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Plattsburgh UMC to Offer Adult Education Classes in the Fall | News, Sports, Jobs

PLATTSBURGH — The United Methodist Church of Plattsburgh will offer adult education this fall focusing on progressive Christianity and progressive theology.

“I really feel there is a reformation going on in Christianity, and we are at the beginning of it,” said Reverend Phil Richards, senior pastor of Plattsburgh United Methodist Church, Saranac United Methodist Church and Three Spiers United Methodist Church.

“I want to be able to offer some of the 21st century thinkers who are really looking at Jesus for the 21st century, looking at Christianity for the 21st century to provide a more inclusive and diverse perspective than what we often see in the media and so, that’s why we offer it.

First session

“Am I still a Christian?” by Brian McLaren, will be offered on Monday evenings from 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. or Wednesday afternoons from 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. on the ZOOM videoconference.

Email Reverend Sally White to register at: starting September 12 or 14.

“Am I still a Christian?” addresses in public the powerful question that a surprising number of people, including pastors, priests and other religious leaders, are asking in private. Pick up where “Faith After Doubt” Drop it, “Am I still a Christian?” is not McLaren’s attempt to persuade Christians to dig their heels in or run for the exit.

Instead, he combines his own experience with that of thousands of people who have confided in him over the years to help readers make a responsible, honest, and ethical decision about their religious identity.

There is a way to say both yes and no to the question of remaining Christian, McLaren says, shifting the focus from whether we remain Christian to how we remain human.

“He’s a United Church of Christ pastor who started writing books about how to be a Christian in the 21st century, and this one is ‘Am I still a Christian? where he starts with the premise of no, looking historically at the Christian church and why people say no to Christianity,” said Richards.

“And then he gets into the yes, and why it’s important to work to change where people are at this particular time. Then he does the how, how to stay a Christian in these tumultuous times, so to speak.

McLaren will join the study group for a discussion in December.

Second session

“Saving Jesus for the 21st Century” is a Thursday evening group meeting at Plattsburgh United Methodist Church, 127 Beekman St. in Plattsburgh, September 15-December 15 from 7-8:30 p.m.

Register with Pastor Phil Richards ( by September 12.

Have you ever felt like Jesus was kidnapped by the Christian right and abandoned by the secular left?

“Save Jesus Redux” is a small-group exploration on DVD of a believable Jesus for the third millennium.

Contributors include Brian McLaren, Diana Butler Bass and Robin Meyers join Marcus Borg, Walter Brueggemann, John Dominic Crossan, Matthew Fox, Amy-Jill Levine and a host of others for a conversation about the relevance of Jesus for today.

“It’s a video study made up of a variety of scholars and theologians who really look at Jesus for the 21st century and why Jesus is worth saving,” said Richards.

“Save Jesus Redux” curriculum :

¯ Introduction: Jesus through the ages

¯ Who was Jesus?

¯ What can we know about Jesus (and how)?

¯ The world in which Jesus was born

¯ Birth of Jesus: Incarnation

¯ Teachings of Jesus: Wisdom Tradition

¯ Jesus Program: The Kingdom of God

¯ The compassionate ministry of Jesus

¯ Who killed Jesus?

¯ The Atonement

¯ The Resurrection of Christ

¯ Why Jesus is Worth Saving

People from all walks of life face daily challenges on all levels, personal, emotional, psychological, political and planetary, not to mention the spiritual.

“That’s why we want to offer these courses to give people an alternative view or a possible view of what Christianity can be,” said Richards.

“It is always evolving, and it has always evolved. I think what these scholars and theologians are showing is how it can evolve in this time period, and that it is important to evolve in this time period.

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