Adult Ed Series:  Family Matters!

Adult Ed Series:  Family Matters!

In his letter to the church at Philippi, Paul offers these words: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6-7) What might Paul have to say to those dealing with the anxieties of mental illness, addiction or gun violence? The Adult Education Team seeks to provide a safe environment for families and individuals to learn about these issues and their impact on all of us.  Join us to learn more!


April 8: Morning Session: Understanding Mental Health: Normal Life Stressors vs Mental Health Issues

What is mental health? Is it simply the absence of a mental disorder, or is there more to our mental well-being? Ray Rife, LCSW will lay the groundwork for our “Family Matters” mini-series by exploring these and other questions. Ray has worked in all phases of mental health service delivery during his career in front-line and administrative roles, including time at Ground Zero following 9/11 and with service members and their families around deployments and redeployment cycles.


***Also on April 8, SPECIAL EVENING OFFERING at 6:00 pm: “Dying in Vein:”***

This documentary offers a deeply personal exploration of opiate and heroin addiction that drops you directly into the lives of an addict in recovery, a couple trying to get clean, a family grieving the loss of their son, and an Emergency Room Physician trying to save one patient at time. Through these stories, the contemporary belief of 'living life pain free' is explored, as well as the shame and blame that exists around addiction. The film looks at the impact of socioeconomic class on our broken treatment system, and how a group of emergency care physicians are working to save their patients. The Adult Education and Student Ministries Team co-sponsor this intergenerational event for all who are interested, including our high school students and their parents. Discussion will be facilitated by the staff of Renew Family Services.


April 15: Understanding Addiction

Is addiction a question of willpower or a brain disorder? What do we mean when we call addiction a disease?  Dr. Carl Yusavitz, Director of Pastoral Service for the Penn Foundation, returns to address these and other questions concerning substance addiction. Myths around alcohol and drug use; dopamine’s effect on the brain, and the possibility and means to recovery will all be covered.  


April 22: Addiction and Its Impact on the Family

My family? Your family? Every family can claim a role in the ongoing story of addiction. And each family member plays a part. Perhaps yours is that of “family scapegoat,” or even “chief enabler.” What is enabling and why do we do it? How can we change our behavior in order to facilitate recovery? Hope Stein, LSW, Certified Addictions Counselor and founder of Renew Family Services will help us to learn more about family recovery in this informative session.


April 29: Next Steps

Where do we go from here? Knowing what we now know, what can we do? In this session, Michael Bernert of the Livengrin Foundation will guide us through the process of empowering a loved one to seek recovery, including intervention; what effective recovery looks like; health coverage for treatment; support networks and other resources.


May 6: Trigger: The Ripple Effect of Gun Violence

Our community, like many across the nation, is impacted by gun violence. The Presbyterian Church (USA) has produced a documentary about gun violence entitled Trigger: The Ripple Effect of Gun Violence. We will view Part I of this film in this session. Trigger examines the ripple effect one shooting has on a survivor, a family, a community and a society. It is told from the perspectives of those who have been directly impacted and those who are called daily to respond to this ongoing tragedy. Grace Presbyterian Church is committed to listening to the voices of those who experience the devastation of gun violence, and Trigger provides a starting point for engaging in this critically important conversation.


May 13: “Heeding God’s Call”

Handguns reach streets and neighborhoods through a highly developed illegal trade – gun trafficking. These are the guns used to threaten, wound, maim and kill. The linchpins of gun trafficking are criminal entrepreneurs, traffickers, the straw buyers who stand in for them to make their bulk purchases and gun dealers who look the other way and enjoy the profits. As people of faith, what can we do to address this crisis? Bob Fles of “Heeding God’s Call,” a faith-based movement to prevent gun violence, will be with us to discuss the many ways in which this organization partners with faith communities in working to stem gun violence.


May 20: Where Do We Go From Here?

Part 2 of Trigger will be shown, followed by guided discussion and debrief concerning gun violence prevention efforts and our call to participate in congregational initiatives going forward.