Line-up for Fall 2016 & Winter/Spring 2017
September 11, 18 & 25
Title: “Looking at our own Racism”
Description: In light of ongoing events in the nation and world this past year, we will be exploring racism — our own racism, institutionalized racism, and our identity as children of God. Enriching our dialogue, we will be pulling from such authors as, Beverly Daniel Tatum, Tim Wise, and Marc Lamont Hill. Join us.
Facilitator: Jenna Meyers is the Pastoral Associate here at Seventh Avenue Church [SAPC]. Jenna received her Master of Divinity from San Francisco Theological Seminary and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion and Philosophy from Cornell College, Mount Vernon, IA. For Jenna, social justice and the spiritual life flow into one another. Alongside her ministry at SAPC, Jenna is also a Domestic Violence Response Advocate at Center for Domestic Peace in Marin County, CA.
October 9, 16, & 23
Title: “Who do you say that I am?”
Description: The word “Christology” refers to the meaning of Christ. Join us in this three-week class exploring the many views and perceptions of Jesus as Christ in biblical and church tradition.
Facilitator: Steve Carson, who studied at Union Theological Seminary in New York and has served churches in New York, Boston, and San Francisco.
November 13, 20 & 27
Title: “Surveying the Theories of Atonement”
Description: What is your personal theology of Atonement – the redeeming mission of Jesus the Christ? Various Theories of Atonement have been formulated during the evolution of Christian theology. For the first 1,000 years of Christianity, Origen (who died in 254AD) set the tone with the idea that God pays a ransom to Satan, who holds humanity captive through sin. Anselm changed the focus in the 11th century. He held that the death of Jesus satisfies our humanly un-payable debt to God – to uphold God’s honor and save us from punishment. After considering a variety of these sin-based theories, we will consider another alternative: the Franciscan theology of John Duns Scotus. He saw the metaphors of ransom, debt, and blood sacrifice as ways of forgetting the beginning of the story: the goodness of Creation. He found that “they made God’s redemptive action a ‘reaction’ based on human sin instead of God’s perfect and utterly free initiative of love.”
Facilitator: The Rev. Dale Trunk was a Capuchin Franciscan Friar for 25 years. After ordination, the Order sent him to Rome for graduate study in Franciscan Spirituality. Returning to California, he served as seminary director, hospital chaplain, and associate pastor. In 1998, after cycles of burn-out, he “retired” from the Order and the priesthood. Currently, Dale ministers as a Flight Attendant, spiritual director, and gardener.
December 3 — Saturday — Advent Retreat, Mercy Center, Burlingame
Title: “Advent: How the Light Gets In”
Description: After praying through the lectionary texts for Advent, the Worship Working Group decided on the theme “Advent: How The Light Gets In.” In the texts we saw people going about the ordinary tasks of life, and being interrupted by forces beyond their control – flood, comet, dreams, etc. We heard the call to be awake and aware so that we could recognize the light of God in these interruptions. Advent calls us to wait with confidence as we look for the Light; the Christ.
During this one-day retreat we’ll explore how God’s light comes in ways both dramatic and subtle; our task is to be alert.
Facilitators: The Rev. Jeffrey Gaines is Pastor/Head of Staff of Seventh Avenue Church and has served this community since December 1991. He received his Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ in 1979 and his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA in 1975. From 1979-1991 Jeff served First Presbyterian Church of Monterey. From 1995 – 2003 he was also Executive Director of Spiritual Directors International. Jenna Meyers is Pastoral Associate at Seventh Avenue having received her Master of Divinity from San Francisco Theological Seminary in 2015 and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion and Philosophy from Cornell College, Mount Vernon, IA.
January 8, 15 & 22
Title: “The Road to Character” (note: this is different than previously published)
Description: The impact of the election has caused me to shift gears for my Perspectives class in January. For these three Sundays, we will look at the development of character and how that can influence vocation and a life of service to others. And perhaps give us some clues on how to live in times like these. We will key off of David Brooks new book entitled “The Road to Character”. Join us for lively discussion.
Facilitator: The Rev. Dr. Tom Glenn currently lives in St. Louis, MO with his wife Susie who is an attorney. They have two grown children and five grandchildren. Tom just recently retired as Parish Associate at Shandon Presbyterian Church in Columbia, SC. In addition he has a Spiritual Direction practice, is on the staff of the Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction at San Francisco Theological Seminary, is Chair of the Companions Advisory Board and leads Portals to the Sacred Pilgrimages: http://portalstothesacredpilgrimages.org/ to France with Pastor Gaines.
February 5 & 12
Title: “Social Entrepreneurship: Aligning your heart, values and work”
Description: What is social entrepreneurship? Can we really ‘do well while doing good’? Please join us as we explore this approach to addressing the world’s most pressing social and environmental challenges.
Facilitator: Melanie Edwards is Adjunct Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at Stanford University and Columbia Business School and CEO of Mobile Metrix (www.mobilemetrix.org).
March 12 & 26 — Lent
Title: “The (ongoing) Quest for the historical Jesus”
Description: In the Gospels, Jesus famously asks His disciples, “But who do you say that I am?” This question has troubled and inspired the souls of multitudes for 2000 years. Who was this man, whom historians generally agree was an actual, historical person? How does the Jesus of history correspond with the Christ of faith? For approximately 300 years, different movements inside and outside the Church have tried to use various tools — history, archeology, textual criticism, and linguistic analysis — to address the question “Who was the Jesus of history?” This class will examine those efforts and their conclusions, while confronting the issue of whether the question itself is important or answerable.
Facilitator: Tim Cahn is a member of SAPC, an attorney and Adjunct Professor of Law at the Golden Gate University Law School Most recently, Tim has been working as an attorney with various non-profit organizations.
April 23 & 30
Title: “Leading a Double Life: Being in the World But Not of It”
Description: Life is full of contrasts: yes or no, end or beginning, like or dislike. Spiritual practice seeks the Divine Reality that includes all of those differences yet transcends them all. That transcendent state of consciousness is often referred to as “non-dualism”.
When we dip our toes into non-dualism, we are one with the Universe and for a moment, everything makes sense. Then we return to our daily “dualistic” lives and have to function. Is there a way to hold non-dual awareness and function in our dualistic world? How can we live the paradox to which Jesus called us in which he said to be in the world but not of it? Come join us for reflection, discussion and practices intended to help us life this paradox.
Facilitator: The Rev. Scott Quinn, MDiv, MA, CHt, was ordained as a Lutheran minister, is an ordained interfaith minister, spiritual director, and currently is Acting Executive Director, Marin Interfaith Council. He has facilitated classes and retreats for over twenty years and lives in San Rafael where he also provides individual and group spiritual guidance and hypnotherapy. www.scottquinn.net
May 14, 21, & 28
Title: “Sing to the Lord a New Song: Music and the Psalms”
Description: For both Jews and Christians, the psalms form the primal expression of sacred song. From despair, to rage, to exaltation the Psalms have provided composers with an inexhaustible source of inspiration. In the first two sessions, we will listen to settings of the psalms both ancient and modern. We will explore how the music enriches and deepens the experience of these profound texts. In the third session, we will turn to congregational singing of the psalms that forms a bedrock of music used in worship. We will sing a couple of psalms and discuss how the experience of singing the psalms differs from speaking them. Psalms are an ancient form of prayer. We will consider how singing The Psalms adds an extra dimension to the prayer experience.
Facilitator: John Prescott holds a PH.D in musicology from U.C. Berkeley. He is also a spiritual director, having completed training at the Spiritual Direction Institute at the Mercy Center Burlingame. John is an Episcopalian and a Third Order Franciscan. He has lead retreats on music and spirituality since 2002.