Adult Formation Fall 2020

September 16, 23, and 30, 6 p.m.-7 p.m.
Zoom Meeting
Led by St. John’s Clergy
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Jesus says his Church is enlivened by the Holy Spirit. The Apostle Paul refers to the sufficiency of the fruit of the Spirit in his letter to the first churches in Galatia. And the fruits of that Spirit are love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. This fruit is in painfully short supply in the world about us. How do we as a church live into the Spirit so that it bears much-needed fruit for our desperately hungry world?

October 7, 6 p.m.-7 p.m.
Zoom Webinar
Led by Dr. Chiseche Mibenge
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Dr. Chiseche Mibenge is the Director for Gender Initiatives at Episcopal Relief & Development (ERD), the humanitarian response of The Episcopal Church. Dr. Mibenge provides leadership on human rights and gender strategy and supports global partners addressing early childhood development, gender equity, women’s empowerment, and climate resilience at ERD. In this presentation, she speaks to the status of women and girls internationally, paying special attention to the socio-economic realities in countries where ERD works. She shares information about the asset-based approach ERD applies to engagement with interfaith leaders and their communities. If time permits, she discusses the global, gendered impacts of COVID-19 such as increases in domestic violence and child marriage. Dr. Mibenge studied Law at the University of Zambia and received her PhD in International Human Rights Law from Utrecht University. She is the author of Sex and International Tribunals: The Erasure of Gender from the War Narrative (Penn Press). As an educator, she has contributed to the development of human rights curricula at CUNY and Stanford University.

October 14, 21, 28, 6 p.m.-7 p.m.
Garden or Zoom Webinar
Led by Bob Cowell, Jordan Bell, and St. John’s Clergy
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Jesus’s ministry and parables turned the definition of the neighbor on its head. Rather than someone who shared a provincial, ethnic affinity, or a moral righteousness, the neighbor was any and everyone. For Jesus, a poor Israelite, the neighbor was the Canaanite woman, a Roman soldier, a wealthy tax collector, a Samaritan woman, a leper. Jesus loved them all, and he commanded us to love likewise. This three-sessions series focuses on how we honor our local neighbors. On October 14, Bob Cowell, Roanoke’s city manager, speaks about the realities of Roanoke’s diverse population, the city’s vision for the future, and ways to get involved in community efforts to help the least of these. On October 21, Jordan Bell educates us on the history of Gainsboro. On October 28, the clergy leads us in exegesis of Biblical stories about the neighbor, from the Old Testament story of Ruth and Naomi to Jesus’s parable of the Good Samaritan.

Since 2017, Bob Cowell has had the honor of serving as the city manager, assisting the mayor and city council in achieving the goals they have established in prioritized areas. Prior to his arrival in Roanoke, he worked in a variety of leadership roles in city and county government for 25+ years. His years of public service have taken him to communities from the High Plains of Texas to Michigan, and from the banks of the Mississippi River in Missouri to the heart of Indiana.

Jordan Bell is an experienced special education instructional assistant and camp director at Apple Ridge Farm. He's led walking tours of Roanoke's Gainsboro neighborhood, drawing on his extensive knowledge of the history of the neighborhood. He is working on a documentary on Gainsboro.

Trinitarian Theology: The Ground of Our Being and an Invitation to Wholeness
November 4, 11, 18, 6 p.m.-7 p.m.
Garden or Zoom Webinar
Led by St. John’s Clergy
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God is a community. This is fundamental to the Christian understanding of the nature of God. If we are to know who we are, we must know the God in whose image we are made. Unity in diversity. Community bringing purpose, fulfillment, and wholeness. Life within creation and all others. This class explores how the mysterious doctrine of the Trinity is key to who we are and are to be. In fact, we believe that in it is the Christian hope. Indeed, it is the hope for the life of the world.