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A course offered by the Reformed Institute of Metropolitan Washington

Dates:              Saturdays - February 16, 23, March 2 and 9, 2019

Time:               9:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon

Location:         Lewinsville Presbyterian Church, 1724 Chain Bridge Road, McLean, VA 22101

Facilitator:       Dr. Melissa Kirkpatrick

Cost:                $75 for members of Reformed Institute sponsoring churches, $90 for all others

To register online, click here.     

In times of crisis, the church has occasionally sought to speak for justice and the right by once more loudly proclaiming what Christian faith teaches and, in doing so, call for resistance to powers that would subvert those teachings.

The Presbyterian Book of Confessions contains two such documents – the Barmen Declaration and the Belhar Confession.  In addition to these, the most recent General Assembly has commended the “Reclaiming Jesus” document, “a confession of faith in time of crisis,” to congregations for their study.

These three documents have commonalities in structure and a common theme of critique of the state and church – a criticism of the state's co-opting some of the cultural power of religion, a strong restatement of what the church claims to believe, and an affirmation of the church’s duty to act on those beliefs.

Belhar and Barmen, to various degrees, represented resistance.  Reclaiming Jesus calls for it.  Barmen reminded the churches to stand firm against accommodation to National Socialism. Belhar proclaimed the unity of the church in the face of the system of apartheid that divided it. The new document, Reclaiming Jesus, urges churches to reclaim the Christian witness, to resist the cultural and political idolatries that would draw us away from doing our part in repairing God’s world.

The series of discussions will cover a brief history of each document, including the context in which each was written. Leaders will seek to engage participants in exploring how these documents continue to speak to us and challenge our thinking today.

Course Instructors:  Sessions will be facilitated by Dr. Melissa Kirkpatrick with instruction from:

-The Rev. Dr. Larry Golemon, the Transitional Executive Director of the Reformed Institute and the Executive Director of the Washington Theological Consortium

-The Rev. Dr. Quinn Fox, Associate Pastor for Discipleship and Christian Formation at National Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC

-The Rev. Denise Anderson, Co-Moderator of the 222nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and Coordinator for the Racial and Intercultural Justice Office at the Presbyterian Mission Agency in Louisville, KY

Readings:

 - The Barmen Declaration, found in The Book of Confessions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) or online at sites such as: https://groups.csail.mit.edu/medg/people/doyle/personal/enters/hermann/declaration.html

- The Belhar Confession, also found in the latest edition of The Book of Confessions or online here: https://kerkargief.co.za/doks/bely/CF_Belhar.pdf

- “Reclaiming Jesus” found here: http://www.reclaimingjesus.org/sites/default/files/downloads/reclaiming_jesus.pdf

The deadline to register is February 13, 2019.