Previous Adult Learning Classes

If you missed one, check it out here.

A 50-Minute History of LDS (aka Mormonism)

Todd Compton leads a discussion about the history of LDS (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, aka Mormonism) and discusses similarities/differences with the Presbyterian Church.

Speaker: Todd Compton. Recorded April 28,  2024 

Peacemaking in a Divided Country

Special guest speaker, Rev. Dr. Bill Shaw leads a discussion about peacemaking and reconciliation in Northern Ireland. Rev. Shaw is the Executive Director of the 174 Trust in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Speaker: Rev. Dr. Bill Shaw.  Recorded March 10,  2024 

The Art of Dying Well

How do we approach the inevitable event of our death? Most don't know that there are options to take dying into their own hands. Hear stories from congregation members whose loved ones were faced with a difficult, terminal diagnosis and how they chose to be in charge of the way their lives would end. While this is a very heavy topic, we'll find joy, strength, love and encouragement. Books referenced: The Art of Dying Well by Katy Butler; Choosing to Die, a Personal Story by Phyllis Shacter; The VSED Handbook by Kate Christie.

Speakers: Carol Heath, Betsy Brittle, Rev. Karin Hejmanowski.  Recorded February 25,  2024 

The Opioid Epidemic: A Community Response

The opioid epidemic is one of the deepest challenges in country. Come learn about the roots of this epidemic, how to respond to an opioid emergency, and how to build safer communities. The goal is to equip and inspire anyone toward practical action amid this national crisis.

Speaker: Joe Lyon, NP.  Recorded February 11,  2024 

Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement

In this four-part series, we highlight three events in this movement: the Montgomery bus boycott, the Birmingham campaign, and the march on Selma. We discuss the role of the church in this movement and the theology of Dr. King. The presenters are Jim Bennett, Barry Vickrey, and Bill Prior.

Session 4 focuses on Dr. King's Theology.

Speaker:  Jim Bennett. Recorded January 28,  2024 

Session 3 discusses the historic March on Selma.

Speaker: Bill Prior. Recorded January 21,  2024 

Session 2 dives into Dr. King's famous Letters from a Birmingham Jail.

Speaker: Barry Vickrey. Recorded January 14,  2024 

Session 1 provides an overview and introduction to the series.

Speaker: Bill Prior. Recorded January 7,  2024 

Adults with Disabilities in Higher Education

Learn how the College of Adaptive Arts at West Valley College in Saratoga is transforming the lives and perceptions of adults with disabilities. Co-founder & Executive Director DeAnna Pursai was named a 2022 CNN Hero

Speaker: DeAnna Pursai.  Recorded November 5,  2023 

Middle East Perspectives

Rev. Debbie Whaley from Mt. Washington Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio presents this 3-part lecture series entitled "How Did We Get Here?" Each part presents the narrative from a different perspective:

• The Jewish Narrative (watch part 1)

• The Palestinian narrative (watch part 2)

• The Arab Christian narrative (watch part 3)

Speaker: Rev. Debbie Whaley. Recorded November 1, 8, and 15, 2023 

The Camino de Santiago: Experiences from a Modern Day Pilgrimage

Since the Middle Ages, pilgrims of many backgrounds have traveled the Camino de Santiago, a network of pilgrims' ways leading to the shrine of the apostle James in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. Our speakers discuss the Camino’s history, the paths they each traveled, and what they learned about themselves in the process.

Speakers: Linda Andersson & Jeff Reilly. Recorded October 15, 2023

The Gospel According to John

The Gospel of John asks, “Who is Jesus Christ?” John’s answers to this question are among the most important in scripture. While being one of the Bible’s masterpieces, this book also contains some of the Bible’s most problematic passages. This 4-part series offers new insights into the book for both new and familiar readers alike.

Session 4

Speaker: Dr. William Prior. Recorded October 1, 2023

Session 3

Speaker: Dr. William Prior. Recorded September 24, 2023

Session 2

Speaker: Dr. William Prior. Recorded September 17, 2023

Session 1

Speaker: Dr. William Prior. Recorded September 10, 2023

The Problem With Christian Nationalism

Rev. Dr. Jim Bennett, Parish Associate at Sunnyvale Pres and professor of religious studies at Santa Clara University, leads this two-session class on the very timely topic of Christian nationalism, including how this movement has taken hold and how we should respond as followers of Jesus.

Session 2

Speaker: Rev. Dr. Jim Bennett. Recorded May 21, 2023

Session 1

Speaker: Rev. Dr. Jim Bennett. Recorded May 7, 2023

Racial Wealth Gap Simulation

David Gist, Senior Regional Organizer for Bread for the World, led this interactive simulation to help participants better understand the connections among government policies, racial equity, hunger, poverty, and wealth, especially in communities of color.

Speaker: David Gist. Recorded April 24, 2023

God and Big Tech

What do God and Big Tech have to do with each other? Is spiritual care missing from the lives of those in Big Tech here in the Silicon Valley and beyond? Our speaker shares her experience as a chaplain with STEM students attending Stanford and her insights into this space of needed care.

Speaker: Rev. Annanda Barclay. Recorded January 19, 2023

TheoEd Talk #3

The Double Sided Pursuit of Racial Justice

A new leading voice in racial justice, Austin Channing Brown offers a compelling look at what the journey towards justice entails in an era of rising racial hostility.

Speaker: Austin Channing Brown. Recorded December 15, 2021

TheoEd Talk # 2

Biblical Language for a God Who Transcends Gender

A distinguished womanist biblical interpreter, Dr. Wil Gafney reveals the Bible’s use of masculine and feminine imagery for God and how it invites us to look beyond traditional gender categories.

Speaker: Dr. Wil Gafney. Recorded November 17, 2021

TheoEd Talk #1

Life After Death: Jesus, Judaism, and Justice

Noted Jewish New Testament scholar Amy-Jill Levine examines Jesus' claim to be "the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6) from an interfaith perspective.

Speaker: Dr. Amy-Jill Levine. Recorded October 20, 2021

SVPC Youth 2021 College Panel

Hear from parents and students who have “survived” the college selection and admittance process.  Each brings their unique experience and perspective as they've decided what was next after high school and share their stories and knowledge with students and families embarking on this process. Find the additional resources discussed in this session.

Led by: Keyla Zorzella and Marsha Dyslin. Recorded March 14, 2021

Paul’s Letter to the Romans

The series focuses on Paul’s perspective on the concept of salvation, the relationship between faith and works, the role of God’s grace, the status of Gentiles and Jews, predestination, and the nature of Christian ethics.

Session 4

Speaker: Dr. Bill Prior. Recorded June 24, 2020

Session 3

Speaker: Dr. Bill Prior. Recorded June 17, 2020

Session 2

Speaker: Dr. Bill Prior. Recorded June 10, 2020

Session 1

Speaker: Dr. Bill Prior. Recorded June 3, 2020