Fall 2015 Course Offerings
Thomas Merton and the Contemplative Quest for God
Eight Mondays | Thursdays | October 1 = November 19, 2015 | 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. | $120 |
Fairmount Presbyterian Church | 2747 Fairmount Boulevard | Cleveland Heights, Ohio | 44108 800x600
For the Trappist monk, Thomas Merton, the contemplative quest included not only monks and nuns in cloisters, but all who seriously sought the Holy in prayer and work, regardless of religious persuasion or temperament. This course will introduce the main themes of Merton's spiritual vision such as the search for freedom, the true self, and prayer of the heart.
Required Text: Thomas Merton: An Invitation to the Contemplative Life by Wayne Simsic.
Wayne Simsic, M.A. leads seminars and retreats on contemplative spirituality, prayer and the mystics as spiritual guides. He is the author of a number of books, including two on Thomas Merton: "Praying with Thomas Merton," and "Thomas Merton: An Invitation to the Contemplative Life."
Bold and Brazen: Hearing the Hebrew Prophets Today
Rev. Barbara J. Essex
Four Thursdays, October 8 to October 29 | 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. | $60
Church of the Saviour | 2537 Lee Road | Cleveland Heights | 44118
We live in a post-everything world, ruled and shaped by technology and scientific advancements. Yet intolerance, violence, exploitation, stereotyping, misunderstandings, and misinformation prevail. In their critique of empire and status quo and the call to action of various kinds, the prophets of ancient Israel
have a message for us today. We will explore various aspects of Hebrew prophecy in ancient contexts as a way of understanding selected current events and how we might respond.
Required texts: any version of the Bible and Bold and Brazen: Exploring Biblical Prophets (Barbara J.Essex; Pilgrim Press, 2010).
Rev. Barbara Essex is an ordained United Church of Christ minister. She is a sought-after preacher and speaker. Her Bible study books focus on biblical personalities. Her work is ecumenical, Bible-based, and theologically and socially progressive. She is presently the Executive Director of United Protestant Campus Ministries in Cleveland and oversees ministries at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, and Cuyahoga Community College, Metro Campus.
CEIRS Reads: Book 1: Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most by Marcus Borg
Rev. Laury Larson, Discussion Facilitator
Tuesday, September 29 | 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m | $15
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church | 2747 Fairmount Boulevard | Cleveland Heights, OH 44106
The Cleveland Ecumenical Institute of Religious Studies is initiating a book discussion group that will meet periodically. Enjoy the shared experience of reading and discussing books by leading theologians, biblical scholars and other authors addressing religious belief and practice.
The first CEIRS READS book selection is best selling author Marcus Borg’s Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most (2014). Part memoir, part manifesto, Convictions is the recently deceased author’s reflections on his life and how he developed his most bedrock convictions and why those convictions matter for all progressive Christians who seek to follow Jesus today.
Rev. Laury Larson is a retired Presbyterian Church (USA) minister and long-time Trustee of The Cleveland Ecumenical Institute. Borrow the book from the Library or order the text online. The discussion will assume you have already read the text.
The next CEIRS READS book discussion is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, November 17. That will require a separate registration, and the cost is $15. Attendees at the Bok I discussion will have preference for registration. Maximum size of the discussion groups: 15.