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Adult Education Report Annual Meeting 2005

Prepared by Jerry Kincaid

We have witnessed some progress in the area of adult education over the past year. While some programs were discontinued (due to a lack of attendance/interest), other smaller programs have seen favorable participation.

Our regular Sunday Adult Education class was not reconvened this past fall due to a lack of interest. The attendance for this class fell from 15 back in the fall of 2003, to only 4 in the Spring of 2004 (the point of its conclusion). After consultation with Fr. Andrew, we decided to shift our focus to shorter, more directed workshops that would not require long-term commitment by the participants. As a result, the following classes were created:

  • In February of 2004, Fr. Andrew held a Bible Study on Wednesday nights, outside of Great Lent. His class received an average attendance of 6.
  • As a response to the "buzz" surrounding Mel Gibson's movie "The Passion of the Christ", Fr. Andrew held a 6-week Monday evening course to examine the various messages offered in this movie. Average attendance was 5.
  • In April of 2004, Fr. Andrew and I began thinking of developing an independent reading program for adult parishioners, since many chose not to attend any of the multiple classroom offerings. Our idea was to develop an independent study reading program that would focus on various study topics. Within each topic area (i.e., Church History, Spirituality, Liturgics, etc.) the participants would be asked to read a short number of books, articles or attend conferences related to that particular topic area. At the conclusion of the entire program, the participant would receive a certificate and then be asked to assist in teaching others in the program. We feel this structure will be the answer to the lack of attendance in regular, weekly classes held at the Church.
  • During the summer of 2004, I planned to begin an informal Bible study following Divine Liturgy on Sundays. However, due to my choir directing duties at Christ the Savior Church in Chicago, I was unable to begin this program.
  • The High School Sunday School class utilized the conference room this past fall previously used by the Sunday Adult Education class. This has worked out very well for the High School group.
  • In October, Fr. Andrew created two classes. The first meets on Sunday after Divine Liturgy in the "bookstore" to discuss the Creed and basic elements of our faith. Also, a group meets on Wednesday nights to learn about evangelism. This Wednesday group learns about other non-Orthodox Christian groups in order to prepare our people to answer these groups' concerns and questions about the Orthodox Faith. Don and Marcia Thorpe attended the evangelism course on November 3rd, offering the group their personal conversion experience to the Orthodox Faith. Both groups have been regularly attended and Fr. Andrew is pleased with their progress. However, more participants are greatly desired.
  • A trip to visit the Greater Galilee Missionary Baptist Church, located at 1308 S. Independence Blvd., Chicago, is also being planned. This is a lovely group who visited our parish to find out more about our faith.

    Because of my appointment as choir director of Christ the Savior, I will be unable to serve as Adult Education minister effective January 31st, 2005. However, I will offer my mentoring experience to my replacement.