Through Adult Faith Formation programs at Immanuel, we seek to deepen our relationship with God, and grow in our understanding of God’s vision for us and our world. These programs are designed to give us the insight and wisdom necessary to be a church that loves and works for justice. Programs are open to friends and members of Immanuel Church and the wider community.
Each year, Immanuel offers the winner of the Harriet Beecher Stowe Prize as an all-congregation book to read and discuss. The Stowe Prize recognizes a U.S. author whose written work has made a tangible impact on a social justice issue critical to contemporary society. In 2018 we read Evicted by Matthew Desmond; in 2017 we read Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson; and in previous years we read Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me; Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow; and Nicholas Kristof’s and Sheryl Wudunn’s, Half the Sky. In addition to follow-up discussions of these important books, Immanuel hosts the authors’ discussions with the public, as part of the Stowe Foundation’s celebration of each year’s award.
Other book discussions are held regularly throughout the year, as Immanuel seeks to enlarge our understanding of issues critical to our mission. In 2019 groups have read and discussed: White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo; Fortress Introduction to the New Testament by Gerd Theissen; Climate Church, Climate World by Jim Antal; The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.
Book studies deepen our faith. They have been sparked by Immanuel’s members’ ongoing involvement in social justice issues, and they have also led to the formation of new task forces that reach beyond the church walls to act on our deepened understanding.
Circles of Faith:
This series of discussions, typically taking place from mid-fall until Lent begins, focuses on a different topic of faith each week. It also includes a group service project. We have different groups, with various meeting times, in order to accommodate a variety of schedules. This series offers opportunity not only to delve into key areas of our faith but also to deepen friendships within each group.
Lenten Learning Series:
This is our traditional five-week learning series with various offering during Lent. In 2019, we have a Wednesday evening book study on climate change, Taize worship services on Thursday evenings, and participation in Wednesday noon worship at Faith Congregational Church.
Fall, Winter and Spring Sundays at 8:30am in the Parlor
Dr. Ellie Eisenberg leads Sunday Bible study groups in the Parlor. Ellie is renowned for her knowledge of the Old Testament and is beloved by the Bible Study group. Attend as many Sundays as your schedule permits. Your presence will be cherished.
Occasional Sundays throughout the year
The Deacons coordinate the scheduling and communications surrounding presentations on topics important to our congregation, which occur after worship service on selected Sundays during the year. Topics include social action and mission, pastoral care, the environment, sermon feedback or arising issues.