The goal of adult ministry is to form mature disciples of Jesus Christ in word and in deed. Through a variety of classes that incorporate a diversity of learning styles, adults at Idlewild come to know Christ’s love, peace, and justice through study of scripture, spiritual practice, literature, fellowship, and critical engagement with contemporary issues. At Idlewild, the questions are as important as the answers, and faith is understood as a lifelong journey.

Table of Contents

Sunday School

9:40 AM Each Sunday

Faith & Function

The Faith and Function class welcomes local scholars to teach the Bible in its contexts: the contexts of the stories, the contexts of the writers, and our contexts as Christians today. We also study history and current event topics that are closely related to these Biblical lessons.

Join us on Zoom

Meeting ID: 864 7327 2831
Passcode: 504167

Stephen Class

room 301, Jones Building

This class engages with the best short stories of the 20th century, utilizing the book The Best American Short Stories of the Century edited by John Updike.  Class members facilitate discussion of the stories.  Everyone who likes to read is encouraged to join us. 

Christian Parenting: Children

room 304, Jones Building

Our verse this spring is Matthew 18:1-5

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

Our theme is Difficult Questions and Faithful Responses – becoming like a child in conversation with our children

When Kids Ask Hard Questions: Faith-filled Responses for Tough Topics, edited by Rev. Bromleigh McCleneghan & Rev. Karen Ware Jackson
Bless This Mess by Rev. Molly Baskette & Dr. Ellen O’Donnell

Christian Parenting: Youth & Young Adult

room 302, Jones Building

This team-led, discussion-oriented class is open to all those who are parenting teens and/or young adults. Topics vary from week to week; drop-ins and newcomers are always welcome. Also, we have coffee.


Room 305, Jones Building

20/20 is returning after a pandemic hiatus!  Through leader-facilitated discussions each week, we consider what it means to be a Christian in our often challenging, contemporary world. Discussion  leaders will be drawn from class members. We will begin with consideration of some books, and see where that leads us. Open to all, drop-ins welcome! 

January: Being Disciples: Essentials of the Christian Life by Rowan Williams

February: Revelation for Everyone by N.T. Wright

March: Being Christian: Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, Prayer by Rowan Williams

Tapestry: Contemplative Prayer

Harlan room, sanctuary building

Explore a tapestry of contemplative practices that require focus and attention while our minds are busy analyzing, asking questions, pondering, or listening. We weave lectio, visio, musica, and walking divina prayer practices through the daily lectionary. If you’re unfamiliar with one or more of these, come and learn something new! Class begins promptly at 9:40 and drop-in visitors are encouraged.

Fellowship Groups:

Disciple Bible Study

Disciple 1 Class: Fast Track to the Old & New Testaments
March 26 - October 8 | 4:30 - 6 PM on Sundays

A Disciple Bible Study is a comprehensive, participatory study of the Bible in a small group setting that is aimed at developing strong Christian leaders. 

The classes will vacillate between in-person at the church and virtually on Zoom. A complete schedule will be provided to each registrant.

This course will include short weekly readings and facilitator-led weekly classes (75 minutes each) lasting 25 weeks. Registration is on Realm and if you have questions, please reach out to the Rev. Mary Gale. 

Idlewild Mens Bible Study

Tuesdays at 9 AM | Montgomery Hall and on Zoom

The Idlewild Men/s Bible Study meets each Tuesday morning at 9 am. Currently, there are options to participate in person in Montgomery Hall or to join the group by Zoom with about half choosing each method. For those participating in person, the church provides coffee and breakfast for a small fee. 

The group is currently studying the gospel of Matthew. As has been the practice in the past, participants can purchase N. T. Wright’s study guide to assist in their study. The group is small enough to allow for significant dialogue among participants but large enough to allow for only contemplative participation as well. We are fortunate to have two excellent and very qualified leaders in Ted Mealor and Jim McClanahan who offer significant insights into the passages under study for each week. This is a perfect opportunity for spiritual growth regardless of one’s biblical knowledge. 

Email facilitator, Charles Key, with any questions.

Idlewild Book Club

The Idlewild Book Club reads a range of books from all genres. We encourage visitors, friends, and any book lovers to join us each month! We pick our books each month at our meeting. If you are interested in learning more, sign up for the adult newsletter or reach out to Joyce Webber

Wednesday Morning Studies

Wednesdays at 9:30 AM | 9:30 AM | ROOM 303

Facilitators are often members of the class, with the occasional guest, and the discussions range from politics, history, art, and literature. Find a topic you are interested in and join us for one or all of the classes. Recent topics include Milton’s Paradise Lost, Faulkner’s The Mansion, or the history of American law.

Special Offerings

Navigating Grief: Finding Wholeness & Joy

Wednesdays in February
from 6-7:30 PM

Grief is an expression of love. Grief is a normal response to loss and change, but even exciting changes can bring grief. We believe that God desires our wholeness and that healthy grieving is one way that God brings about healing in our lives. Yet we live in a culture that avoids grief, too often short circuiting God’s healing work. In this 4-week experiential workshop we will learn tools for healthy processing of our grief in order to claim our joy, hope, and wholeness. Throw out any ideas you have about a grief group. This is not that! This is experiential and focused on our joy, hope, and wholeness. 

For four weeks in February, we will gather for a meal followed by a program facilitated by Angela Kelly, Idlewild member and Administrator at Baptist Centers for Good Grief. This workshop is open to all and strongly encouraged for church officers and other spiritual leaders of Idlewild.


Sacred Ground

Time and place to be determined by group.

This is a  film and readings-based dialogue series on race, grounded in faith. We’ll walk through chapters of America’s history of race and racism while weaving in threads of family story, economic class, and political and regional identity. This 11-meeting  series was designed by the Episcopal Church for use in an ecumenical setting.

Idlewild is hosting a Sacred Ground small group this semester; it is open to all, and especially designed to help white people talk with other white people. Visit Realm to learn more about the group and our facilitators, Tom Momberg and Meredith Pace. Please indicate interest by registering by January 23rd. Meeting days/time will be determined by registered participants  at an organizational meeting in late January.


Spring Racial Justice Mini- Retreats:

Showing up for the Racial Justice work to which Christ calls us can be challenging and painful. Equipping ourselves for this work involves identifying core emotions we have about race and racism, and understanding where they might have originated from in our life stories. 

101: Racial Identity

Saturday, February 18
9 AM – 12 PM
Room 302, Jones Building

 We will unpack racial identity through the development of our personal “Racial Roadmap” through a contemplative, facilitator-led process. This offering is open to all, and is designed for those with a new or renewed interest in the sometimes uncomfortable, but truly transformational, process of looking at our own agency in the work of social justice.

102: Becoming a Better Ally

Saturday, April 1
9 AM – 12 PM
Room 302, Jones Building

Our focus will be on becoming better allies in the work of racial justice. It is designed for those who have already invested in this work (ideally, those who have participated in the 101 retreat and/or the Looking Inward, Moving Forward class). Facilitator-led, small group format.

The Eighth Phase

February 23 – March 16
Thursdays 10:30 AM 

This will be an elder gathering, designed to explore the dramatic changes in the older adult phase of life.  We’ll discuss the transitions in living conditions, relationships, activities, physical bodies, and spiritual insights for this phase in our lives.