First Pres offers many ways for adults to interact and grow in relationship with one another as they grow in their faith. Whether it’s a Sunday morning Christian education class, a midweek Bible study or a meditation class, there’s something for everyone. We hope you will dive right in and get involved.
Scroll down to see class offerings, or check out the bible studies.
Wednesday Engage & Encounter
Ratification of the Christian Canon: Our New Testament
Wednesdays, Jan 18 – Feb 15
7:00 pm / Sanctuary / Dr. Donald Kaasch
- How did the Christian Canon come into being?
- Did it fall out of the sky on Easter Monday?
- Who decided what was in it?
- Who wrote what was included?
- Where did they write it?
- Were there other writings to choose from?
- When was the Canon ratified into what we know?
All of this and much more will be covered from a historical perspective. Join in on the discussion and learn things you just might want to know.
Join us for an innovative education class called WHAT WOULD YOU DO? where we look at moral questions in popular film. Each of the three Sunday morning sessions will be preceded by the screening of a popular film on Friday evening at 7:00 pm at church.
The class will be taught by First Pres member David Hogan who worked in Los Angeles as an entertainment journalist before coming to Chicago, where he spent nearly thirty years as an executive editor and publisher in book publishing.
His ten books about various aspects of film have been published during 1980-2022 by Palgrave-Macmillan, A.S. Barnes, Applause, McFarland & Co. and others.
ALL THE KING’S MEN, 1949
Friday, January 6 screening; Sunday, January 8 discussion
Produced, written, and directed by Robert Rosson; screenplay adapted from Robert Penn Warren’s same-named novel. Starring Broderick Crawford, John Ireland, Mercedes McCambridge, Joanne Dru. Made before the MPAA rating system, but suitable for mature middle schoolers and older.
The first, and best, adaptation of Robert Penn Warren’s Pulitzer Prize- winning novel about Willie Stark, an ambitious Southern politician (based on Louisiana governor Huey Long) who desperately wants to help the neglected people of his state. But as Stark
makes his ascent to high office, and gathers a core group of advisers, he begins to see the ends as more critical than the means. Almost inevitably, his good intentions are undercut by corruption and his own growing taste for power. Keen doubts develop among his core loyalists, who are forced to confront their own morality and ambition as Stark becomes a violent threat to democracy. Crawford’s Oscar-winning performance is electrifying.
1949 Academy Awards: Best Picture, Broderick Crawford, Best Actor, Mercedes McCambridge, Best Supporting Actress 1949 Academy Award nomination: John Ireland, Best Supporting Actor
A SIMPLE PLAN, 1998
Friday, January 27 screening; Sunday, January 29 discussion
Directed by Sam Raimi. Screenplay by Scott B. Smith, based on Smith’s same-named novel. Starring Bill Paxton, Billy Bob
Thornton, Bridget Fonda, Gary Cole. Rated R (language and violence).
In snowy, rural Minnesota, a struggling young couple discovers a small plane crashed in remote woods—with a long-dead pilot and $4 million crammed into a duffel bag. They decide to keep and hide the money—spending it slowly before finally moving away from the area. But when the husband’s slow-witted brother demands to be included in the scheme, the plan begins to unravel—not least because the presence of all those greenbacks slowly alters the character of the story’s protagonists. Worse, very dangerous people want the money back; missteps of the amateur thieves encourage a criminal “enforcer” to put together clues to help him trace the money, and whomever has taken it. This is a sobering, low-key story with deep moral dilemmas related to family, material ambition, betrayal and greed.
THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE, 1973
Friday, January 20 screening; Sunday, January 22 discussion
Directed by Peter Yates. Screenplay by Paul Monash, based on the same-named novel by George V. Higgins. Starring
Robert Mitchum, Peter Boyle, Richard Jordan, Steven Keats, Alex Rocco. Rated R (language and violence).
In probably the finest performance of his later career, screen legend Robert Mitchum is Eddie Coyle, an aging, low-level career hood who has lately been supplying “clean” guns to a local Boston bank robbery crew. Eddie has
been a steady, reliable player for decades, but when he
stares at hard time for his role in an old liquor-truck heist, he worries about how to provide for his family. Federal agents encourage Eddie to believe that he’ll walk on the liquor job if he cooperates with them to bring down the bank robbers. Already torn between his obligations to his family, his peculiar sense of pride, and his perverted sense
of loyalty to the amoral men he serves, Eddie realizes his situation may become impossible if the feds should push him harder. Forced to look honestly at himself, Eddie struggles to decide what he values most. And then there are the bloodless federal agents, who string Eddie along while fully aware that they’re placing him in mortal danger. Excellent morality play shot on gritty Boston and Boston-area locations.
Wednesdays, February 1, 8, 15, 22 and March 1, 8, 15 / 7:00 pm / Room 102-104
This six-week class covers the most important cornerstones of your job search or career journey, including self-assessment, budgeting, resume building, marketing, networking, interview preparation, and negotiations. Whether you’re on the hunt for a new job or seeking a change in your career path, you don’t have to face these challenges alone. Sign up now! Register by January 31.
To register send an email to [email protected] with your full name, email address and phone number. Once we receive your registration email, CTR will reach out with meeting information for our first session. The CTR email can also be used for any questions.
Coffee: Grounds for Discussion and Service
Sunday mornings starting Sept 11 / 10:30-11:30 am / Room 110/112
Coffee: Grounds for Discussion & Service is a Sunday morning study group with members leading Bible study and discussion that vary from week-to-week and month- to-month. During the Advent session, the group focuses on weekly service projects. You can also watch the bulletin and The Chimes for announcements of upcoming studies and projects.
Coffee Grounds is set to begin weekly Sunday morning sessions again on September 11 from 10:30 – 11:30am on the lower level of the Education Wing in room 110. We’d loved for you to join us! Bring your coffee with you or help yourself to a cup from our Keurig! Questions? Contact Kelly Dean.
STARTING IN JANUARY
For parents and singles, 40s & 50s plus. Sundays 10:30 – 11:30 am on the lower level of the Education Wing in Room 110/112. We’d love for you to join us! Bring your coffee with you or help yourself to a cup from our Keurig. Questions? Contact Kelly Dean at [email protected]
We will kick off the new year with a study on Mitch Albom’s latest book, The Stranger in the Lifeboat. This book is a quick read and would be great to put on your Christmas list! It’s available for Kindle and audiobook! Join us on January 8 and 15 to discuss this interesting short novel.
Monday Morning Men’s Bible Study
Mondays / 8:00 am / Parlor / Rev. Alex Lang
The Monday Morning Men’s Bible Study Group, which resumed its meetings earlier this year via Zoom, is now meeting both in person and on Zoom. Men of all ages are invited and encouraged to join us. We have a great group of guys who share a wonderful camaraderie and fellowship while studying, learning about, and sharing our views on the word of the Lord.
We meet every Monday morning in the Parlor. The doors are open at 7:30 am, and our meetings start at 8:00 am and run about an hour. For those who choose to meet in person, coffee and breakfast treats are served. And, for those who cannot or choose not to meet in person, we continue to utilize Zoom – and the church’s new Owl camera – which allows all participants to interact with each other, whether online or in person.
If you are interested in joining us, or would like additional information, please reach out to either Bill Dillon at [email protected] or Dave Berkow at [email protected].
Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
Honor God’s Diversity
POSTPONED! New dates TBD
Boardroom / Laura Carlson, PhD
Every Sunday from 9:00-10:00 am, Laura Carlson, First Pres member and Clerk of Session, will be leading a class based on the PC(USA) curriculum entitled Honoring God’s Diversity.
God calls for us to invite everyone to the table and make everyone feel they belong. Join Laura as she explores ways we can strengthen our community by appreciating and understanding the different talents, abilities, and voices in our community. Living in community means being united in God’s love across differences as a people of faith, listening to all, helping each other, and welcoming everyone.
In Genesis we are reminded that we are created equally in God’s image; yet sometimes our words or actions fall short of that vision. A community that lives out God’s love is one where we affirm God’s love for everyone, listen to each other, practice empathy, focus outward as well as inward, and celebrate our differences.
We’ve held many classes through the years, some of which have been documented on video. Click the button below to look through our past classes and watch at your leisure.