Adult Classes & Educational 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

Interpreting Scripture in Community: Considering Biblical Texts Concerning Homosexuality

Dates & Times: Wednesdays, January 16–February 27, 7–9 pm
Location: Room G202, Geneva Hall
Registration: Class is full! If you are interested in attending a second offering of this class after Easter, please email Janet Sanders at

In response to many in our community, Session is sponsoring a study of Old and New Testament texts used in discussions of homosexuality. Following in the tradition established with our initial Interpreting Scripture in Community experience in 2012, we come together again to revisit and apply practices that guide us to read the Bible well.

During this seven-week course, participants will engage the various methods appropriate to studying these texts; gain a deeper understanding of how the church might live in light of them; and ultimately consider the call to a life together in Christ with diverging and possibly conflictive interpretations.

Interpreting Scripture in Community grants our community a fresh opportunity to learn, lean in, and listen to God’s word together. Each week includes a presentation, panel discussion, and small group conversation.

Rev. Dr. Tom Elson
Rev. Mark Stryker
Michelle Vecchio-Lyzenga, MDiv
Michael Barram, PhD, St. Marys College of California
Chris Corwin, PhD, New College Berkeley
Rev. Dr. Carol Antablin Miles, Theological Educator and Designated Pastor, Chinese Presbyterian Church, Oakland
Amanda Kaminski, PhD, Santa Clara University Jesuit School of Theology-Berkeley

Course goals: To help participants gain the following:
• an awareness of the historical, literary, and theological contexts of these texts;
• an understanding of the content and meaning of these texts;
• skill and familiarity with the tools of interpretation of these texts.

Date Topic
January 16
Introduction and Approach
January 23
Genesis 1–2
January 30
Genesis 19, Judges 19, and Ezekiel 18
February 6
Leviticus 18 and 20
February 13
Romans 1
February 20
1 Corinthians 6 and Timothy 1
February 27
Summary and Implications


Berkeley Palmer Lectureship: "Choosing a Race: Overcoming Our Racial Antagonism"

Date & Time: Saturday, March 16, 7–9:30 pm
Location: Sanctuary and Calvin Room

Dr. Willie Jennings, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Africana Studies at Yale University Divinity School, will challenge Christians to understand that “the racial problems of the western world emerged from Christian beginnings” at the second annual Berkeley Palmer Lectureship. He will explore our responsibility and opportunity to address racial antagonism through our life of faith. Learn more about Dr. Jennings. Support for the lectureship, named in honor of Pastor Emeritus, Earl F. Palmer, may be donated through New College Berkeley.

Learn more about the lectureship.