Adult Enrichment

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Christian Formation for Adults in September and October

by Church Staff

By Julia Eliades, Interim Christian Formation Director 

During the upcoming program year, the Christian Formation committee is planning a series of adult forums that will meet one Sunday a month at 9:00 a.m. between Manakin’s two worship services. In September and October, Rev. Dr. Karen-Marie Yust will lead Manakin’s adult forums (see below for information about Rev. Dr. Yust).

Join us as we explore the complexities of living faithfully in an ever-changing world.

September 24
9:00 – 9:50 a.m.
Faithfully Tracking the Course of Change
We live in a time of accelerating social and technological change, both locally and globally. These changes can feel like a threat to our faith and well-being. The adult forum on September 24 will explore various social and biblical perspectives on change and explore how we can respond to change in life-affirming ways.

October 22
9:00 – 9:50 a.m.
Following God into the Future
Science fiction often sets the tone for our visions of the future, either by depicting how technological advances will improve human life or threaten human survival. The adult forum on October 22 will explore our anxieties about the future and how we can embrace a biblical vision of hope that affirms the future without losing touch with the past.

Other Opportunities for Adults

October 23
6:30 p.m.
Practical Ways of Living Your Faith
Transforming the World, Living Well: Christian Practices for Everyday Life
During September and October, we will explore a variety of practical ways to live out our faith. In Denny Hall, there will be copies of the Living Well chapter on Transforming the World, published by Lifelong Faith Associates. Pick one up, and take the material home to read on your own or with your family. Try out the activities. Reflect on the content and questions raised in the chapter. Pray about it. On Monday, October 23, join other adults to talk about the chapter and your experiences. Share your thoughts and ideas for serving the poor and vulnerable; acting for justice and peace; and caring for God’s creation. Let’s turn out thoughts into actions, transforming the world we live in!


About The Rev. Dr. Karen-Marie Yust:

Rev. Dr. Yust is a professor of Christian education at Union Presbyterian Seminary. She holds a Th.D. in systematic and historical theology from Harvard University, a M.Div. from Brite Divinity School, and a B.A. from Trinity University. She has published extensively. Her books include Real Kids, Real Faith: A Practice of Nurturing Children’s Spiritual Lives (Jossey-Bass, 2004) and Attentive to God: Spirituality in the Church Committee (Chalice Press, 2001). A focus in her work includes exploring the changing dynamics of congregational life and asking how these changes offer opportunities to develop new approaches to faith formation and new foci for educational ministries. She is an experienced pastor with dual ordination in the United Church of Christ and Disciples traditions.



Manakin Church announces the 2017 Lenten Program

by Church Staff

The theme for this year’s Lenten program is Challenges to Christianity in the 21st Century. Our 2017 Lenten program will offer a variety of intellectually and spiritually stimulating individual presentations based on a general theme of Challenges to Christianity in the 21st Century. All meetings will start with dinner at 6:00 p.m. followed by the program and be over by 8:15 p.m. There will be five programs on Wednesdays in Lent, starting March 8. March 1, 2017 is Ash Wednesday. There will be a Rite II Eucharist and Imposition of Ashes at 7:00 p.m. but no pot luck supper on that day

March 8 – One of the biggest challenges our church has in 2017 is attracting young people. Dr. Karen-Marie Yust, Professor of Christian Education at Union Presbyterian Seminary will speak to us about changes in today’s Christian Formation programs, her experience teaching college students in today’s environment and implications for the traditional “Church School” approach. Dinner will be our usual covered dish dinner. Bring an entrée, a salad or dessert to share.

March 15 – The Episcopal Church has a five hundred year tradition of choral evensong. It is truly a wonderful, calm, quiet service that is rarely done at Manakin. We will have a Choral Evensong as our program following dinner. Families with children are encouraged to bring them to this short service. Dinner prior to this service will be provided. For less than the cost of going to McDonald’s, you can get dinner with wine, and experience this wonderful traditional service. There will be no sermon and families should be able to return home by 8:00 p.m.

March 22The Reverend John M. Kerr, retired Chaplain of the College of William and Mary will address us on “The Road Less Traveled: “How science and religion can coexist.” Rev. Kerr spoke to us last year and we are delighted that he will return this year for another intellectually challenging experience. If you missed last year, here is another chance to see what everyone was raving about.

March 29Dr. Arthur B. Gunlicks, Adjunct Professor at the University of Richmond and former Head of the Political Science Department there, will talk to us about the likely state of relations between the United States and Russia following our recent elections, and other related geopolitical issues impacting the Christian community.

April 5The Reverend Peter K. Stimpson will return with another talk to prepare us for Holy Week as he looks at societal forces impacting the Church in the 21st Century. In addition to his divinity degree he is a licensed clinical social worker who headed his own consulting firm.

Mark your calendar and plan to attend these offerings.

Author Dean King to Speak at Manakin Book Club

by Church Staff

Mark your calendar, and join us on Tuesday, October 11, as we kick off the first of our fall Book Club meetings with Richmond author Dean King. King is coming to Manakin to discuss his latest book, The Feud: The Hatfields & McCoys – The True Story.

All are invited to attend and participate in what is sure to be a fascinating discussion. It all begins at 6:00 p.m., and refreshments will be served.

If you have questions about this event or would like to know more about Manakin’s Book Club, contact the Church Office.


Manakin’s next Ladies Night Out is March 8

by Church Staff

By Beverly Whitley

The March Ladies’ Night out will be Tuesday, March 8, 2016, at 6:00 PM at Firebirds Restaurant in Midlothian. A sign-up sheet is posted in Denny Hall.

Ladies’ Night Out is an opportunity for Manakin women to share a meal and get to know one another!


Manakin’s 2016 Lenten program schedule is announced

by Church Staff

By Holly Walker

In February, we enter the 40 days of Lent, a time of reflection as we prepare ourselves for Holy Week and Christ’s resurrection. Throughout the Lenten season, Manakin will offer a series of Wednesday evening programs to support this period of self-examination.

This year’s theme is “Going Beyond the Doors of the Church.” In today’s complex and ever-changing world, finding ways to fully live into our faith can be challenging. How do we express our faith in our workplace and in our community, while respecting the beliefs of those of other religions? How do we reconcile advances in technology and science with our faith? How do cultural influences impact the way we prioritize God in our lives? How does our faith develop throughout our lives?

During Manakin’s Lenten Program, we will explore these questions and more as we take a thought provoking look at our faith from multiple perspectives.

February 17
“Go to Love and Serve”
Speaker: Rev. Canon Fletcher Lowe

How do we incorporate our faith into all aspects in our lives? When we leave our church each Sunday, how do we continue to live into God’s Word? How do we take the gifts God has given us and utilize them in our careers, our communities and our families? Join us as Rev. Canon Fletcher Lowe helps us explores these questions and more.

February 24
“Celebrating the Richmond Area’s Diversity”
Speaker: Bill Martin, Director, The Valentine

What makes the Richmond area so diverse? How do we celebrate those differences and understand how they create a rich, vibrant community for us to live and worship in? Join us as Bill Martin,  director of The Valentine, gives us a look at our area’s incredible diversity.

March 2
“Religion and Science”
Speaker: Rev. John Kerr

What is science, and what isn’t it? How do we reconcile science with our religious beliefs? Do we have to separate them and only believe in one or the other, or can we find common ground? Join us as Rev. Kerr takes us on a journey to look at science and religion through topics such as creationism and evolution.

March 9
“Our Evolving Faith: Why Bad Things Happen to Good People”
Speaker: Rev. Peter Stimpson

Our faith can be challenged throughout our lives, especially when bad things happen, such as the death of a loved one, the diagnosis of a serious illness, the loss of a job, or the challenges caused by a financial crisis. How can God allow this? Join us as Rev. Peter Stimpson shows us how the Bible answers this question and provides us with the strength to help us cope with whatever comes our way.

March 16
“Christianity in the Broader Culture”
Speaker: Caroline Black, Canon for Formation, Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia

Our culture is ever changing. Families and individuals prioritize their time differently than they did 20 years ago. People face different demands. The internet and social media have changed how information is shared and have blurred the lines between fact and fiction.


Each Wednesday, we will gather in Denny Hall at 6:30 PM for a potluck dinner. Our speaker will begin his/her presentation at 7:15 PM, and the program will be wrapped up around 8 PM or shortly thereafter.

A special thank you to the members of the Lenten Program Planning Committee: John Carnwath, Birdie Lighthiser, Jeff Lighthiser and Martha Steger.

Book Club in January

by Church Staff

By Birdie Lighthiser

Our next Book Club meeting will be on Tuesday, January 19, at 5:00 p.m. We are reading The Faith Club by Ranya Idiliby, Suzanne Oliver, and Priscilla Warner. This book explores the feelings and shared beliefs of three women . . . Christian, Jew, and Muslim, who became friends after the 9/11 attacks. Join us for the discussion, and feel free to bring a bag supper. Dessert is always served.

Book Club Schedule for 2016
March 15 – Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
May 17 – All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Help Plan Manakin’s 2016 Lenten Program

by Church Staff

By Holly Walker

Lent is a time for reflection – a time when we examine our lives in preparation for Easter. Some opt to give up something – a particular food, a habit – during this time.

Others choose to add something to their lives – such as Bible readings, additional prayers, or volunteer work. It is important that Manakin’s Lenten program provides you with the spiritual nourishment you need to support your journey through these 40 days.

Because of that, we are forming a committee to discuss possible themes and weekly programs for our 2016 program. The committee will discuss topic ideas and make a recommendation to the Vestry as to how the program should be organized – its theme, schedule and speakers. Once the Lenten program concept is agreed upon, committee members will help schedule speakers and will work with the Communications Committee, Vestry and the church office to get the word out to parishioners and to the public.

So, is there a particular subject you would like to examine during Lent? What topics would give you spiritual guidance and inspiration? Do you know vibrant speakers who would add interesting dimensions to a Lenten program?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, or if you have a desire to be involved in the planning of Manakin’s program, please consider joining our Lenten Program Planning Committee. Contact the Church Office by no later than November 15.

Our goal is to have our 2016 Lenten program plan finalized by early January, so that we will have sufficient time to share the program details with our Manakin family and our community.

Book Club Update

by Church Staff

By Birdie Lighthiser

Thank you to all who came out to meet our visiting writer on Friday, October 16. We had a lovely evening with Beth Macy, writer of Factory Man. Thanks to all who helped make that event possible.

Our next Book Club selection is The Faith Club by Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver, and Priscilla Warner. This book explores the feelings and shared beliefs that three women…Christian, Jew, and Muslim…navigate after the attack on 9/11. They learn to respect each other and a great friendship evolves. Our next meeting is Tuesday, January 19 at 5:00 p.m. in Denny Hall. Feel free to bring a bag supper. Dessert is always provided. Please join us

Book Club Schedule for 2016

January 19 – The Faith Club by Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver, Priscilla Warner

March 15 – Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

May 17 – All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr


Visiting Writer at October Book Club

by Church Staff

By Birdie Lighthiser

Plan to be at Manakin at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, October 16 to welcome Betty Macy. She is the author of our book selection for October — Factory Man. Beth is a writer for the Roanoke Times. Factory Man emerged from her

Roanoke Times reporting on Virginia’s Bassett family and John Bassett III. She explores the grand history of furniture production in Virginia, drama and fascinating stories. Please join us that evening. Everyone is welcome and refreshments will be served.

Book Club Schedule for 2016

January 19—The Faith Club by Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver, Priscilla Warner

March 15—Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

May 17—All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Join us for Book Club

by Church Staff

By Birdie Lighthiser

Our next Book Club will be on Tuesday, September 15, at 5:00 p.m. We will be discussing The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. This is the moving and fascinating story of how Frenchwomen endured and contributed during the Nazi occupation of France during World War II. Please join us for a great discussion. Feel free to bring a bag supper. Dessert will be served.

In October, the Book Club welcomes a special guest. Mark your calendars now! We are very excited to again be welcoming a Virginia author to our Book Club. It is so special when we get the opportunity to meet and visit with the writer of the book that we are reading. On Friday, October 16, we will welcome Beth Macy, author of Factory Man. We will met at 6:00 p.m. (this time is different from our usual meeting time.) Macy is a writer for the Roanoke Times. Factory Man emerged from her Roanoke Times reporting on Virginia’s Bassett family and John Bassett III, who, in her words, “gave cheap imports from China the middle finger and kept his Galax factory workers employed!” Factory Man has garnered many awards and much recognition. Please take advantage of this great opportunity to spend an evening with Beth Macy. A Virginian since 1989 and a journalist since the age of four, Macy is an engaging speaker, as well as a stellar writer. Everyone is invited to attend and participate in this discussion. Refreshments will be served.

Book Club Schedule for 2015-2016:
September 15 – The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
October 16 – Factory Man by Beth Macy
January 19 – The Faith Club by Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver, Priscilla Warner
March 15 – Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
May 17 – All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr