Adult Discussion Group


Enlightening dialogue

Join us for a lively, in-depth, single-topic, 70-minute discussion, typically featuring a knowledgeable authority. Share your views during the Q&A period. 8:30 AM every Sunday in the Assembly Hall.


Adult Discussion Group: Historic Ordination of William Johnson

Date & Time: Sunday, June 25, 2017 - 8:30am

As we celebrate the anniversary of the UCC, you are invited to hear Frank Hanzel present how the United Church of Christ became the first major denomination to knowingly ordain a gay person to the Christian ministry. Learn how the faith and resolve of Bill Johnson opened the doors of ordained ministry to hundreds who have followed in his footsteps. Fireside Room, 8:30 am


ADG: "The Gospel of Mark - A Literary Perspective" by Marilyn Anderson

This is a literary analysis of the Gospel of Mark, not a religious or spiritual analysis.  Marilyn Anderson discusses how Homer’s two great epic poems, The Odyssey and The Illiad, written possibly 7 or 8 centuries earlier, appear to have set the standard for how epic stories (including Mark’s Gospel) were to be told.  Marilyn gives five specific strategies for these epic stories and shows how they were incorporated into the Gospel of Mark.

Adult Discussion Group: The Gospel of Mark - A Literary Perspective

On June 18, Marilyn Anderson will discuss “The Gospel of Mark –  A Literary Perspective”.  The Gospel of Mark’s author uses four narrative strategies to capture and hold the reader’s interest in this fast-paced story.  When we analyze Mark’s gospel as a literary work, we discover why these strategies are successful.  We begin at 8:30 AM in the Assembly Hall.  All ages are welcome.

ADG: "Providing Aid to the Developing World" by Jeff Stern


Jeff Stern spent 5 years in Ecuador and Nicaragua as a USAID employee overseeing a variety of aid programs.  Often this aid was in the form of matching the funding from private American donor groups.  Jeff gives us insights into how both our federal government and private donor groups provide aid to the developing world, and he discusses the effectiveness of various aid programs.

ADG: "Rev. Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Maintaining Jesus' Values in Hitler's Germany" by Dr. Lisa Dahill

(By mistake, the first four minutes of this presentation were not recorded.)
In this part 1 of a 2-part series, Dr. Dahill begins by describing Bonhoeffer’s childhood in a very large, religiously inactive, Prussian elitist family.  His gradual evolution into a Christian spiritual leader (including a year spent exploring religion in America) and his subsequent response to the moral dilemmas posed by the rise of Hitler are also explored.

ADG: "Islam - - A Comparative Religion Perspective" By Dr. Amir Hussain

This is the last of a 6-part comparative religion series – – specifically in 2016 Dr Hussain gave   presentations on Hinduism, Buddhism, Confusianism, and Taoism and in January 2017 he discussed  Judaism and Christianity.  Today Dr. Hussain discusses Islam and gives examples of how Islam adapted to local cultures as it spread out of Arabia soon after Mohammad’s death.  The inevitable result is that today within Islam there is a  wide diversity of religious practice, and Dr. Hussain gave sharia law as an example of this.

Adult Discussion Group: Islamd - A Comparative Religion Perspective

On April 30th our topic will be “Islam — A Comparative Religion Perspective” by LMU’s Prof. Amir Hussain.  This concludes a 3-part series on the major western religions begun by Dr. Hussain in January.  Dr. Hussain is a practicing Muslim and yet he is married to a Protestant (Methodist) and teaches at a Catholic University (Loyola Marymount).  He will make comparisons and contrasts among Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.  He will also focus on the aspects of Islam, from its beginning to the present day, that are most interesting and moving to him.


ADG: Mormonism in Everyday Life by Eric & Maddie Bell

ADG: Pontius Pilate by Dr. Gary Hartzell

On April 9th our speaker, Dr. Gary Hartzell, will discuss ”Pontius Pilate”.   Gary will provide the background and profile of this ruler who, along with Herod Antipas, played the decisive role in determining Jesus’ fate in his final week before crucifixion. Gary discusses what motivated Pilate, and he explains the larger context in which Jesus’ crucifixion occurred. All ages are welcome. We meet at 8:30 AM in the Assembly Hall.

ADG: In Defense of Food_ An Eater's Manifesto

ADG: What I learned During My Three Years in Washington, DC by Alden Munson

On March 26th, Alden Munson will discuss, “What I Learned During My Three Years in Washington, DC.”  Alden is an advisor to the U.S. intelligence community, has worked in senior management at Litton and TRW, and is a Senior Fellow at the Potomac Institute of Policy Studies.  He will talk about how the Federal Government really works, including processes that Alden had not completely understood in his preceding 40 years in the defense and intelligence industry.  He will give one example from the executive branch and another from Congress and then discuss some resulting questions.  We begin at 8:30 AM in the Assembly Hall.  All ages are welcome.

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