Adult Education & Faith Formation

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
-Mary Oliver, The Summer Day

Christian discipleship is a life-long answer to the poet Mary Oliver’s question: “What will you do with your one wild and precious life?” Discipleship is also a life-long journey that is shaped by the call “to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself.”

At United, we offer many ways to take that journey – through Sunday morning forums, retreats, study series, service and education trips, and study groups. We invite you to join in these opportunities to learn more about the Christian faith, God’s call in your life, and the community and world around us.

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ADULT EDUCATION IN DECEMBER

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Adult Forums – 9:45 Sunday Mornings
Childcare Provided

*Two forum series offered during Advent*

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Sunday, November 24 – 9:45 AM

Still Sacred Ground: Israel and Palestine

Rev. Talitha Arnold shares insights and information from her recent study tour to Israel/Palestine with The Christian Century. They met with Israeli diplomats, Palestinian leaders, Jewish settlers and Muslim farmers, Christian pastors and representatives of Kids4Peace, Roots, and other organizations working for peace in the midst of ongoing conflict.

Sunday, December 1 – 9:45 AM

Keeping Christmas While Keeping Your Sanity

What are ways to reduce the stress of the holiday season and increase your and your children’s understanding of what Christmas is really about?

Cookies for Firefighters

We have great neighbors in the Fire Station across St. Michael’s. We also have several dozen cookies to decorate for them! You’re invited to lend a hand along with the “Dynamite Disciples” during the 9:45 Forum. The kids will take them up the hill after the 11:00 service.

Sunday, December 8 – 9:45 AM

National Wildlife Federation

Rev. Andrew Black, Southwest Field Agent for the National Wildlife Federation, shares NWF’s work throughout the country and especially in the Northern Rio Grande Corridor and what NWF is doing to protect endangered species and habitats.

When the Holidays are Different

HoFor all the joy and celebrations, the holiday season can be difficult when we’ve experienced major change: divorce, moving, death, job changes, etc. United offers a pastoral conversation to provide resources and ideas for dealing with change and loss, especially at holiday times. All welcome.

Sunday, December 15 – 9:45 AM

Report from the Border

In October, United Member Pat Roach spent a week on the border in El Paso/Juarez with the Encuentro Project, sponsored by the Catholic Order of Jesuits and other Catholic organizations. She and the others immersed themselves in the challenges faced by those on both sides of the border and those seeking new life and safety for themselves and their children.

Sharing the Christmas Story

An unplanned pregnancy, a journey demanded by the Empire, a birth in an unlikely place. Much of the Christmas story isn’t suitable for kids. How do we share the story?

No forums Dec. 22 and 29, but join us in morning worship! (Dec. 22: Lessons and Carols at both 8:30 and 11:00 am; Dec. 29: One service only at 11:00 am.)

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The Supreme Court and Human Rights
Wednesday, Nov. 20 (5:30 – 7:00 pm)

Recently the US Supreme Court heard several cases concerning the rights of LGBTQ and DACA persons. United members Pam Hyde, Bill Hultquist, and Dusty Pruitt share information on these cases and their possible impact and lead a conversation about the church’s role in addressing the potential rollback of human rights. All welcome.

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When the Holidays Are Different
Wednesday, Dec. 4 – 12:00 noon

For all the joy and celebrations, the holiday season can be difficult when we’ve experienced major change: divorce, moving, death, job changes, etc. On Wednesday, Dec. 4 (at noon), United offers a pastoral conversation, “When the Holidays are Different,” to provide resources and ideas for dealing with change and loss, especially at holiday times. All welcome. To help us plan, please contact the church office (988-3295, unitedchurchsf@gmail.com).

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The Desert Shall Bloom: The Promise of Advent
Advent Retreat – Saturday, Dec. 14 – 8:30 am to 12:15 pm

Take time for reflection, prayer and silence and consider the real gifts God wants to offer us this season with a half-day “Advent Retreat” based on Isaiah’s promises of new life. Please RSVP by Wed., Dec. 11 and also let us know if you need childcare.

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Journey to Bethlehem: Las Posadas
Friday, Dec. 20 – 6:30 pm

Share in this wonderful New Mexico tradition as we welcome our friends from Santa Maria for an evening of song, prayer and a special visit from a couple of newlyweds. We provide the hospitality and refreshments (hors d’oeuvres, cookies, hot cider, hot chocolate, etc.). Please sign up in the Community Room to bring something. Children, youth, and adults all welcome!

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Women’s Study Group
Wednesdays, December 4 and 18 – 10:00 am

We finish reading Elaine Pagels Why Religion (Dec. 4). All welcome! Wednesday, Dec. 18 we enjoy our annual potluck Christmas lunch. For more info, contact Ann Barker: abarker2@comcast.net.

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Men of Faith (and Doubt): Men’s Study Group
December Tues. (8:00 am or 5:15 pm)

All men are invited to join in an exploration of the men of the Christmas story (Joseph, Herod, shepherds and kings). Their stories provide an opportunity to learn about the past and also engage important themes of men’s lives now. Please sign up or call the church (988-3295). It’s okay if you can only make one or two sessions.

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Adult Education/Faith Formation Team Gearing Up!

Many thanks to the new Adult Education Team (Diane Darby, Mary Harvey, Marcom and April Herren). If you have ideas for programs or series this year, either in the Sunday Forums or mid-week, please let them know.

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Other Opportunities

  • Study Groups, such as The Wednesday Women’s Study Group (Ann Barker, abarker2@comcast.net).
  • United Artists – Thursdays at 1:00 p.m. (Shirley Clark, 505-660-3161).
  • Study Series offered seasonally and throughout the year.
  • Immersion Trips – to learn about our neighbors across the US/Mexico border or in Navajoland.

Any of the above sound interesting? Then check out the various study series offered in a variety of formats – weekly sessions, 3-day studies, one-time offerings. Some are led by the pastor, others by lay members, still others feature guest speakers. Join in!

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