Adult Education

At Mill Woods United, we gather to discuss sacred values and other things that give meaning to our lives. Our Sunday morning gatherings provide some of that, but many of us also want other opportunities for “lifelong learning in Love.” Return to this space for information about Fall 2017 shortly (June 20, 2017)

Ever Wonder Conference, Sept 1-3, 2017, Edmonton

Our friends at Southminster-Steinhauer United Church have organized an exciting conference on expansive spirituality over the Labour Day weekend. The theme speaker is the Rev. Gretta Vosper from West Hill United Church in Toronto. Vosper appears to be on the cusp of being stripped of her ability to minister by the leaders of our denomination because she identifies as an atheist. The conference also includes panel discussions, workshops, and spiritual gatherings.

Bible study starts Sept 7, 2017

Starting on Thursday September 7, we will offer a weekly Bible study. Meeting from 10:30 to 11:30 am in the Lounge, participants will meditate on a passage of Scripture that will be the focus for worship the following Sunday. We will hear it read three times. After the first reading, each person will be asked to name a word from the text that most stood out in their heart and mind. After the second , each person will be asked to name the phrase or sentence that most caught their attention. After the third and final reading, each person will have a chance to offer comments or questions on the passage, which could be followed by discussion. The meetings will start with a check-in and end with a prayer. Our hope is to offer a similar Bible study in the Winter on Thursday evenings — Ian

Click here for a poster about the event (PDF file)

Past educational opportunities at Mill Woods United have included . . . 

April 4, 2016, Monday, 5 pm — ‘The Walrus’ talks spirituality

Six people gathered in the church Lounge for a live stream of an event in Toronto organized by the United Church ‘Observer’ and ‘The Walrus’ magazine. Leading thinkers examined faith, culture, community and the role of spirituality in our secular society:

• Nicole Brooks, creator
• Natalie Bull, executive director, The National Trust for Canada
• Lewis Cardinal, Cardinal Strategic Communications
• Timothy Caulfield, author
• Joan Garson, president, Holy Blossom Temple
• Michael Ingham, bishop and theologian
• Gretta Vosper, minister, United Church of Canada

Lenten series on reconciliation: Feb 16, 23 and March 1, 2016

Several of us participated in a three-part “webinar” organized by the United Church on reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous people in the church. “Speaking from the heart” occurred over three Tuesdays from 6-8 pm: Feb 16, 23, and March 1.

Fall 2015: Book Study: “A Religion of One’s Own”

This was a six-week study group that read and discussed “A Religion of One’s Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World.” Discussing this 2014 book by Thomas Moore of “Care of the Soul” became a launching pad for nine of us to share ideas, ask important questions, deepen our  spirituality, and get to know one better.

Look here for similar opportunities in 2016.

From the book’s cover: “Whether you belong to a specific religious tradition, or are an agnostic, atheist, or seeker, it is possible to fill the gap between the spiritual and the secular.  By paying attention to inner guidance and mystical experiences in nature and art and doing the service we feel called to do, Moore argues that we can find a sense of purpose that satisfies us spiritually, intellectually and emotionally.

Drawing on his twelve years as a monk; the best of major religious traditions; and the wisdom and experiences of many writers, thinkers, and artists, Moore shows how we can create lives that feed our soul”.

Hinduism: Honouring the Divine in Each Other

Members from  Edmonton United Churches gathered in Fall 2015 to study of “Honouring the Divine in Each Other: United Church-Hindu Relations Today (opens a 62-page PDF file).

Other ast education groups

In the Fall of 2014, we ran a weekly Bible Study and an evening Sharing Circle. In Lent 2015, we offered a book study on “The Last Week: A Day-by-Day Account of Jesus’ Final Week in Jerusalem” by Marcus Borg and John Crossan. This 2006 book follows the Gospel of Mark’s account of Holy Week (Mark 11-16). It presents the wisdom of two progressive “Jesus Seminar” scholars for a general audience.

Everyone who tries to follow the Way of Jesus has doubts, questions and insights to share. If you have an idea for adult education, please bring it to either Ian Kellogg or Ethel Ray.