Adult Education & Opportunities


Middle Hour
Support Groups & Classes

There are many opportunities for adult education and growth at First Pres. Listed below are current classes and events; for more information, please contact Janet Sanders, Assistant Director for Christian Formation, at (510) 848-6252 ext. 267 or


Summer Colloquium

Beloved Community:The Church's Call to Racial Justice

Sunday, June 3, 10, 17, and 24
10:15–11:15 am, during Middle Hour
Gym, Westminster Hall

Throughout Scripture and history, God has called God's people to participate in the creation of the Beloved Community, breaking down barriers, seeking justice, and transforming hearts and systems.
Join First Pres community members and guest speakers as we explore God's Beloved Community and our call to share in its creation in our own context and communities.

Presentations listed below will be available through the Audio Library under Summer Colloquium 2018. If you would like to download the Questions for Reflections click here.


Date Topic and Speaker
June 3

Hearing the Hearts of the First Pres Community
Community Voices: Mary Chan, Miguel G. Lopez, John Lyzenga, Jacqueline Mowat, Mindy Phillips
June 10

Reconciliation and the Beloved Community
Guest Speaker: Rev. Sandhya Jha
Founder and Director of the Oakland Peace Center
Community Voices: Leah Tang
June 17

Redemption and the Beloved Community
Guest Speaker: Rev. Floyd Thompkins
Director of the Center for Innovation in Ministry, San Francisco Theological Seminary
Community Voices: Ruth and Vent Traylor
June 24

God's Creation of the Beloved Community
Guest Speaker: Rev. Mary Ellen Azada
Executive Director of Call Discernment, Fuller Theological Seminary
Community Voices: Paul Yeager

"The end is reconciliation; the end is redemption; the end is the creation of the Beloved Community. It is this type of spirit and this type of love that can transform opponents into friends. It is this type of understanding goodwill that will transform the deep gloom of the old age into exuberant gladness of the new age. It is this love which will bring about miracles in the hearts of men." Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1957

Learning to Read the New Testament in Greek

Chris Corwin, Visiting Professor of Biblical Studies at New College Berkeley, and Mike Stewart, both First Pres members, are offering an opportunity often only found in a university or seminary setting. This class is a gentle introduction to New Testament Greek, meeting weekly for 1 hour, September- May. The class features traditional deductive grammar and reading the Gospel of Mark in Greek. Participants will likely spend 2-3 hours of study weekly outside of class. No previous experience is necessary.

Instructors: Chris Corwin, Phd and Mike Stewart
Date: September 10, 1:30–2:30 pm
Location: Room G206, Geneva Hall
Timing: September–May, 2018
Cost: There is no charge for participation. The text book, Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar, by William Mounce, is available through Amazon.


Making Sense with Scripture Series

This four-part series explored what is involved when we seek to interpret the Scriptures faithfully and discern together how the Bible may guide us as a community today. To listen to the first three sessions, please visit the Audio Library and click on Classes & Discussions. For more information, please contact Janet Sanders at