Forest Hill & 43rd Street
Richmond, VA 23225

To Know Christ and to Make Him Known

Previous Classes

Beginning Sunday, January 6, 2019 :: Episcopal Questions – Episcopal Answers: Exploring Christian Faith. – Ross Wright

Please join me for this exploration of Christian beliefs and practices as we understand them in the Episcopal Church. We will be using an excellent, accessible new book by Ian Markham, Dean of Virginia Seminary. Topics to be covered include: Episcopal Beliefs, Ethics, Church Architecture & Vestments, Scripture, Sacraments, The Book of Common Prayer, Church and The Anglican Communion.

Episcopal Questions outline

Episcopal Questions 1

 Episcopal Questions 2

Beginning Sunday, January 7, 2018: Exploring Christian Faith – Joe Coalter

Why does a good God allow evil events?  Is it Christians’ responsibility to convert members of other religions? How is the fearsome God of the Old Testament related to the God revealed in Jesus Christ?  Is it really essential that Jesus was actually resurrected from the dead?

These are just a few of the questions that the adult class will be considering over eleven weeks starting on January 7.  Each class session will include a brief video on the topic of the day by a recognized authority before participants in class share their own views on the matter at hand.


Evil – R. Kendall Soulen, Professor of Systematic Theology at Wesley Theological Seminary

Religion and Science – John Polkinghorne, Anglican priest; past President of Queens’ College, Cambridge University; and former Professor of Mathematical Physics at Cambridge

Other Religions – Sathianathan Clarke, Professor of Theology, Culture, and Mission, Wesley Theological Seminary

Evangelism and Tolerance – Scott Jones, Bishop of the United Methodist Church in Kansas and Professor of Evangelism at Perkins Theological Seminary 

The God of the Old Testament – Amy-Jill Levine, Professor of New Testament Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School

Jesus and Christianity – Richard B. Hays, Professor of New Testament at Duke Divinity School

Resurrection – N.T. Wright, Bishop of Durham

The Gnostic Gospels – Ben Witherington, Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky

The Sins of the Church – Douglas M. Strong, Professor of Church History, Wesley Theological Seminary

Forgiveness – L. Gregory Jones, Dean of Duke University Divinity School

Schedule (Jan/Feb/Mar 2018)

Using the Scriptures, a video series created by Wesley Seminary in D.C. and our collective experience of God’s movements in our lives, the class will discuss the following questions:

Jan. 7:  What are we to make of the evil events that befall all of us at one time or another? 

Jan. 14:  How can a thinking person square the Bible’s account of the creation and human existence with modern science’s understanding of the same?

Jan. 21: Parish Meeting (No Class)

Jan. 28:  How do we faithfully “Know Christ and Make Him Known” with regard to Other Religions?

Feb. 4:  How do we faithfully “Know Christ and Make Him Known” in our approach to Evangelism?

Feb. 11:  How do we faithfully “Know Christ and Make Him Known” considering the sinfulness of the Church itself?

Feb. 18:  What do we know about the Jesus of History? — The Gospels not in the Bible – the Gnostic Gospels

Feb. 25:  What do we know about the Jesus of History? — One Recent Attempt to Recover the Jesus of History (The Jesus Seminar)

Mar. 4:  What do we know about the Jesus of History? — Was Jesus really the founder of Christianity or was the Apostle Paul?

Mar. 11:  What do we know about the Jesus of History? — How does the God revealed in Jesus Christ relate to the God of the Old Testament?

Mar. 18:  In what do we hope – the Resurrection? 




Beginning Sunday, April 30, 2017 – The Basic Ideas behind Islam and Christianity

We have several weeks to examine the basic ideas behind Islam and Christianity. How are the teachings alike, how are they different, and why? Duane Miller and his family spent 2 years in Jordan studying the Arabic language in order to talk with Muslins about Jesus’ love for them. Beginning next Sunday, Duane will speak to us (through DVDs) to help us understand what is going on behind the headlines. J. Riddle

Beginning January 22, 2017 – Where Lies the Common Ground for All Christians? 

C. S. Lewis was known in the 20th century as the premier interpreter of the Christian faith. He earned this reputation in part from his 1952 publication, Mere Christianity. The book was an adaptation of three talks that Lewis gave on the radio between 1942 and 1944.  Lewis, an Anglican, intended to describe the Christian common ground in Mere Christianity for the sake of those for whom the jargon of formal Christian theology did not retain its original power and meaning.

N. T. Wright, the bishop of Durham Cathedral, has been called by many the C. S. Lewis of the 21st century, and so it was natural that he was asked to write a Mere Christianity for his own day. The result was the book, Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense.

The Adult class will be studying Simply Christian with the aid of several videos by N. T. Wright for 10 weeks starting January 22. If you would like to participate, please let us know by Thursday, January 5 so we can purchase a book for you in time for the class. J. Coalter

All are welcome to join this class on any Sunday!

Fall 2016

On the 18th of September we began an eight-part study based on the book, The Battle Plan for Prayer by Stephen and Alex Kendrick. This course may well change your prayer life in many ways. Come and explore prayer with us this Fall.


For the first two Sundays the Rev. Wayne Marker did a masterful job of launching us into this challenging course that will motive you to deepen your prayer life and give you resources to help. We meet from 11:00 to 12:00 in the choir room. If you would like to purchase the book that accompanies the DVD, Cortes Pauls has copies for $13.00. (However, the book is not required for participating in the class.) In the following weeks our leaders will be Bill Ernst and Joe Coalter. The Rev. Wayne Marker will return to lead us in the final two weeks. Whenever you are able, please join us in this study.

April 10 – June 5, 2016

The Wisdom of God: Peter Kreeft, professor of Philosophy at Boston College, has written the Three Philosophies of Life which will be our companion guide as we study the three books of the Bible which pose the questions to which the entire Bible provides answers: Ecclesiastes, the meaning of life without God; Job, the preparation for life with God; and Song of Songs, life with God, the real life. All are welcome to join any or all of these classes. C. Coreth

April 10 – Intro; April 17 – Ecclesiastes Part 1; April 24 – Ecclesiastes Part 2; May 1 – No class; May 8 – Job Part 1; May 15 – Job part 2; May 22 – Song of Solomon; May 29 – No class; June 5 – Summary

January/March 2016

Evangelism: The Ministry of Reconciliation: Every Christian is an ambassador for Christ. We have the privilege of participating in bringing God’s good news that our sin was imputed to Christ while He imputed Christ’s righteousness to us if we confess his Lordship (Philippians 2:9-11). Leon Brown in his book Words in Season provides an encouraging, common-sense, flexible approach to personal evangelism. Sensitive to believers’ struggles and concerns about sharing the gospel, Pastor Brown provides a practical guide that assists readers to overcome their reluctance to proclaim the Good News to the lost. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, ‘not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:17-19. L. Allen

The adult class on evangelism led by L. Allen began On Sunday, January 10. We are using Leon Brown’s book, Words in Season, which can be purchased at Amazon. All are welcome.

Our Late Fall 2015 class offering: How to Be a Crazy Christian with Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church

  • What is a Crazy Christian?
  • Its’ Easy — and It’s Hard
  • Habits of a Crazy Christian
  • Embracing Crazy Hope
  • Continuing the Journey

MCurryBishopWait a minute, do you really want to be called “crazy?”  Bishop Michael Curry says you do.  In fact, anyone who truly follows Jesus is, by the world’s definition, a bit insane.  After all, Jesus did a lot of “crazy” things during His lifetime, things that seemed incomprehensible to the world around Him and even to His own followers:  He loved the outcast and criminal, He raised the dead, He taught radical forgiveness and generosity, He submitted to test and torture and even execution.  So if we really consider ourselves His followers, how can we not do the same?

And yet so often we listen more to the voices of our time and our culture, or to our own self-centered desires.  We dumb down or sanitize worship and theology.  We get fixated on the here and now.

In this course, Bishop Curry encourages us to break away, to be different, to embrace the crazy hope of the Gospel.  He offers wisdom and guidance on how to become what he calls “crazy Christians.” But beware: following Jesus can be simultaneously natural and easy (as we live into who we were created to be) AND it can be relentlessly difficult (as we break away from what the world tells us and as we seek to remain committed to our calling).  Joining the counter-cultural adventure of discipleship means beginning truly to live, to know peace and joy, to have hope, and to dream of glory.  If you seek to revitalize your faith, or to learn more about what it means to be a Christian, or if you’re simply weary of following your own way, this course is for you.


PeteOur Early Fall 2015 class offering: Music History

As part of our continuing Adult Education classes, Pete Mathis taught a five-part series on Music History, with a focus on Western classical music. The series surveyed the major composers and their works from 1450 – 1900 AD, and was open to anyone with an interest in learning the basics of musicology, regardless of one’s level of musical skill or knowledge. There was no need to attend all of the classes in order to follow the lectures; each part of the series stood alone on its own. The schedule of classes follows. September 20: Early Music; September 27: The Baroque Period; October 4: The Classical Period; October 11 and 18: The Romantic Period. All were invited to learn about and share one of God’s most remarkable gifts to us!


ScSimmonsWinter/Spring 2015: The Interaction of Religion and Science

“Science and religion are two of the most important influences on human civilization.” In the past and in the present, faith and reason have often interacted. This course, led by Scott Simmons, explored various historical episodes and viewpoints to reveal that science and theology are “two individually incomplete methods — sometimes harmonious, sometimes not — that human beings have used in their endless quest for understanding.”




JCoalter2Oct. 19 to Dec. 28, 2014: Bible Study on I Corinthians: 

In I Corinthians, Paul says that he only sees “through a glass darkly.”  If this is so, then many a latter-day Christian has affirmed that Paul sees through a glass darkly with greater clarity in I Corinthians than most of us see in bright daylight.  Joe led us on a study about faith, hope, and charity plus the ties that bind us one to another,  and the sure and certain hope of the resurrection.




Sept. 21 to Oct. 12, 2014: Exploring the Apocrypha 

Did you ever wonder about those somewhat mysterious books sandwiched between the Old and New Testament sections of our pew Bibles? When and where did they come from? What is the significance of being “non-canonical”? What is their role in the Episcopal liturgy? Beginning on September 21 and continuing for four weeks, the adult class looked at these and other aspects of this fascinating library of ancient texts—a collection that has also had a wider influence on culture and the arts than you may have realized. Led by Bill Ernst