Adult Education

Toothmarks on the Lectionary

Every Sunday, 9:15-10:15 a.m. in the Dorcas Room.  Morning participants will read the Bible texts for the 10:30 a.m. worship service that day. Classes include pastoral participation and background material to help prepare more fully for worship and listening to the sermon. Location: Dorcas Room

Sunday Mornings - 9:15 a.m. - Adult Education  -  Chapel

January 13, 20, & 27
A Hard-Fought Hope: A Brief Journey with the Book of Job
The Rev. Dr. William R. Long, Former Interim Pastor at Westminster and Law Professor at Willamette University

The Book of Job is perhaps the world's most famous literary depiction of human suffering.  Like most famous writings, however, it often suffers from neglect or oversimplification.  The goal of this 3-week course is to try to understand the language, power, and abiding message of the Book of Job.  We will explore the course of Job's life, the quick and devastating reversal he faced, the nature of friendship in suffering, Job's twofold reaction of grief and anger, and, finally, the role of God and personal faith in restoring hope after tremendous loss.  The class will consist of presentation and discussion as we grapple with the soaring language, plummeting hopes, and surprising restoration of Job.

February 3
Spotlight: Beth Outterson

Come learn about the "preacher's kid" who was raised with the adventure of mission travel.  Those experiences are reflected in her career in international health and her ongoing desire to promote equity and social justice.  You'll be captivated by her story.     

February 10, 17, & 24
Love in a Time of Loathing
Dr. Stephen Patterson, George H. Atkinson Professor of Religious Studies, Willamette University

After years of driving hate speech from public discourse, we now find it thrust back into the center of our politics and made respectable again, even in the highest echelons of public leadership. What does the Jesus tradition have to say about this? About despising people who are different from us, who are poor, or foreigners, or just odd? Can Christians reclaim the ethics of love in a time of loathing?     

March 3
Who Are We? Living on the Streets of Portland
Mark Danley, Photographer 

We’re all disturbed by homelessness in Portland, whether it’s irritation with the garbage on the side of our roadways or frustration with our inability to provide affordable housing for our most vulnerable citizens. Join Mark Danley, retired mediator and photographer, in a discussion about life on the streets of Portland. This non-lecture is guaranteed to challenge some of your most cherished beliefs about the realities of homelessness. 

March 10
Community Transition School
Julia Osa Fullerton, Director of Development, Community Transition School

Julia Osa Fullerton, Director of Development at the Community Transition School, will share the remarkable story of the school, one of the agencies supported by Westminster.  CTS is a non-profit, private Pre-K-8th school for children whose families are homeless or in transition throughout the Portland metro area and Multnomah County.  CTS is now in its 29th school year.  Its mission is to provide homeless students with a quality education that meets their unique academic needs and tries to overcome their lack of stability.  CTS offers a nearly 10-month school year and 5-week summer program.  Most school years, CTS teaches a total of 180-220 children. Currently, 85 students are enrolled. During the 2017-2018 school year, it enrolled and taught a total of 232 students and had an all-time record-breaking high daily enrollment of 97 students.  The average length of stay was 19 weeks. Despite their homelessness and transience, CTS students had an outstanding 92-percent daily attendance average.  This can be credited to the flexibility of its transportation program, as well as a school-wide culture that promotes daily attendance, good behavior, and hard work.  CTS teachers and staff are committed to bridging the educational gap of disparity for homeless children as long as the need for the school exists.

March 17
Homelessness Is Not Normal
Brandi Tuck, Executive Director of Portland Homeless Family Solutions (PHFS)

Believe it or not, we haven't always had homelessness in America. For decades, our country had a solution to our housing crisis that provided homes for all individuals and families, regardless of their budget. Join Brandi Tuck to explore the history of homelessness in America, the root causes of homelessness, and solutions at both the local and national levels. 

The mission of PHFS is to empower homeless families with children to get back into housing - and stay there. Tuck, Executive Director of PHFS since 2007, has over 15 years of experience working with people experiencing homelessness and has a passion for providing services to people that build dignity, restore power, and promote autonomy.  

Bible Study

Join us for a monthly conversation about the Bible on the first Thursday of each month at 2 p.m. in the Gallery. We will read a selected text each month and talk about the questions we have about the text, what the text says about God, and how the text might inform our living. Bring your Bible if you have a favorite; we'll supply Bibles for those who don't bring one.

 "Exploring Membership" Classes

Whether or not you're ready to become a Westminster member, in our “Exploring Membership” classes you are invited to learn what it means to be Presbyterian and consider opportunities for spiritual growth and meaningful mission. These classes are generally offered about three times per year, either on Saturdays or Sundays. Childcare is available on request. There is no charge to attend, but advance registration is requested so we can adequately prepare. For more information, please contact the Reverend Laurie Lynn Newman at lnewman@westprespdx.org or 503-287-1289 x 115. 

Church Library

Westminster Presbyterian Church has a library with a wide variety of books available for checkout. You don't need to be a church member to use the library.

The library is located on the ground floor of the church near the 16th Street entrance. You are welcome to use the card catalog to find books or just browse through the bookcases and table displays. We also have a roving library cart that brings new arrivals to our post-worship coffee hour on Sundays during the school year.

To check out a book, our librarian, Judy Harrison, does not need to be present. Simply pull out the card in the back of the book, put your name on it, list your phone number, and write the date you're signing out the book. Leave the card on the card-catalog case. There are no due-date requirements; please just bring back your book sooner rather than later if it's a new publication. We also have a children's book cart for which no checkout is required, though we do ask that you bring the books back once you're done.

Library hours are as follows:

Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: During these hours, please visit the church office to have a staff person open the library for you.

If you have any question, please contact the church office during weekdays at 503-287-1289.

Additional Opportunities

We have more educational activities offered in small-group settings, including a variety of book groups. Please check out our Community Life page for more information.