Christian Formation

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Adult Ministries

What does it mean to be the Church? You are invited on a journey of growth to become all God wants us to be … a people who think deeply, and as a result, act with mercy and justice. As individual followers of Christ, we are called to discover the meaning of our discipleship within this community of faith and discover joy in the process.  Adult programs and events are planned to spark imagination, enhance fellowship with the family of faith, and empower embodiment of faith in the world.

TPC is fortunate to offer many church programs on Sunday mornings and during the week. Special programs are offered during the year including Music and Meditation in Lent, congregational and small group Bible and book studies, and varied fellowship opportunities.   

Current offerings will be listed in Adult Ministries' section of the church blog and in the current Adult Ministries Brochure.

Descriptions of Sunday morning and weekday classes/ small groups are available in the brochure.

Fellowship Small Groups

 

Parents of Young Children 

  • Time:  First meeting on Friday, Sept. 22
  • Place:  TPC’s Thompson Hall
  • Leaders:  Kimberly Light & Alison Peer
  • Purpose:  Enjoy Find support and friendship among other parents of young children.  

 

Wine Tasting

  • Time & Place:  First meeting on Sat. evening, Sept. 30  at Tad & Lenore’s home in Hunt Valley
  • Leader: Lenore Chapman & Tad Lyon
  • Purpose:  Enjoy and explore the world of wine.  Group will entail three gatherings with two wines (white, red, and dessert) with charcuteries to “cleanse the palate,” and a modest dessert with the final paring.  Fee of $15 per participant.  

 

Monday Night Football

  • Time & Place:  First gathering on Sept. 25 at the Krugmans’ home
  • Leaders:  Scott Krugman & Kevin McKenna  
  • Purpose: Gather for fun, fellowship, & football; make new friends

 

Diner’s Club

  • Times & Places: TBA
  • Purpose:  Enjoy fellowship and a meal with friends

 

Running 

  • Time: Begins Sat., Sept. 30 @ 8:00 a.m.
  • Place:  Loch Raven Reservoir (precise location TBA)
  • Leader:  Brenda Evans
  • Join in for a touch of Heaven on earth.  Fresh air, fitness, & fellowship.  (Running with time for water and walking breaks).  

 

Discernment & Discovery Small Groups

 

Animate: Bible

  • Time & Place: Weeks of Oct. 8 – Nov. 19; specific group times & meeting locations vary by group
  • Leader:  Varies by group 
  • Purpose:  Please see description on preceding page. 

 

Waking Up White

  • Time & Place:  Weeks of 
  • Leaders:  Vary by group
  • Purpose:  Please see description on preceding page

 

Theology on Tap

  • Time:  Coming in February
  • Place:  TBD 
  • Leaders: David & Karen Gillis
  • Purpose: What do we believe?  What difference does it make?  Join others at a local pub for meaningful conversations about issues, questions, and faith.   

 

Mission Small Groups

 

Woodburn-McCabe Mission Team

  • Time:  Every other Monday evening, from Oct. 2 to Nov. 13
  • Place: Area in Woodburn-McCabe
  • Leader:  Lyn Brooks
  • Purpose:  Explore ways to grow in relationship with and serve the needs of our neighbors in an impoverished community.  

Click here for the Small Group Schedule

 

What is Small Group Ministry?

In short, it’s all about growing closer to others, and growing closer to God.  More specifically, Small Groups are safe places to explore an interest, engage a passion, serve a mission, or simply celebrate life with others. As such, Small Group Ministry isn’t about being an expert in anything, but simply desiring to do something with others who share a common interest.  

Small Groups are (obviously) small in size, in order to promote connections. Their size is generally limited to no more than 12 members.

Small Groups are also temporary in nature, meaning you can sign up for a group without committing years of your life away.  You can also be sure that, if you’re signing up for a Small Group for the  first time, so, too, will others in your group!  

Finally, all Small Groups begin and end in prayer—whether meeting in the church or a local ballpark.

Anyone can join any small group—all you need to do is sign up.  It’s simple!  It’s fun!  And it’s incredibly meaningful!  

 

The Types of Small Groups

Fellowship Groups focus on sharing an activity of common interest or enthusiasm with others who share that interest or enthusiasm.  These groups are wonderful ways for both new and long-term members alike to get to know one another, and more about themselves.  

Examples:  wine tasting, knitting, basketball, hiking, fishing, cooking, bowling

In Study Groups, participants explore (or study) a topic of interest (e.g. Scripture, books, beliefs, topical studies), and how their faith shapes the way they see the world.

Examples:  prayer groups, Bible studies, book discussions, topical studies, spiritual disciplines

Mission Groups involve participants in activities with a specific purpose of ministry.  These groups also help provide partnerships to fulfill mutual callings with similarly gifted and motivated people. 

Examples: mission trips, prison ministry, visitation care, social advocacy, environmental stewardship

 

Form A NEW Small Group

Have an interest you’d like to explore with others?

A topic you’d like to study?

A project you’d like to initiate or participate in?

Consider starting a Small Group, by talking with Pastors Rob or Joel.

in the Library

 

Introduction to the Small Groups & Spiritual Formation Program

Sept. 17 | 9:00 & 11:15 a.m. | Rev. Joel Strom

What exactly does “spiritual formation” even mean?  And what are small groups?  Who can join them?  Who can lead them?  How do they actually form our faith?  Come explore something new in the life of TPC, and get the nuts and bolts of this exciting new program!  

 

How Spirituality Develops Throughout Our Lifetime

Sept. 24 | 9:00 & 11:15 a.m. | Ann Lehwald

Just as change is a constant in our world, so change is present within our faith.  It’s a primary reason faith is often called a “journey.”  In this one-week study, participants will explore how our faith in God changes over time by examining the relationship of body, mind, and spirit in faith maturation.

 

Prayer Series

Oct. 15, 22, 29, | 9:00 a.m. | Dotsie Bregel, Patty Rath, & Shilpika Simet

10/15 - Why Pray? If God knows what we need, why should we ask?  In this session, we’ll explore prayer from biblical and historical perspectives, while also gaining an understanding of, and confidence in prayer. 

10/22 – What Happens When We Pray? Does God intervene in the world based on our prayer requests? In this session, we will look at different views Christians have about prayer, particularly whether prayer just changes the one who prays or if God is moved on the basis of our prayer requests. 

10/29, 11/5 – How to Pray? While prayer may be   something we experience in worship, it is often something we do not do in our personal lives unless we are taught. In these two sessions we will explore different types of prayer, and ways of using and enjoying prayer in our daily lives.

 

Animate: Bible

Oct. 8, 15, 22, 29, Nov. 5, 12, 19 | 9:00 a.m. | TBA 

Please see the descriptions below to explore Animate: Bible in detail.  It is a refreshing opportunity to explore what the Bible is, how it came to be, and how we read it today.

Canon | Mining for the Word | Eric Elnes

How did these 66 cultural history lessons, poems, family trees, allegorical stories, and community letters—all gathered from sources that stretch across time and place—become the Bible? 

History | Parchment to Pixel | Phyllis Tickle

Does the way we access the Bible change the way we interpret it?  Tickle believes this question is paramount as technology makes it easier for us to look up a verse online and out of context. 

Testaments | One Story, Two Parts | Rachel Held Evans

How do we make sense of the images of an angry God with the God of love?  Rachel’s suggestion might surprise you.

Gospels | Unexpected Good News | Nadia Bolz-Weber

Why are the Gospels called “good news”? Nadia peels away our assumptions about these books and reminds us that Jesus came to upend our ideas about what “good news” really looks like.

Genre | Rhythm of the Text | Jose Morales

Poetry, history, songs, letters, prophecies, dreams—this is the stuff the Bible is made of.  Jose suggests we have to know how to dance with all the rhythms we find in this sacred nightclub.

Interpretation | Scripture Reads Us | Will Willimon

There are the words on the page and then there are the words behind the words—the history, context, & intention of the author.  Willimon gives us tools to move beyond just reading the Bible to make sense of what we find there.

Grace | Love Is the Bottom Line | Jay Bakker

Can you love a book that’s caused you pain? Jay offers a vision of Scripture for all who’ve been hurt by well-meaning Christians or doubted there’s much worth reading in a book that has brought about so much struggle.

 

Faithful Disagreement in a Community of Faith

Jan. 7 | 11:15 a.m. | Rev. Rob Carter

If faith is the one thing through which we’re called to view all of life, then our faith must speak to every issue of the day—including the difficult, often controversial ones.  Should we avoid exploring difficult topics out of fear of disagreement?  Pastor Rob doesn’t think so, but believes faithful engagement of difficult topics is an important component of a community’s faith formation, as long as we dialogue and disagree with each other faithfully.  In this Session, Rob will explore what faithful disagreement entails and where it can lead.   

 

Waking Up White

Jan 14, 21, 28, Feb. 4 | 9:00 a.m. | Mission Committee Members

For 25 years, Debby Irving sensed inexplicable racial tensions in her personal and professional relationships. As a colleague and neighbor, she worried about offending people she wanted to befriend. As an arts administrator, she didn't understand why her diversity efforts lacked traction. As a teacher, she found her best efforts to reach out to students and families of color left her wondering what she was missing. Then, in 2009, one "aha!" moment launched an adventure of discovery and insight that drastically shifted her worldview and upended her life plan. In Waking Up White, Irving tells her often cringe-worthy story with such openness that readers will turn every page rooting for her—and ultimately for all of us.

The co-moderators of the PC(USA) have called upon all churches in the denomination to explore this book, in the hopes of facilitating both discussion and increased understanding of the racial tensions and divisions amid our communities.

 

Spiritual Practices for Families

Jan. 21, 28 | 9:00 a.m. | TBA

What family has time to be spiritual? Maybe we need a new definition of spirituality that transcends notions of retreats and silence. In the first session, we will explore the importance of family spirituality in the Bible and our busy lives, as well as practical suggestions for incorporating spiritual disciplines in families of adults and children.  The second session will focus on families of adults, and ways to use spiritual practices to deepen relationships with one another and with God.

 

Faith isn’t one among the many things of life;

it is the one thing by which we understand all of life.

 ~

How do we grow in faith?  How do we grow closer to God? 

Is worship enough?  Do we have to read Scripture?  What if we aren’t comfortable with the Bible?  Or prayer for that matter?

What if we struggle with doubts?  What if we have more questions than actual beliefs? 

What if we’re not even sure where to begin?  Or if we want to begin?

 ~

 OR, what if we have a relationship with God, but yearn to dig deeper, and long for opportunities to go deep with others? 

What if we know the love of God deep down to our toes, but aren’t comfortable sharing or talking about this love out loud? 

 ~

The Church should be the place for all these questions and concerns, hopes and struggles, just as the Church should be the place for every last soul who has ever experienced them.

At TPC, we are developing a brand-new spiritual formation program for adults that’s designed to offer everyone—regardless of where you are on your own spiritual journey—a chance to begin exploring your faith more intentionally. 

To be clear, the deep hope is that you will take one or some of these opportunities to step out onto the growing edge of your faith—wherever it may be—and explore your relationship with God in an accessible, judgment-free, communal environment. 

This fall-winter, TPC is offering a range of explorations and formation opportunities on Sunday mornings (mostly at 9:00 a.m. in the Library), and a new Small Group Ministry that will offer different groups at different times and places for all types of purposes.  Please explore our Sunday morning opportunities here, our Small Group ministries here, and additional offerings here.

Second Monday Book Group

 

This group meets on the second Monday of the month from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and goes by the name of Circle 13.  After a brief time of fellowship, the group gathers for a discussion of a pre-selected book.  This group meets in various members homes.  Please call the Church office for more details and the location of the next group.

 

Third Thursday Lunch at Noon

 

Informal and fun, with lots of laughs and fellowship, we will meet at "unique" neighborhood restaurants on the third Thursday each month.  The goal is to enjoy the ambiance of "Baltimore's Best."  A carpool leaves the church parking lot at 11:30 a.m. or simply arrive at the restaurant by noon. Details will be in the bulletin or church website. Please call the church office for RSVP information.

 

Prayer Shawl Ministry

 

This group meets on the third and fourth Tuesday in the Library from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Do you like to knit or crochet? Would you like to join others from TPC in a unique ministry of care and prayer? Even if unable to join the group of committed knitters, you can be a part of this outreach ministry. Knit at home or at TPC. Shawls and lap blankets are made and given to those experiencing an illness or loss. Prayer cards are included and visits made to those in need of some TLC from TPC.  To find out more information about the Prayer Shawl Ministry, please use this form.

 

Mustard Seed Prayer Group

 

This group offers prayers for members and friends referred to them. Also, they seek volunteers for their group who are willing to pray for others.

 

Outdoor Labyrinth and Community Garden

 

We have an outdoor labyrinth on Highland Avenue. In ancient times, the labyrinth was a ritual walk to sites in the holy land to meet Jesus. Through the centuries, the labyrinth has evolved into intricate and simple patterns of walking to help people center and pray. The walk in itself inspires the silence and the joy of your soul. A mailbox on the path contains some suggestions for personal prayer.

 

TPC has been working a Community Garden now for about three years, donating vegetables and flowers to nearby ACTC - an assistance food center in Towson.  The garden is truly a community venture, with all ages working in it about eight months of the year.  We have expanded its reach by placing  a meditation area nearby, adding bird houses and a bee hive, and inviting campers from Camp BeeTree to visit and learn more about the garden in the summer.  Church school children visit in the spring.

Get In Touch

  • 400 West Chesapeake Avenue
    Towson, Maryland 21204
  • 410.823.6500
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