Adult Sunday Education

Central Presbyterian Church strives to nurture and develop disciples of all ages.

For adults, we offer educational opportunities on Sundays during the education hour (9:00–10:00 a.m.), and regularly on Wednesday mornings. During the Sunday 9:00 a.m. education hour, we strive to offer opportunities to learn and grow in faith, experience religion from a different faith perspective and discover ways to promote social justice. We also offer programming specific to parents as they journey through raising their children in a complicated and confused world. We also have special book studies usually during Advent, Lent and the summer.

Adult Education opportunity in October

On Sunday, October 7, we celebrated World Communion sharing the love of Christ that binds us together as humans. Along with that comes the call to recognize there are those in our midst who are being treated as less than human. As the discussion and frustration over immigration policy in the United States continues to boil and lawmakers grapple with ways to curb the influx of immigrants into the U.S., both legally and illegally, there are families with children being held in detention at our southern borders and elsewhere. In this month’s adult education series we will discover how the need to leave home and family starts, what the journey looks like, and what life is like before and after being held in a detention facility.

Sunday, Oct. 14, 9:00 a.m., at Central – Migration Simulation. Using real-life stories collected from the documentary The Genesis of Exodus, attendees will assume the identity of someone yearning for a life free from violence and poverty in Central America and heading northward to the U.S./Mexican border. It will give a first-hand feel of the perils and challenges of the flight from Central American to the U.S.

Friday, Oct. 19, 7:00 p.m., at Heartland Presbyterian Church, CliveTo Breathe Free This 16-minute documentary follows the 5-year journey of a Syrian family fleeing the war in Homs to the refugee camps in Jordan and starting a new life in Washington, D.C. Using home movies, phone video, family photos and interviews with family members and former refugees, we get a perspective not seen in media reporting. Led by David Barnhart, award-winning filmmaker for PC(USA)’s Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA). Group discussion to follow.

Saturday, Oct. 20, 10:00 a.m., at First Arabic Presbyterian Church, Des MoinesLocked in a Box This award-winning documentary follows the stories of individuals held in the U.S. Immigration detention system and those who visit them. Stripping away the political rhetoric, we’ll see the human cost of detention. David Barnhardt will lead a panel discussion after the viewing.

Sunday, Oct. 21, 9:00 a.m., at Central – Families Held Captive This 23-minute film covers the opening in 2014 of family detention centers in Texas in response to Central American families seeking asylum in the U.S. The film also features advocacy efforts by people of faith to end family detention. Produced by PC(USA)’s Office of General Assembly. Discussion to follow.

Sunday, Oct. 28, 9:00 a.m., at Central – Gospel without Borders This documentary separates myth from fact and examines what the Bible says about treatment of the “stranger.” It highlights stories in five states: Arizona, Arkansas, North Carolina, Alabama and Iowa that will break the heart, inspire the spirit and challenge the mind. All come together in the end and show that the Christian gospel is indeed without borders.

Questions? Contact Christian Education Director Greg Halterman at 515-279-3658, for more information.

Adult Education Classes for November

Following up on October’s immigration study, this month we focus on the impact in Iowa and the Midwest. Using documentaries from the Iowa Religious Media Services library, this 3-week series will summarize how immigration policies and enforcement have changed the face of two Iowa cities. A third piece will follow a family that travels from Minnesota to Guatemala to reunite with family. All videos are followed by a group discussion.

Sunday, Nov. 4, 9:00 a.m. – abUSed: The Postville Raid This award-winning documentary by Luis Argueta tells the gripping personal stories of the individuals, families and a town that survived the most brutal, most expensive and largest immigration raid in the history of the United States, which took place on May 12, 2008. The film chronicles the devastating effects of the raid on the Iowa community, families and children.

Sunday, Nov. 11, 9:00 a.m. – A Little Salsa on the Prairie This 55-minute film chronicles the rapid ethnic diversification of an Iowa community. It explores the significant change that began in Perry, Iowa, in the early 1990s when the complexion of a once predominantly white community shifted dramatically. An influx of Latino workers and their families came from as far away as Texas, California, Mexico and Central America to work at the local meat packing plant. Perry’s Latino population increased from 47 in 1990 to 1,873 in 2000, accounting for 24.5 percent of the total population. The film presents a historical look at the city, particularly immigration, ethnicity and industry, including the rise and fall of the railroad and the emergence of meat packing as the major employer in the 1960s.

Sunday, Nov. 18, 9:00 a.m. – Abrazos (Hugs in English) A powerful story of the transformational journey of a group of U.S. citizen children who travel 3,000 miles, from Worthington, Minn., to Guatemala, to meet their grandparents and other family members for the first time. After being separated for nearly two decades, these families are able to share stories, strengthen traditions and begin to reconstruct their cultural identity.

Sunday, Nov. 18, 11:30 a.m. – James Jordan, Pursuit of a Dream, James Jordan, His Life and His Legacy Join us in Fellowship Hall for a presentation by Central member and author, Louise Gately, who will tell us about her groundbreaking book, the first one written about James Jordan, founder of Valley Junction, now the city of West Des Moines. This book reveals Jordan’s important role in making Des Moines the capital city of Iowa, shaping early Iowa business and politics, aiding fugitive slaves as they escaped through the Underground Railroad and more. Louise will also talk about his impact on the Presbyterian church and other fascinating history about the greater Des Moines area. Lunch will be provided for a free-will offering and all book proceeds will benefit the Historic Valley Junction Foundation.