Fourth Thursday of the month (dates are below)
7:00 p.m., Education Building, Room 204
The Book of Genesis has shaped so much of our Christian theology and tradition. We were taught the stories of Creation and the Flood, the journeys of Abraham and Sarah and the dreams of Joseph in our childhood Sunday school classrooms. Yet, the stories we find in Genesis are more complicated and rich than many of us have taken the time to contemplate. This class, taught by the Rev. Rebecca Kirkpatrick, Associate Pastor for Adult Education and Mission, will be both a survey of Genesis as well as a deeper dive into some of the more difficult stories that have been handed down to us from centuries before. The class will be oriented toward those who might be studying Genesis for the first time, but it also will be a great opportunity for anyone to refresh their understanding and engagement with these formative stories.
While right now we plan to hold this class in person here on our church campus, we will continue to evaluate options for being together online or in some hybrid combination of the two.
Recommended text: For this class, we will focus primarily on the actual biblical texts rather than a scholar’s interpretation of the text. Any additional readings or suggested video clips will be linked below and correspond to their designated class. It doesn’t matter which translation of the Bible you use for your readings, but note that Rebecca will typically be teaching from the NRSV.
- Thursday, September 23
Introduction to Genesis
Who wrote it and when and how do we understand its influence in our understanding of God, Human Beings and the identity of Jesus Christ. In preparation for class, please read this Introduction to the Book of Genesis.
- Thursday, October 28
We will review and discuss the stories of Creation, the stories of Adam and Eve and their sons Cain and Able and how all of these stories continue to shape some of the foundational aspects of Christian faith. In preparation for this class please read: Genesis 1:1 – Genesis 5:32.
- Thursday, December 2
The Flood, the Rainbow, the Tower
We will explore the remaining primeval origin stories in Genesis that lay the groundwork for our understanding of God’s Covenant relationship with human beings and our human relationships with one another. In preparation for this class please read: Genesis 6:1 - Genesis 11:35.
- Thursday, January 27
The Abraham Saga
Genesis makes a turn by the twelfth chapter as the stories shift from being about God’s relationship with the whole human family, to a special relationship with a particular family – the family of Abraham and Sarah. These stories span the call of Abraham, their journeys around the Near East, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the complicated relationship the couple has with their slave Hagar. In preparation for this class please read: Genesis 12:1 - Genesis 21:34.
- Thursday, February 24
The Isaac Saga
Beginning with the story of Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac as a child, this class will dive into the complicated relationship Isaac shared with his wife Rebekah and their twin boys Jacob and Esau. In preparation for this class please read: Genesis 22:1 - Genesis 27:40.
- Thursday, March 24
The Jacob Saga
We will continue to walk with Abraham’s descendants as God renews God’s relationship with Jacob and as Jacob becomes the patriarch to thirteen children. While we know a lot about his sons who will go on to establish the Twelve Tribes of Israel, we will also read and reflect on the often neglected stories of his daughter Dinah. In preparation for this class please read: Genesis 27:41 - 36:43.
- Thursday, April 28
Joseph and His Brothers
Genesis culminates in one of the most compelling chapters in the story of Abraham’s descendants. This month we will journey with Joseph to Egypt and explore the series of events that will inevitably lead to the future enslavement of the Hebrew people in the land of Egypt. In preparation for this class please read: Genesis 37:1 - Genesis 45:28.
- Thursday, May 26
From Canaan to Egypt
In this concluding session we will read the stories of Jacob moving his family into the land of Egypt and the blessing that he places on his sons at his death. We will look back at some of the recurring themes of the book as well as the epic story of the Exodus and return to the land originally promised to Abraham generations later. In preparation for this class please read: Genesis 46:1 - Genesis 50:36.