Adult Education – Fall ’21 Linked-In Learning Series

Together Again: Biblical Stories of Reunion & Restoration

As we slowly return to cooperate worship and gatherings within our own community, come explore how earlier generations of believers have learned from and experienced reunion. Listen to familiar stories of redemption and reconciliation as well as ones where reunion is stalled, avoided, or only anticipated.

Audio recordings will be posted below each class description.

Current Covid Protocols for Adult Education

Our presenters are fully vaccinated and will comply with our testing protocol for worship leaders. Social distancing will apply in the Assembly Room with seating limited to 40 and masking inside the building will continue.

October 17 | Anne Stewart

Reunion and Repair

Jacob and Esau are the long-awaited twin sons born to Isaac and Rebekah. These brothers emerge from the womb already locked in conflict (see Genesis 25:19–34; 27:1–46). As they grow, the differences deepen and result in a dramatic power grab that fractures a family. Jacob must leave home to escape the vengeful wrath of his brother Esau. As these two prepare to meet again in Genesis 32 and 33, they have not seen each other for years. Jacob has gained wisdom and humility and prepares for the reunion with caution and savvy.

Anne Stewart is Vice President for External Relations at Princeton Theological Seminary.  She is a Presbyterian minister and the author of Poetic Ethics in Proverbs: Wisdom Literature and the Shaping of the Moral Self.  She is a graduate of Smith College, Princeton Theological Seminary (MDiv), and Emory University (PhD, Old Testament).  Anne grew up in central Pennsylvania and was raised in the faith at Camp Hill Presbyterian Church.

October 24 | Dennis Olsen

Two Reunions and a Reveal

Israel’s ancestor Jacob had twelve sons who eventually became the twelve tribes of the people of Israel. Joseph and his younger brother Benjamin were Jacob’s favored sons, born of Jacob’s favorite wife Rachel. The other brothers all knew it and resented their younger brothers. This favoritism provokes the brothers to commit a violent act that propels Joseph on an epic quest resulting in fame, power and wealth. After years of separation, Joseph has a surprise encounter with his brothers who do not recognize because they assume he died years ago.

Dennis T. Olson is the Charles T. Haley Professor of Old Testament Theology and Chair of the Biblical Studies Department at Princeton Theological Seminary. He earned his MDiv from Luther Theological Seminary and his MA, MPhil, and PhD from Yale University. An ordained Lutheran minister, he specializes in the Pentateuch and other narrative literature of the Old Testament.

October 31 | James VanderKam

Reunion with Torah

After being exiled in Babylon, the Jewish people finally return to Jerusalem to find their beloved city and temple in ruins. Nehemiah begins rebuilding the city walls while the priest Ezra seeks to rededicate the temple. Both these leaders were convinced that the national disasters of the past were caused by disobedience to the law and feared that their contemporaries were repeating the sins of their ancestors.  Therefore they and other leaders instituted practices that centered on the temple and were intended to ensure conformity with the law. In that way the restored nation could avoid the punishments meted out to generations past.

James VanderKam taught at North Carolina State University and at the University of Notre Dame where he was the O’Brien Professor of Hebrew Scriptures.  His areas of research are the Hebrew Bible and the literature of Early Judaism such as the Dead Sea Scrolls.  He and his wife, Mary, moved to Princeton in 2019 and became members of Nassau a few months later.

November 7 | Shane Berg

Reunion and Relationship

One of the most famous reunion stories in scripture is Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son. The embrace of the wayward son by his loving father, captured so poignantly in Rembrandt’s famous painting, is an enduring reminder of God’s compassion and love for us. This powerful image is key to our understanding of God’s grace and nature. The best-known stories in the Bible, however, often repay a fresh reading. A closer look will reveal a rich complexity and nuance that deepens our appreciation of this iconic parable.

Read the passages cited during the class.

Shane Berg is the Executive Vice President at Princeton Theological Seminary. Dr. Berg earned his MDiv degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and his PhD in New Testament and Ancient Christianity from Yale University. He served on the faculty of Princeton Theological Seminary for seven years as Assistant Professor of New Testament, and then joined the Seminary’s executive leadership team in January 2014. Around Nassau he is perhaps best known as Corrie Berg’s husband and the father of Anders, Mathias, and Soren.

November 14 | Theresa Thames

The Reunion that Wasn’t

If your family is anything like my own, family reunions can be…interesting. In our text, Matthew gives us a brief introduction to family systems theory by sharing an encounter between Jesus, his birth family, and the disciples. On first reading, Jesus’ response sounds harsh and gives us pause. However, Jesus’ jarring words model a more expansive understanding of family and widening of the circle.

Theresa Thames, an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church, has been the Associate Dean of Religious Life and the Chapel at Princeton University since 2016. She is passionate about the intersections of theology, gender, organizational development, and social justice. A challenging preacher, thoughtful theologian, and devoted friend, Theresa is also a lover of life and a music connoisseur who prioritizes self-care and believes that freedom is not optional, rest is her strength, and radical joy is her resistance.

November 21 | Noel Werner

The Sound of Reunion

You might be surprised how much of our congregational song is based on the visions and poetry in Revelation. Starting with the reunion of God and the great company of saints in Revelation 7:9-17, we’ll explore the way in which this final book of the New Testament has inspired authors and composers for generations and created some of our most enduring songs. Together we’ll experience a little of what the great reunion might sound like through the prophetic witness of word and music.

Download the Revelation Lecture Playlist (PDF) for YouTube links and copyright information for the musical selections presented during the class.

Noel Werner
Noel Werner

Noel Werner has been the Director of Music at Nassau Presbyterian Church since 2006. He lectures on occasion at Westminster Choir College and Princeton Theological Seminary, and spearheads many cooperative music endeavors in the community, in addition to directing Nassau’s adult choir, coordinating Nassau’s extensive music program, and staffing Nassau’s Worship and Arts Committee.


Fall 2021 Small Groups

As we slowly emerge from this pandemic, the knowledge that there is no return to “normal” or a pre-pandemic past becomes more clear with each passing month. The last year and a half have changed us and our community in countless ways. Yet the days of extreme quarantine and isolation are behind us. Old rhythms and routines are returning in new ways, and we are deeply grateful that our community of faith is gathering again in-person to worship, pray, sing (some) and learn together. This reunion or return comes with joy, trepidation and expectation as we continue to learn how to be a faithful people of God in our context and community.

Click on the Small Group Name to read more.







10 a.m. Together Again Together Again
11 a.m.
3 p.m.
4 p.m. Art of
(grades 4-7)
7 p.m.
Reunion Movies Together Again Adventures
in Barth
Reunion Writing
  Grief Encounters
7:30 p.m. Together Again Return to Photography

Together Again: Biblical Stories of Reunion & Restoration

The fall series will focus on six stories of reunion from our scriptures, some very familiar, some less so. We return to the complicated family dynamics found in the stories of Jacob and Esau, Joseph and his brothers and the parable of the prodigal son. These are stories we know well and remember often as models of Christian redemption and reconciliation. But a close reading brings to light each of the very-human characters in these narratives and gives us a fuller understanding and maybe even a little more empathy for each of them. We will also look at stories where reunion is stalled, avoided or only anticipated. As we slowly return to cooperate worship and gatherings within our own community, come explore how earlier generations of believers have learned from and experienced reunion.

Mondays, October 11-November 15, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
In-person and outdoors at the home of Corrie Berg in Princeton, NJ (Zoom if raining).

Register Here
Corrie Berg, is the Director of Educational Ministries and always delighted to talk about Bible stories, whether it’s with grown ups or with children. She finds that she often learns the most by discussing the stories of our faith with the people of our church.

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Mondays, October 11-November 15, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
Virtual on Zoom

Register Here
Jim and Cynthia Moorhead are long-time members of the Nassau Community. Cynthia is a retired pre-school teacher but continues to show her love for children through her leadership in church school, VBS, and children’s choirs. Jim is an ordained minister and Professor of American Church History Emeritus at Princeton Theological Seminary.

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Tuesdays, October 12-November 16,  7:30-8:30 p.m.
Virtual on Zoom

Register Here
Carol Wehrheim is Clerk of Session. She finds small groups a necessary part of her life with Nassau Church, and enjoys playing cornhole.

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Wednesdays, October 13-November 17, 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Virtual on Zoom

This group is full

Dave Davis has been pastor and head-of-staff at Nassau since the fall of 2000. His PhD in Homiletics from Princeton Theological Seminary focused on preaching as a corporate act and the active role of the listener in the preaching event. He has published two sermon collections A Kingdom You Can Taste and Lord, Teach Us to Pray.

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Additional Small Group Options

Art of Faithfulness

Sundays, October 24-November 28, 4:00-5:30 p.m.
Virtual on Zoom

Register Here

To be human is to be creative. To be human is to be in community with others. As we live this time of reemergence and reunions, come and discover how your God given gifts of creativity can reflect and inform the joys, challenges, struggles, hopes and more of this time and of our faith, individually and collectively. Each week we will consider Biblical texts of reunions and reemergence and marry that with the creative talents of each group member as we lift our creativity in response to these days.

Kim Kleasen is a long-time member of Nassau, the Adult Choir and flautist. She also enjoys needlework, artistic journaling and cooking as faith filled creative endeavors. She is a Ruling Elder, currently serving on Session and is working on our Forward in Faith Together initiatives. She is concluding a course of study at General Theological Seminary in Spiritual Direction where she has put a focus on the Creative Arts and Faith / Spirituality.

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Together Again – just for Kids (4th-8th graders)

Mondays, October 11-November 15, 4:00-5:00 p.m.
In-person and outdoors at the home of Corrie Berg in Princeton, NJ (Zoom if raining).

This group is full
Corrie Berg is the Director of Educational Ministries and always delighted to talk about Bible stories, whether it’s with grown ups or with children. She finds that she often learns the most by discussing the stories of our faith with the people of our church.

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Reunion Movies

Sundays October 10-November 14, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
Virtual on Zoom

Register Here

There are many kinds of reunions in the movies. In the first week, movie fans will meet and have our own virtual reunion, following our summer hiatus. Each week thereafter, we will see a preselected movie and then meet virtually to talk about it. Join us to discuss these fascinating films and examine our fall theme of reunion and restoration. Movie selections include: Boyhood; Harvey; Jojo Rabbit; Spirited Away; The Visitor; Babette’s Feast.

Marshall McKnight, a lifelong movie buff, has been a Nassau Church member since 2011. He is a deacon and is active on the Mass Incarceration Task Force. He also serves on the Adult Education and Membership Committees. He was a journalist for seven years and for the last 17 has worked for the State of New Jersey. For the last two years, he has been an avid participant in the wonderful Nassau Church movie small groups led by film expert Karl Bjorkman who is enrolled in seminary this fall.

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Tuesdays, October 5-December 7, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
In-person at Nassau Presbyterian Church, Assembly Room

Register Here
Are you suffering from the loss of a loved one? Know that you are not alone.  GriefEncounters, Nassau’s new supportive small group, is here for you. Grief can be debilitating, isolating, and surprisingly peaceful, often all at once. It is one of life’s two most profound experiences, directly resulting from the other – love. Join co-Leaders, Lois Foley and Marcia Wood, as we share our journeys of grief, supported by God’s grace, scripture, and one another. GriefEncounters is a ministry of Nassau’s congregational care. Register by email with Marcia Wood in the link above.

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Adventures in Barth, Episode IV
Humanity and Time in Church Dogmatics III/2

Tuesdays, October 12-November 16, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Virtual on Zoom

This group is full

Get “Barth Smart” as we encounter Mark’s favorite volume in the Church Dogmatics. Addressing our understanding of humanity and temporality, Barth rethinks and arguably solves the meta-question, “What is a human?”  First-timers and experts are welcome as we gather around this rigorous challenge to mind and heart, church and world. Reading is ~40 pages/week.

Mark Edwards joined Nassau as Director of Youth Ministries in September of 2013. He is a lifelong Presbyterian and holds a PhD in Philosophy and Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. He has taught at Princeton University, The College of New Jersey, and Princeton Theological Seminary. His Give it Away: The Gospel according to Karl Barth is forthcoming in ‘22. Mark is married to Janine, and they have two great kids, a dog, a cat, seven chickens, and a bunch of bikes.

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Writing to Reunion

Thursdays, October 15-November 19, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
Virtual on Zoom

This group was canceled

Come engage with the theme of reunion and restoration in a new and creative way. For six weeks this fall, sermons will explicate important reunions in the Bible. In this small group, participants will reflect upon these reunions, by writing about them. Then, in weekly meetings, the group will read and discuss participants’ written reflections. All writing styles are welcome and encouraged in this supportive environment. Together in the Holy Spirit, we’ll create a community of readers and writers.

Tom Quinlan is all about writing. He has studied writing from literary and psychological perspectives. In his professional life, he researches how digital technologies have transformed literacy.


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The Sacred Art of Photography (Returning Members)

Thursdays, October 14-November 18, 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Virtual on Zoom

This group will continue to explore the relation of images to Biblical texts, focusing this fall on the theme of reunion. You will a need camera of some sort–a pinhole, a smart phone, and iPhone, a DSLR, something–a desire to read the scripture and the explore how images evoke the spirit; and some imagination.

Interested in this group or in the possibility of an Intro Photography Group in the Spring? Click below to send an email to Ned:
Email Ned Walthall

Ned Walthall has been thinking about and taking photographs for years. He received an  MFA in Photography from The New England College Institute of Art and Design (formerly The New Hampshire Institute of Art).  His work has been exhibited at Gallery 14 in Hopewell, New Jersey; The New England School of Photography in Boston; and (currently) at the Glasgow Gallery of Photography. He is currently the editor  of the Light Has No Enemies blog, at

His work can be seen at and you can follow him on Instagram at

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