|President McDonald among speakers at Berkeley church's Winter Institute|
Is God calling you to something new? To help you answer this question, First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley is offering a series of seminars that will explore God's gifts – to you personally, to your community and to the world.
The annual 2013 Winter Institute will be held weekly from Jan. 6-Feb. 13 at First Presbyterian Church. Seminar topics include the politics of hunger, the biblical and modern issues facing the Holy Land, and maintaining healthy marriages. Each course is designed to answer questions, test out and open doors to a renewed sense of God's call.
According to Rev. Mark Stryker, associate pastor for adult ministries at First Presbyterian Church, the gifts and call of God flow through our lives like underlying currents of a stream, which give direction for our journey, preparing us to negotiate the rapids and savor the still waters of life.
The seminar facilitators will include Rev. Dr. James McDonald, president of San Francisco Theological Seminary and former director of Bread for the World. McDonald will lead “Christians and the Politics of Hunger” on Jan. 6, Jan. 13 and Jan. 20 from 11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Over three Sundays, this course will provide an overview of the issue of hunger in this country and around the world, examine the biblical foundations for addressing hunger, and show how advocacy on the part of people of faith can make a difference in the lives of hungry people in our world today. McDonald believes there is a strong biblical foundation and common theological ground for Christians to join together in the quest to end hunger and poverty that embraces both charity and justice.
Rev. Debbie Whaley is associate pastor of caring ministries at First Presbyterian Church who earned her Master of Divinity from San Francisco Theological Seminary in 2001. She will lead “A Palestinian Pilgrimage: A Look at the Biblical and Modern Issues Facing the Holy Land” on Jan. 27, Feb. 3 and Feb. 10 from 11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
In this class, Whaley will reflect on her recent sabbatical spent in Israel and the West Bank. She will provide a biblical and theological framework for understanding this sacred place, her own experience of spiritual pilgrimage there, and the current challenges facing peace in this region. Committed to a compassionate stance towards both Israel and Palestine, she will help us think through what God's call for grace and justice means in this very tense place.
Here is the list of seminars:
• Called to Serve
• Mark's Gospel: Exploring Its Narrative, Theology, Synoptic Relationships, and Implications
• A Palestinian Pilgrimage: A Look at the Biblical and Modern Issues Facing the Holy Land
• Christians and the Politics of Hunger
• Creativity in the Creator's Image: A Painting, Drawing, Collage Group
• Maintaining a Healthy Marriage
• Speaking of Jesus: The Hope That Is Within Us
• Basic Christian Belief and Practice: What Do Christians Believe and Why Do They Do the Things They Do?
Registration is requested. Course fees, if any, are payable at the first session.
To register or learn more about all seminars, go to http://www.fpcberkeley.org/institute.asp#hunger