First Presbyterian Church – Cedar Rapids

Faith & Life

Faith and Life Studies are based on the premise that adults do not stop learning about and growing in their faith. Applying our faith to our lives today and growing in our Christian faith is the goal of these studies. The leaders encourage interaction and sharing, and add their own knowledge and insight in directing discussions productively.

Faith and Life meets on Wednesdays from 7 pm to 8:30 pm in the Wernimont Room unless otherwise noted.

Challenging Cinema Series

October 1 – October 22, 2014

Sessions in this series begin at 6:30 pm on Wednesdays in the Wernimont Room.

View and discuss challenging issues of race relations, redemption, friendship and courage.

Jerry Elsea will present and lead discussion – He is a movie historian and retired Gazette Opinion Page Editor who was, in his early days at The Gazette, a reporter whose duties included reviewing movies. His choice of movies and insightful discussion of the themes and moral issues in last year’s Faith & Life Cinema series was greatly praised and appreciated.

Music:  Sacred and Secular

October 29 – December 3, 2014

“Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life. Although the spirit be not master of that which it creates through music, yet it is blessed in this creation, which, like every creation of art, is mightier than the artist.”  –Beethoven

There are as many forms of music as there are unique personalities on the planet. It has the ability to elevate aspects of our everyday lives from the mundane to the sacred. How do musical rituals in religious practices differ? How does our musical history unite us through multiple generations? How does music affect our spirit – both in the worship experience and in our secular lives?

The World at the Time of Jesus’ Birth

December 10- December 17, 2014

It’s difficult to understand Jesus without understanding the time in which he lived. How did the people live?  What was happening in the world at that time? How does context affect our interpretation?

Jordan Smith, Religious Studies U of Iowa, will lead these sessions. He has a PhD in Religion from Florida State U. He is a U of Iowa lecturer in Biblical Studies and is has a special research interest in Christian Martyrdom.

Spirituality and Faith

April 15 – April 29

Prayer and the Life of Faith

Oftentimes we think of prayer strictly in the verbal sense and as a word-based medium. We will explore different ways that we can pray through art, meditation and movement.

Heather Hayes, First Presbyterian Associate Pastor will lead the sessions. Having served multiple churches throughout Iowa, Heather is particularly interested in helping individuals and churches develop the practices that will help them navigate the changing world and culture faithfully.

Spirituality

3 weeks beginning May 6, 2015

Falling Upward, Spirituality in the Two Halves of Life by Richard Rohr will be the resource basis for this study – reading the book is optional but is excellent. Rohr states: “There are two major tasks. In the first half [of life] you’ve got to find your identity, your significance; you create your ego boundaries, your ego structure, what I call the creating of the container. But that’s just to get you started. In the second half of life, once you’ve created your ego structure, you finally have the courage to ask: What is this all for? What am I supposed to do with this? Is it just to protect it, to promote it, to defend it, or is there some deeper purpose? The search for meaning is the task of the second half of life.”

Heather Hayes, First Presbyterian Associate Pastor will lead the sessions. Having served multiple churches throughout Iowa, Heather is particularly interested in helping individuals and churches develop the practices that will help them navigate the changing world and culture faithfully.

Paul – Appalling or Appealing

 6 weeks Sunday mornings 9:50-10:50 beginning April 12, 2015

An in-depth look at the man who has been remarkably misunderstood by most Christians. In recent years New Testament scholars and historians of antiquity have uncovered fascinating new information that sheds an entirely different light on Paul and his message.  Paul’s, “wives be submissive to your husbands”, “obey the governing authorities”, “you are saved by grace through grace”, and even “Christ died for your sins” is now understood by the professors and pastors of the Presbyterian Church in an   entirely new and better! way.  The study will plumb the depths, riches and joys of the Christian faith?

Gary Connors-Boe, Residential Counselor at Four Oaks and former Lutheran Pastor, will lead the discussion. He served as Four Oaks Foundation Director when he led an unprecedented fund raising of $5,000,000 for endowment. He is a Lutheran ordained  pastor and has been senior pastor in three churches.