Back to the Beginning: Genesis in January
You think you’ve got a complex family? Take a fresh look at these first families of faith. Amidst betrayal, competition, and jealousy, there is also love, loyalty, and redemption. Each week will focus on a different family and God’s work in their lives. Let’s explore family dynamics in Genesis in an inter-generational, interactive class of middle school, high school, and adults of all ages. Grab this opportunity to have more than “Hi, how are you?” conversations between Nassau youth and adults while you enjoy a continental breakfast.
All classes 9:15 a.m. in the Assembly Room
Download the January brochure: Adult Ed January 2019 (pdf)
Beyond the Garden
Anne Whitaker Stewart
In the beginning was…intrigue, turmoil, and sibling rivalry. Between forbidden fruit and murder, life is off to a rocky start in the early chapters of Genesis. The first family grapples with desire, jealousy, knowledge, and the mysterious nature of God’s favor. Join Adam, Eve, their children, and a slithering serpent to explore life in the garden and beyond.
Anne Stewart moonlights as an Old Testament scholar. By day she works at Princeton Theological Seminary as Associate Vice President for Communication and Deputy to the President.
It’s Complicated: At Home with Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar
We all know families are complicated, our own included. But fraught family dynamics are not a modern invention. Within their blended family, Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, Ishmael, and Isaac are all enmeshed in a web of anxiety, love, jealousy, longing, rage, violence, and more. Plus, God is a major player in their story, in both inspiring and disturbing ways. Come explore this fascinating, difficult story, and reflect on how the messiness of this biblical family can help us think about our own families.
Jacq Lapsley wears many hats, including being mom to Emma and Sam Bezilla. She has loved traveling with the church youth on their adventures. By day, she serves as Dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs and Professor of Old Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary.
Are All Happy Families Alike?
What does a happy, loving family look like? Is there really any such thing as a normal family? The story of Jacob, Esau, Rachel and Leah invites us to consider what kind of stories the scriptures tell about how families love each other, how they deal with conflict, and—most importantly—how God never leaves or forsakes his people in the midst of it all.
Matthew Larsen is a cultural historian whose work focuses on the lived experiences of Jewish and Christian communities in classical and late antiquity. Matthew came to Princeton University from a teaching position at Yale, where he also received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies. He is the author of the book, Gospels before the Book (Oxford University Press, 2018). He is currently writing a cultural history of early Christians and incarceration. Matthew is also a priest in the Episcopal church with several years of parish experience.
Joseph and all those Brothers (or) Where is God in all this mess?
Looking for a story about family intrigue? This story has it all! Jealousy, deception, betrayal, dungeons, starving cows, silver cups, and sudden reversals. It shows God at work in all sorts of strange, hidden, topsy-turvy, unexpected ways. Come and explore how God moves in the midst of our mess to produce something good.
Joel D. Estes is a New Testament PhD candidate at Princeton Seminary, where he also serves as Associate Director of Web Communication. A former high school teacher and worship pastor, he is the father of four kids—two boys and twin girls—all under the age of seven. He used to enjoy reading, traveling, playing guitar, and getting enough sleep, but has recently developed interests in cleaning crayon off the walls and building pillow forts.