New Providence Presbyterian Church - Maryville, TN
Saturday, October 20, 2018
New Providence
Presbyterian Church
703 West Broadway Avenue
Maryville, TN 37801
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9:00 a.m. FirstLight
11:05 a.m. Traditional
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Adult Ed E-News

New Providence Presbyterian Church
Adult Education News
"Christian education begins where evangelism ends, helping believers grown in their faith." Perry G. Downs
August 2018

Women's Study Group
resumes August 27
2nd & 4th Mondays
7:00 p.m. 

Men's Lectionary 
Bible Study
Mondays at 7:30 a.m.
Midweek Lectionary Bible Study
resumes August 1
Wednesdays at 4 p.m.
At Shannondale
New Prov Reads
resumes following the church wide study 
in October
1st & 3rd
Wednesdays at 7 p.m.
Sunday School
Sunday mornings
10:00 a.m.
Present Studies
In this summer edition of adult e-news, you will find information about the traditional Sunday morning classes, and the many other educational opportunities NPPC has to offer. Study helps you explore your faith, get help with some of life's difficult questions and do all of this with other folks on the same journey. We offer something for all ages and interests; and, if we don't meet your needs, just let us know. We would love your suggestions.
Individual Studies
Exciting news on the book front! The Rev. Dr. Robert Williamson, husband of our own Lindy Vogado, has a book being released on August 1st. The work, written for the lay reader, is titled Forgotten Books of the Bible: Recovering the Five Scrolls for Today. As described by Amazon, in the Jewish tradition, the five books known as "The Five Scrolls" perform a central liturgical function as the texts associated with each of the major holidays. The Song of Songs is read during Passover, Ruthduring Shavuot, Lamentations on Tisha B'av, Ecclesiastes during Sukkot, and Esther during the celebration of Purim. Together with the five books of the Torah, these texts orient Jewish life and provide the language of the faith.

In the Christian tradition, by contrast, these books have largely been forgotten. Many churchgoers can't even find them in their pew Bibles. They are rarely preached, come up only occasionally in the lectionary, and are not the subject of Bible studies. Thus, their influence on the lives and theology of many Christians is entirely negligible. But they deserve much more attention. With scholarly wisdom and a quick wit, Williamson insists that these books speak urgently to the pressing issues of the contemporary world. Addressing themes of human sexuality, grief, immigration, suffering and protest, ethnic nationalism, and existential dread, he skillfully guides readers as they rediscover the relevance of the Five Scrolls for today.
Future Studies
We mentioned in the last adult e-news that the Adult Education Committee is planning a fall series. Work on this series is underway, and we urge you to look for more information coming soon. In the meantime, please mark your calendars for the Sunday afternoons from October 7 thru November 11.

The sessions will be focusing on our responses to uncivil conversations in these fractious times. We will address ways that we as a community of faith can examine our own responses to the tensions many of us are experiencing in our relationships with others. This will be a special opportunity that you will not want to miss. Our Interim Director of Youth and Young Adult ministries, Eric Minton, who is also a licensed social worker and has a family counseling practice, will be coordinating the programs. Stay tuned.
Women's Study Group
Monday, August 27th is the kick-off of the 2018/2019 Women's Study Group. We will be meeting at 7:00 p.m. Sherry Brewer will introduce our focus of the divine feminine before we begin reading The Dance of the Dissident Daughter: A Woman's Journey from Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine by Sue Monk Kidd.  Among her many other accomplishments, Sherry completed a Master's degree at Vanderbilt Divinity School with an emphasis in her studies on Religion, Gender and Sexuality. Check the bulletin and weekly e-news for information about the location for the kick-off. All women of the church are welcome and we urge you to bring a friend.
Adult Sunday School

NPPC currently offers five adult Sunday school classes, and if you've never had the opportunity to check out what this exciting area of adult education ministry has to offer, I encourage you to come and give it a try.  We have groups for a wide variety of interests, life stages, and learning styles, so come check it out!  All classes meet on Sunday morning at 10 a.m., in the following locations:
Disciples - The Disciples class studies the four Revised Common Lectionary texts for the current Sunday with a focus on the context of the passages, the implications of the original Hebrew and Greek languages, the history of how these passages have been interpreted by the church over the centuries, and some questions designed to lead us into insights and appreciation for these scriptures. This class, which is currently using the Feasting on the Word curriculum and other lectionary-based resources is led by class members and meets in Eastminster Hall.  Class contact is Margaret Kidd.
Faith and Culture - The Faith and Culture class seeks to examine and reflect on the meaning of Christian faith in an increasingly complex and diverse world. Through discussions of contemporary theologies, recent developments in biblical scholarship, current ethical issues, and other topics involving the intersection of culture and faith, members of the class explore ways to maintain a faith that is relevant, vital and meaningful in the modern world. The current study is Jonathan Haidt's The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. This class meets in Room 109, in the rear Class contacts are Bill Savell and Teal Willoughby.
Seekers of Seven - The Seekers cover a wide range of topics from the study of Scripture to books on theology, faith, and Christian responses to current issues. The class is taught by members and is primarily discussion based.  The study starting on August 5th is Psalms for Today by Beth LaNeel Tanner. They meet in the Parlor and are studying. Class contact is Terry Bunde. Join us any time.
Pathfinders - The Pathfinders is a group of mostly 20-40-somethings which enjoys a conversation/discussion format, often focusing on the relationship between Christian teachings and scripture, and current issues.  The class meets in W-202 and they are currently reading Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debbie Irving.  Class contact is Tyler Johnson.
The Rest of Us - The Rest of Us class is a diverse group of adults-single, married, young children at home, grandchildren, lifelong Presbyterians, new Presbyterians, and those still seeking. They are currently led by Walt Greene and Bill Schult, and are using The Present Word curriculum.  Through discussion and study the class seeks to develop a faith that is active in our world. This class meets in Room 206 on the third floor of the main building.  
If you would like more information about any of our classes or adult education opportunities please contact Carrie Eaton, Adult Ed committee leader (
Midweek Opportunities
The Men's Lectionary Study meets each Monday from 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM at Vienna Coffee House, and the MID-WEEK LECTIONARY STUDY gathers on Wednesdays at 4:00 p.m.  at Shannondale.  Both groups use the Revised Common Lectionary texts for the current week and are led by the Rev. Steve Musick.  These groups seek to link the four lectionary passages to a common theme or meaning and to link that further to our understanding of God's plan for us and the world. Contact Rev. Steve Musick (, 983-0182 x105) for more information.
New Providence Reads (NPR) is a mid-week study/reading group that welcomes adults of all ages.  Readings are selected by the members from a wide variety of topics. Discussions are led by group participants and guest facilitators, including NPPC staff and Maryville College Religion Dept. faculty. Come join us on first and third Wednesdays at 7 p.m. Class contact is Anne Van Pelt ( This group will resume after the fall study.
The Women's Study Group meets in the parlor from 7:00-8:15 p.m. on the second and fourth Mondays of each month  for book discussion.  Beginning August 27, the next book for discussion will be The Dance of the Dissident Daughter: A Woman's Journey from Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine by Sue Monk Kidd. This Women's Study Group is for all ages and often includes folks from other churches. Come join us and invite a friend!  For more information, contact Renee Nasrollahi (
New Prov U is an opportunity for the congregation, especially those 55 and older, to find enrichment opportunities through a variety of presentations.  These programs take place on Wednesdays, once per month, with lunch at 11:30 a.m. and a one-hour program beginning at 12:00. 
Four Models for Sacred Reading
Compiled by Steve Shussett (This guide for sacred reading comes from the P.C.U.S.A. website ( It includes several models for individual or group Bible study.)
"Prayer is a four step dance with the Lord - to read, to reflect, to respond, and to rest." Ruth Haley Barton
Dwelling in the Word If using this model, read: After hearing the text, speak to one or more of the following questions with your companions: What stands out in the text for you? How is the text challenging or inspiring? What grabs your imagination?
The Latin American Method of Dwelling in the Word If using this model, read: After hearing the text, speak to one or more of the following questions with your companions: What is true about this reading? What bothers you in this reading? What will you do in coming days to make this story come alive for you in a way that is faithful to God, purposeful and helpful? What can we, as individuals and a community, do in a tangible way-an incarnational way? What might we begin, continue, or stop doing? Take turns reflecting on the passage with your partner. Try to be concise, limiting stray thoughts and illustrations. Listen deeply to what the other person is saying. Your task is to listen without offering your own insights.
Norvene Vest, Gathered in the Word Upon the first reading of the text, identify a word or phrase that attracted you. Upon the second reading of the text, ask "How is my life touched?" Consider possibilities, and be attentive to sensory impressions. When invited by the leader, respond silently or aloud with one sentence beginning with the words "I hear..," "I see...," or "I sense..." Or you may pass. Upon the third reading of the text, ask "Is there an invitation here (for me)? Consider this as an invitation to you over the next few days, rather than longer term. When indicated by the leader, you may speak the invitation aloud, or you may pass. After hearing the reading a fourth and final time, pray aloud or silently for God to help the person on your right respond to the invitation perceived. 
Around Town and Around the Web
The Adult Education Committee is always on the lookout for interesting Christian education opportunities and resources offered within our own community and beyond. Each month we will pass along links and information on a few of those which are of special or current interest.
Some excellent periodicals available for you include Horizons, the publication of Presbyterian Women that gives you insights from women around the world and inspiration to live boldly. (Check out their website at You will be impressed with the many resources to be found there). Another good one is Presbyterians Today. This is the award-winning, general-interest magazine of the PCUSA. Published 6 times a year, it explores practical issues of faith and life, tells stories of Presbyterians who are living their faith and covers a wide range of church news and activities.
The Presbytery of East Tennessee offers workshops, lectures, and other learning opportunities on a variety of topics throughout the year. To stay up to date on current happenings, visit the PET website and sign up to receive the newsletter and other updates at

If you would like to subscribe to this newsletter, contact Coco Everett (e-mail, 983-0182