dates TBD

Facilitator: Dave Millar

10-12 sessions offered to prepare parishioners for confirmation.

Focusing on Interpersonal Communications

Dates TBD

Facilitator: Rachel Berg