Past Class Offerings:

“Be Like Water” talk with Dr. Russell Jeung On May 22, during the Adult Formation Hour (10:10-11:10am), Dr. Russell Jeung, professor at SFSU and co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate, will present his talk “Be Like Water: An Asian American Christian Response to Racism”.  His talk will document the racial trauma that Asian Americans currently face, and what God’s been teaching him about how to heal individually and to effect social change institutionally. By integrating Taoist philosophy with a Christian perspective, Dr. Jeung develops a holistic approach towards racial justice.

Missed the talk? You can watch it here. 

Christian Mystics, April 24-May 15. Explore the breadth of mystical experiences in Christian faith communities, and ponder some of the ways the Sacred breaks through into your own life. Co-taught by the Rev. Daniel Prechtel and the Rev. Marguerite Judson, this four week drop in class introduces a wide variety of ways we draw closer to the Holy. There will, of course, be a substantial bibliography provided! click here for the juicy bibliography 🙂

The classes will be held in the Parish Hall (internet permitting) or in the Common Room if the internet is not cooperating, and on our Zoom link [HERE] between 10:15 and 11:05 am.

  • April 24 – How do we define mysticism? What are some of its Biblical expressions? What are the practices which can open us to a unitive experience with the divine? Missed the class? Click here to watch.
  • May 1 – Two medieval mystics who led very different lives conveyed their experiences through visual art, music, and human language. Join us for a quick introduction of Hildegard von Bingen and Dame Julian of Norwich. What are the parallels in our own lives? Missed the class? Click here to watch.
  • May 8 – Notions about prayer and encounter with the Divine are further stretched when we consider the Cloud of Unknowing, Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Avila and her contemporary, John of the Cross. Missed the class? Click here to watch.
  • May 15 – Contemporary mystics speak from a wide variety of traditions, including Anglican Evelyn Underhill; Quaker Thomas Kelly; and civil rights activist the Rev. Howard Thurman. What might all the mystics discussed over the four weeks teach us about how the Holy Spirit is moving in our lives and in the world? Missed this class? Click here to watch. 

Reconsidering Sin and Salvation taught by Dr. Scott MacDougall, March 6-27. Contemporary Christianity in the United States often thinks of sin and salvation in one of two ways: it makes them the absolute center of theology and practice, or it downplays them almost to the point of being invisible. What would happen, though, if we reconsidered sin and salvation? That is, what difference might it make if we thought about them more robustly again in places where they have slipped from view, on the one hand, and if we thought about them differently in places where they are almost the sole focus of attention, on the other?   

In this four-part Lenten series, we will reconsider sin and salvation in both of these senses of the word. 

  • March 6th – “Self and Society” — we will take a theological look at what it means to be a human being in our place and time. Click here to watch the recording of the class.
  • March 13th – “Sin” – we will use that view of the human condition as a starting point for exploring what the concept of sin does and does not mean. Click here to watch the recording of the class.
  • March 20th – “Salvation” – we will clarify what it means to say that God overcomes sin, and this will allow us to think together about how this happens. Click here to watch the recording of the class. 
  • March 27th – “Sanctification” – we will address what all of this means in terms of Christian life and practice. Click here to watch the recording of this class (please note this recording is audio only).

Resurrection, part 3  February 6-27. This class begins the final part of a three part series on the resurrection. Last spring we explored the range of beliefs that were present in the pagan and Jewish community about life after death. In the second part, we explored the resurrection as reflected in the letters of Paul. In this third and final part of the class, we will take up the various Gospel traditions that tell of the resurrection and look at each Gospel in turn from the empty tomb in Mark, to the encounters of the resurrection at the tomb in Matthew, the Emmaus story in Luke, and finally the story of Thomas in John 20 and the appearance of Jesus on the beach in John 21. It is my hope that this journey together will enrich our faith by clarifying both our questions about the resurrection as well as our hopes in the resurrection. 

Week 2, Week 3, Week 4 (unfortunately week 1 was not recorded).

Contagion and Connection: Exploring Illness, Care, and Community through Leviticus’ Story of the Metzora and the Priest January 9. The book of Leviticus tells us about the metzora, a person with a skin condition (often mis-translated as leprosy) who was considered to have some kind of contagion and was sent outside the Israelites’ desert encampment. During his time outside the camp, this person was visited weekly by the priest, a role that could be considered a prototype of a modern professional caregiver. While the outside-the-camp region may have been isolating and lonely, it may also have been a location for surprising connections and even for holiness. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this story has particular resonance for contemporary readers of the Bible. Through a combination of presentation, text study, and discussion, we’ll explore these sections of Leviticus through the lens of our own lives and experiences. Rabbi Jo Hirschmann is a chaplain and pastoral educator who serves as the director of Clinical Pastoral Education for the Mount Sinai Health System in New York City. With Nancy Wiener, she is a co-author of Maps and Meaning: Levitical Models for Contemporary Care, from which this session is adapted. If you missed this class, click here to watch it!

The Body of Christ: Worship as Healing January 16th. Taught by Cynthia Li, MD, with Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers. How do we, as a faith community, respond to this world in flux? And how do we begin to experience the healing God offers through Christ during these dynamic times? In this class, we will examine how healing happens, and how Christian worship practices can activate healing in the heart, mind, and body. We will explore Scripture, new science, principles of integrative medicine, and embodied practices. If you missed this class, click here to watch it. 

Resurrection, part  taught by the Rev. Michael Lemaire. This class begins the second part of the three part series on the resurrection. Last spring we explored the range of beliefs that were present in the pagan and Jewish community about life after death. In this second part, we will explore the resurrection as reflected in the letters of Paul. The writings of Paul predate the Gospels by 20-40 years and are the earliest articulation of the Christian understanding of resurrection. By exploring Paul’s conversion, his early teaching in 1 Thessalonians and 1 Corinthians and his late in life reflection in 2 Corinthians, we will try to understand what the early Christian community understood happened to Jesus, what that meant for those who followed him, and how those beliefs evolved through time. Please feel free to join us for one or more of the classes as you are able. All are welcome (even if you didn’t catch part 1!). Missed week 2? click here (week 1, unfortunately was not recorded). Click here to watch week 3. Click here to watch week 4.

A Practice of Prayer on Oct. 3, 10, 17 & 24. Strengthen your relationship with the Holy One as we explore a variety of prayer practices together. How and why do we pray? What are some resources to support individual prayer in The Book of Common Prayer? If you have it, please bring your own Book of Common Prayer––digital PDF, interactive or hard copy of your choice. Drop in class will be led by The Rev. Marguerite Judson, Sundays 10:10-11:00 am, in the Common Room/Library and on Zoom (click here).  Click here to watch Week 1 about how & why we pray and click here to access the handout. Click here to watch Week 2 about using the Book of Common Prayer in your personal prayer life, and click here to access the handout. Click here to watch week 3 about praying the Book of Psalms. Click here to watch week 4 about silent and contemplative prayer, and click here to access the handout. 

Repairing the Breach: Addressing Racism Locally

  • October 3: What Does More Equitable Policing Look Like in Practice? w/Michael Lewis from our Racial Justice Team, Councilmember Kate Harrison from the City of Berkeley, and Perfecta Oxholm, PhD Candidate, Goldman School of Public Policy (click here to watch the recording). 
  • October 10: Looking in the Mirror: Microaggressions & Implicit Bias w/Wendy Calimag from our Racial Justice Team & The Rev. Laura Eberly (click here to watch the recording).
  • October 17: Criminal Justice Reform & Legislation w/Don Gates from our Racial Justice Team & Angelo Sandoval from The Ella Baker Center (click here to watch the recording).

Planting Churches: Why here? Why now? In this class we’ll take a look at what it means to plant the seeds of what might become new churches and communities. We’ll talk about why we think churches still need to be planted in this 21st century world and how worship can work towards (in the words of our own Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers) serving the “common good.” We’ll talk specifically about All Souls in this context and the new Sunday Night Service which is set to launch on November 7th. Week 1, Week 2, Week 3

2020-21 classes, click here.