Adult Education


October 1: The Rohingya Crisis (Hnin Ei Wai Lwin) – From Hnin (Former student of John Weiss): I’m Hnin and I’m studying Government and Economics. I’ll be talking about the refugee crisis that an ethnic group called the Rohingyas face in Rakhine state of Myanmar. The Rohingyas people are stateless and known as one of the “most persecuted minority in the world.” I’ll give a history about the Rohingyas in Myanmar and the major issues that led up to this crisis.


October 8: New Jim Crow meeting – The “New Jim Crow” action group is moving forward with efforts to work towards racial justice in our community. Please join us in this important work; the next meeting will be held on October 8 to follow up with ongoing efforts and plan for next steps.


October 15: Love Living at Home (Elena Flash) – Love Living at Home (LLH) is part of a new and exciting national movement of people who are taking charge of their futures as they age. The Village Movement is an “aging in place” initiative that is at the forefront of an innovative approach to age and aging. There are now more than 200 Villages in the U.S. and nearly that many more in development. While part of this national movement, LLH is a grass-roots organization run by local members and volunteers.  Members determine the priorities of the group and the programs and services to offer. Everyone has a voice. We are Tompkins County’s own Village – one we hope will grow to reflect the diverse and unique character of our area.


October 22: Music of the Reformation (Stephen Spinelli) – From Stephen: The Lutheran reformation yielded some of the most influential, moving, and time-tested choral music in history. Heinrich Schütz was responsible for fusing Italianate musical principles with the German vernacular idiom in the early 1600’s. Johann Sebastian Bach brought the Lutheran Baroque to its zenith in the mid 18th century. Little is known of the intervening generation of musicians.

Born in 1648, Johann Schelle quickly revealed his musical aptitude. He sang for Heinrich Schütz in Dresden, attended the St. Thomas School in Leipzig, and ultimately landed a post as the organist and choir master at the Thomaskirche, Leipzig, where Bach would later live out the majority of his illustrious career. Though most of Schelle’s music has been lost, a dozen copies of choral works remain in archives in Dresden. As part of my dissertation work, I created modern performing editions of four of these works, and we will offer the “re-premiere” of one on Reformation Sunday. This will be the first performance of Schelle’s choral work, Siehe es hat überwunder der Löwe (‘Behold! The Lion has Conquered’) outside of Saxony since the beginning of the 18th century.

In my Adult Education talk, I will speak about the broad significance of the Reformation in the creation of community singing cultures. I will highlight the process of deciphering centuries old musical manuscripts, and I will prepare congregants for what they will hear from the choir in our sanctuary on Reformation Sunday.


October 29: TENABRAE: The Passion of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Hugh McElyea, Composer) – From Hugh McElyea: This presentation is being given, not as a Bonhoeffer scholar, but to share how I was motivated to compose the piece. The goal at the outset is to present to a lay audience the story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer as a man through his letters to family, fiancée, and friends, and to include his important statement of faith, on ethics and the call to stand up and speak out.  I would also offer why I feel his story is so relevant in our culture today, that we all face “a Bonhoeffer moment” in our own lives – where we must make a decision to speak out, or not, and how either choice carries a consequence.  We don’t face the same sacrifice that in the end Bonhoeffer had to make, but we still carry the burden of choice to speak out by faith and conscience.  It’s an important lesson for all of us.  Bonhoeffer’s example is both an inspiration, a call for action and a warning.


Upcoming Events

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If the Ithaca City School District is released early or closed due to inclement weather, the First Presbyterian Church will also be closed and all committee meetings and rehearsals will be cancelled.