Our preaching and teaching follows Jesus' life as told in the Gospel of Luke.
We'll be kicking off our Fall Sunday School classes on September 13. You are invited to join in!
This fall four classes will meet online via the Zoom platform, beginning at 9:30 am and ending between 10:30 and 10:45 am, in time for livestream worship from our Sanctuary at 11:00 am. For more information and to obtain the necessary information to join, including a password to be allowed in the meeting (mandatory with Zoom beginning this fall), please contact email@example.com.
Companions on a Journey: Walking with God in Service, Mission and Justice
Nancy Fox, Parish Associate, teacher
Guided by Bible study, primarily in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, along with contemporary readings, we will discuss our personal journeys in mission, service, and racial and other justice issues. We will explore personal, organizational and structural reconciliation ministry in the context of God’s reconciling and unifying activity in the world. We will support each other in strengthening the foundational practices that enable this challenging work of following Jesus, such as prayer, community, confession, examination of conscience, lament and others.
Following Jesus Together with the First Christians.
Quinn Fox, Associate Pastor for Discipleship, teacher
Following an examination of the Scripture passage on which the Sunday sermon is based, we will discuss in small groups its importance for our individual lives and the life of the church in our call to be faithful followers of Jesus Christ together in God’s world. This year’s sermon series will feature the story of the first Christians and their leadership of the church in the initial decades following the resurrection and ascension of Jesus. In the fall we will explore the birth of the church as recorded by Luke in The Acts of the Apostles, building on last year’s study of Luke’s Gospel. We will then study the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans, the most important of his New Testament epistles.
Majoring on the Minor Prophets: Doing Justice, Loving Kindness, and Walking Humbly with God
Currie Renwick, NPC Member, Teacher
The only thing minor about the Minor Prophets is their length! In these twelve short books at the end of the Old Testament, we will hear God speaking not only to the people of ancient Israel and Judah, but also to us. We will listen for God’s message of judgement, justice, love, and mercy, a message as relevant in today’s difficult times as it was 1500 years ago. There really are some major lessons that we can learn from these Minor Prophets!
The Progressive Century: Church History in the Modern Era
R.V. Seep, NPC Member, teacher
The “Progressive” or Long century between the French Revolution and World War I saw itself as an age of progress, presenting a plethora of challenges to traditional Christian faith. Modern science emerged and presented intellectual challenges to the faith. Political revolutions unleashed new hopes of power in reach of common people, along with new demands that it be so; ideologies arose that repudiated faith, labeling religion as the “opiate of the people,” demanding its repression, and offering utopian visions of society Industrialization with global implications, immigration that greatly heightened societal tensions, and massive income inequality stirred the pot of unrest. Imperialism, with blatant racist and cultural superiority assumptions, stamped European dominion around the globe, leaving numerous quagmires for subsequent generations.
Yet Christianity spread geographically and numerically more than it ever had. The gospel was proclaimed far and wide and its social implications pressed much more vehemently than in earlier eras. Hundreds of native languages were reduced to writing and translations of the Bible and Christian literature prepared. Mission schools were opened around the world, pioneering educational efforts in Third World countries. Orphanages, hospitals, and clinics, where thousands were sacrificially cared by dedicated believers, were opened in numerous countries. Led by Christians, efforts were made to eradicate human slavery on a global scale, raise the status of women, reform prison systems, provide for universal educational opportunities, and reform labor practices.
Learn how this age not only framed the dynamics of our current era but offers rich insights into our current situation.
Via Zoom and YouTube Live
Each Sunday during the summer, we took advantage of the virtual platform by bringing speakers from, literally, across the country and even a different continent. Here are the speakers and subjects below. Please visit our speaker archive to watch and listen!
Cherie Harder, President, The Trinity Forum
The Weight of Words
The Bible gives consistent attention to the weight and power of words. Beginning in Genesis, God speaking the world into existence, and culminating with the Good News that the Word became flesh and walked among us himself. The Bible reader is cautioned that the spoken word has the power to heal or destroy, encouraged that “a word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver,” and warned not to distort the smallest word or punctuation mark of God’s word. But, as Eugene Peterson once said, “reverence for language is not conspicuous among us, in or out of the Christian community.” So how should we think about the words we use, especially in this unique time in our lives?
Cherie Harder will discuss the ways that we have a mandate to care for words, to use them wisely and well, and to cultivate the true, good, and beautiful in our language, both written and spoken.
Cherie Harder (B.A., Harvard University School of Government, magna cum laude; Diploma in Literature, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia) is President of the Trinity Forum, which is committed to the transformation and renewal of society through the transformation and renewal of leaders. Prior to joining the Trinity Forum in 2008, Cherie served in the White House as Special Assistant to the President and Director of Policy and Projects for First Lady Laura Bush. Earlier in her career she served as Policy Advisor to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. From 2001 to 2005, she was Senior Counselor to the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), where she helped design and launch the We the People initiative to enhance the teaching, study, and understanding of American history. She currently serves on the several boards, including Gordon College, and the National Museum of American Religion. She was last with us two years ago when she spoke about “The Limits of Politics and the Future of the Church.”
Dr. Richard J. Mouw, President Emeritus, Fuller Theological Seminary
Civility and Common Grace in a Pandemic Season
How can we genuinely listen to folks with whom we have deep disagreements? Are we willing to be taught by fellow human beings, including, by common grace, those beyond the boundaries of the Christian community? For believers, this is a major challenge in the midst of our present-day polarization in both church and society. Facing the challenge requires effort--spiritual effort.
Richard J. Mouw (Ph.D., University of Chicago—Philosophy) is President Emeritus and Professor of Faith and Public Life at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA. Prior to coming to Fuller in 1985, he served as Professor of Philosophy at Calvin College for 17 years. He has published broadly in many periodicals, has authored 19 books including Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility in an Uncivil World, and most recently, All That God Cares About: Common Grace and Divine Delight (2020). He served for six years as co-chair of the official Reformed-Catholic Dialogue, and is a leader for interfaith theological conversations, particularly with Mormons and Jewish groups. On September 1, 2020, he will become senior research scholar for the Paul B. Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, MI.
John Burgess, Professor of Systematic Theology, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
Alternative Politics: The Russian Orthodox Church in Putin’s Russia
This presentation examines grassroots initiatives that Christians in Russia have taken to make their society better. While Church hierarchs declare loyalty to President Putin, these local projects open up space for a different kind of politics where priests and laypeople identify social problems, negotiate solutions, and organize action. We will discuss how these initiatives are quietly reshaping Russia on the ground.
John Burgess (Ph.D., University of Chicago—Christian Theology) is the James Henry Snowden Professor of Systematic Theology at Pittsburgh Theological seminary. Prior to joining the faculty in 1998 he was professor and chaplain at Doane College and Associate for Theology in the Office of Theology and Worship, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). An ordained Presbyterian minister, Burgess has served several congregations part time. He is the author of numerous books, including Confessing Our Faith: The Book of Confessions for Church Leaders, Holy Rus': The Rebirth of Orthodoxy in the New Russia, Encounters with Orthodoxy: How Protestant Churches Can Reform Themselves Again, After Baptism: Shaping the Christian Life, Why Scripture Matters: Reading the Bible in a Time of Church Conflict and The East German Church and the End of Communism. John was a Fulbright Scholar to Russia in 2011 and again in 2018-2019, a Luce Fellow in Theology for 2011-2012, and a research fellow at the Center of Theological Inquiry in 2014-2015. These awards have supported his current research on the Russian Orthodox Church in post-communist Russia.
Tremper Longman Professor of Old Testament Emeritus, Westmont College
The Bible and the Ballot
Christians affirm the Bible as our standard of faith and practice. We turn to it to hear God’s voice. But what relevance does the Bible have for the contentious public policy issues we face today? Although the Bible does not always speak explicitly to modern issues, it does give us guiding principles as we think about how we might vote or act as political figures ourselves. Based on his newest Book, The Bible and the Ballot, Tremper Longman will offer his perspective on the proper use of scripture in contemporary political discussions. Christians regularly invoke the Bible to support their positions on many controversial political topics, such as the definition of marriage, poverty, war, religious liberty, immigration, the environment, taxes, etc.
Tremper Longman, III (Ph.D., Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Yale University) is the Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies emeritus at Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA. Prior to joining Westmont in 1998, he at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. He is an adjunct professor at Fuller Theological Seminary, also Visiting Professor of Old Testament at the Seattle School of Theology & Psychology as well as Ambrose University Seminary (Calgary). He has written over thirty books, including several biblical commentaries, as well as Science, Creation and the Bible: Reconciling Rival Theories of Origins with physicist Richard F. Carlson. He is an editor and contributor to the Zondervan Dictionary of Christianity and Science. With John Walton he wrote, The Lost World of the Flood. His most recent book is The Bible and the Ballot.
Tremper was with us in October 2018 for our conference with several BioLogos speakers, “Can You Trust the Bible in a Scientific Age?” There is a video recording of that conference, including Dr. Longman’s perspective on the relationship between creation and evolution.
Juliana Lesher, National Director of Chaplaincy, Veterans Administration
Calling, Challenge, and Courage
Chaplain Lesher will share from the Old Testament Book of Jeremiah and from her personal experiences of being called to ministry as a young child; of her life challenges including nine extensive hospitalizations as a teenager and young adult for scoliosis, anorexia, and suicide attempts; and how Christ’s saving grace continually inspires her to be courageous as the National Director of VA Chaplain Service for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Chaplain Juliana M. Lesher (B.A., Messiah College, M.Div., Evangelical Theological Seminary, Ph.D., Regent University School of Business and Leadership) is the National Director of Chaplain Service for the Department of Veteran Affairs. Previously she has served as the Chief of Chaplain Service at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System, and the Fargo VA Medical Center. Her Chaplaincies include the Louisville VA Medical Center and the Madison VA Medical Center. She has served as a chaplain in healthcare and prison settings in Pennsylvania, California, Wisconsin, Kentucky, North Dakota, and Texas. Chaplain Lesher was the recipient of the 2016 VA Under Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Chaplaincy, the 2013 Distinguished Service Award from the Military Chaplains Association, the 2013 VA Secretary’s Heart and Hands Award, the 2008 VA Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Chaplaincy, and the 2009 VA Chaplaincy Best Practice Award. She also is the author of the God Understands series. Endorsed for chaplaincy by the Evangelical Congregational Church, and a Certified Educator/Supervisor with the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE), Chaplain Lesher is passionate about serving our Nation’s Veterans and their family members.
N.T. (Tom) Wright, Professor of New Testament, University of St. Andrews, Scotland and Senior Research Fellow at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University
God and the Pandemic
Renowned New Testament scholar N.T. (Tom) Wright is also a personal friend of our pastor, David Renwick. Tom will join David in conversation virtually from Oxford, England to share insights from his newest book, God and the Pandemic.
We’re in the middle of a pandemic, and it seems natural to ask questions like: “What is God up to?” “Is God trying to get our attention?” “Is this an opportunity for evangelism?” “Have we humans done something wrong?” In his new brief book, based on a short article written for Time Magazine on March 29, 2020, Dr. Wright urges Christians to slow down and ask some other key questions in response not just to the pandemic but to the even greater sign given to us by God: the life and ministry of Jesus. For example: Where is lament in our lives? Who is at risk? What does God want us to do now? And who will go as a servant of Christ?
N. T. Wright (B.A., 1st Class Honours, D. Phil., Oxford University) is Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at St Mary’s College in the University of St Andrews, Scotland and Senior Research Fellow at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University. He served on the faculties of McGill University, Montreal (1981–86) and the University of Oxford (1986–93) before becoming Dean of Lichfield Cathedral (1994–99). In 2000 he was appointed canon theologian at Westminster Abbey. In 2003 he became the Bishop of Durham. In 2010 he was appointed Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at St Mary's College, St Andrews, in Scotland, which enabled him to concentrate on his academic and broadcasting work. Last fall Wright he was appointed a senior research fellow at Wycliffe Hall, University of Oxford, where he had originally studied for the Anglican ministry in 1971-1973.
Andre Henry, Writer, Speaker, Singer-Songwriter, Activist
It Doesn't Have to be This Way
Andre Henry (MA Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary) is a Los Angeles-based writer, speaker, and musician with a passion for racial justice and social change. The son of a Jamaican reggae musician, Andre grew up in a family of Jamaican immigrants in Stone Mountain, Georgia—home of the largest Confederate monument in the country and the Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change. So the both the legacy of racism and Black freedom movements were inescapable for him. Andre combines serious theological reflection, personal experience, insights from social change experts, and artistic expressions to convince people that ordinary people have the power to change society.
Cynthia Eriksson, Associate Professor of Psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary
Practicing Resilience in COVID-19
We have an abundance of good information about how to care for ourselves and our loved ones during this pandemic. Every time we open our email or social media, there are great suggestions to meditate, garden, get outside, and connect with friends. But how do we translate this knowledge of what we should be doing, to a motivation to actually do it in practice? A first step is to understand the psychological science behind these suggestions. Dr. Cynthia Eriksson will offer a basic framework of science-based resilience strategies that resonate with Christian faith and practice to help us prioritize those practices that will be most meaningful and sustainable.
Cynthia Eriksson (BA, Wheaton College; MA, PHD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is Associate Professor of Psychology and PsyD Program Chair, Department of Doctoral Psychology in the School of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary, where she leads the Headington Research Lab, studying trauma-informed ministry.
Dr. Eriksson has done trauma training, research, and consultation in Monrovia, Liberia; Kobe, Japan; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Barcelona, Spain; Guatemala City, Guatemala; Gulu, Uganda; and Amman, Jordan. Her research is particularly focused on the needs of cross-cultural aid or mission workers, as well as the interaction of trauma and spirituality. She has completed research on risk and resilience, exposure to stress, and spiritual development in urban youth workers funded by the Fuller Youth Institute. Eriksson also collaborated with colleagues in the US, Europe, and Africa on a longitudinal research project on stress in humanitarian aid workers funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
Christianity formed a formidable foundation for the European and American slave trade and the subsequent enslavement of Africans in the United States for centuries. The Reformed Protestant tradition played a particular role in that support. Was that support generated by the principles of the Reformed tradition? When, where, and how did the Reformed tradition transition from its support of slavery and the racist practices of segregation that followed to support for racial justice? Using examples of local Reformed Christian leaders, churches, and institutions, we will examine the past even as we anticipate the future of the American church and its engagement with race.
Brian K. Blount (B.A., College of William and Mary, M.Div., Princeton Theological Seminary, Ph.D., Emory University) is the president and professor of New Testament at Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond, VA, and Charlotte, NC. He was called to this position in 2007, after serving for 15 years as the Richard J. Dearborn Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Princeton Theological Seminary. After graduating from Princeton Seminary with his M.Div., Brian became the pastor of the Carver Memorial Presbyterian Church in Newport News, VA, from 1982-1988. He was William and Mary’s first African-American to receive membership in the Alpha Chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. He received his Ph.D. in New Testament Studies from Emory University in 1992 and returned to teach at Princeton Seminary the same year. His primary work has been in the Gospel of Mark, the Book of Revelation and in the area of cultural studies and hermeneutics. He is the author of six books, his most recent being, Invasion of the Dead: Preaching Resurrection, which is based on his 2011 Beecher Lectures at Yale University. In 2010, his commentary on The Book of Revelation was voted the 2009 top reference work by the Academy of Parish Clergy. In addition, Brian has edited or co-authored numerous other volumes, including The Discipleship Study Bible. He is an associate editor of the New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible and the General Editor for True To Our Native Land: An African American New Testament Commentary. He preaches and leads adult education classes in local congregations.
Vince Bantu, Assistant Professor of Church History and Black Church Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary
The Color of Christianity
Belief in Christ goes back over two millennia and believers live in all parts of the world. Yet there is both a perception, and an assumption made by many in America, that Christianity is Western. Vince Bantu will share how the American context has influenced his own relationship with Jesus Christ as well as his journey of discovery that began at Wheaton College has profoundly shaped him as a follower of Jesus and a scholar of ancient Christianity.
Vince Bantu joined the Fuller faculty as assistant professor of church history and Black church studies in 2019. Dr. Bantu teaches primarily on Fuller’s Houston campus, where he also serves as a liaison to the William E. Pannell Center for African American Church Studies and networks with African American churches, pastors, and students. Prior to coming to Fuller, Vince taught in various capacities at a number of colleges and institutions, including Nyack College, New York Theological Seminary, North Park Theological Seminary, the Center for Early African Christianity, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and Covenant Theological Seminary. He also has years of pastoral experience in African American, Asian American, and Hispanic churches, and extensive involvement in multicultural urban communities.
Bantu earned his PhD in Semitic and Egyptian Languages from The Catholic University of America; his dissertation combined his interests in African Christianity and social identity. He also directs the Meachum School of Haymanot, which provides theological education for urban pastors and leaders. He is the author of numerous articles on global Christianity, including studies of Syriac and Nubian Christianity, apologetics, justice, evangelism, and African American theology. He is currently working on two projects: Gospel Haymanot: A Constructive Theology and Critical Reflection on African and Diasporic Christianity and A Multitude of All Peoples: Engaging Ancient Christianity’s Global Identity.
Steve Park, Executive Director and Founder, Little Lights Urban Ministries, Washington, DC
Race Literacy 101
Steve Park, BA & BS, Boston University, founded Little Lights 25 years ago to share God’s love with under-served children and families in Washington, D.C. In 1994, while helping run a day camp, Steve met Darrell, a middle school boy who could not read. Moved by this new friendship, Steve prayed about how to combine his desire to share God’s love with helping children who were struggling in school. A year later, God answered Steve’s prayer by giving him the vision to start Little Lights.
Little Lights has been committed to providing sanctuaries of encouragement, hope, and practical assistance to at-risk children, youth, and families in southeast Washington, DC. Little Lights has recruited more than 2,000 volunteers for weekly tutoring, enrichment trips, mentoring, and special events. More than 900 children have participated in Little Lights’ programs throughout its history. Little Lights Urban Ministries is one of our Capital Campaign mission partners.
Our preaching and teaching follows Jesus' life as told in the Gospel of Luke.