First Forums

What is First Forums?

We live in a world that is increasingly divided. All around us, the media, family, friends, and co-workers want to know “Whose side are you on – are you with us or against us?” How, as Christians and Presbyterians, are we called to respond to these forces and invite people with whom we differ into dialogue to gain a better understanding of our dispirit beliefs? Knowing that we hold a variety of beliefs, values, and opinions, each First Forum is an opportunity for open dialogue, respect, and faithful disagreement. Come seek opportunities for respectful conversation and for finding avenues for advancing faithful values of peace, justice and community.

A Conversation on Gospel Values & Gun Violence

With a preamble that states, “Presbyterians are called to be agents of change in the world, to be reconcilers because we ourselves have been reconciled. Therefore, we are calling upon the church, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to help build an effective spiritual and social awakening that says “No” to the prevalence of gun violence in this country,” the First Pres Session unanimously approved three motions at its regular stated March meeting that call for:

  1. Educational opportunities to engage the First Pres community in conversation on theological issues related to gun violence and human safety.
  2. Discussion groups to be organized with the goal of identifying priority actions to be implemented by First Presbyterian, Ann Arbor.
  3. The creation and implementation of a series of practical, concrete programs and ministries of reconciliation, compassion, justice, and community health and wellbeing.

The Adult Education Workgroup will offer education and discussion on the theological calling and facts about gun violence in the United States. We welcome your participation in this theological discussion of Gun Violence.

May First Forums on Gun Violence

Sunday, May 6 at 12:15 p.m. in the Curtis/Founders Room, Part 2
A light lunch ($5) will be served followed by a presentation and a directed conversation about the theology of gun violence and violence prevention.

Thursday, May 10 at 6:00 p.m. in the Lewis Room, Part 2 reprised
Can’t make the Sunday, May 6 discussion? Attend this second session to discuss the theology of gun violence and violence prevention.

Sunday, May 20 at 12:15 p.m. in the Lewis Room, Part 3
A light lunch ($5) will be served followed by a presentation and a directed conversation about the hard facts and statistics related to gun violence, especially school shootings and the claims of the New Testament Gospel.

June First Forums on Gun Violence

Sunday, June 3 at 12:15 p.m. in the Curtis/Founders Room
Join us for a continued exploration of practical and theological issues related to gun violence and human safety. A light lunch will be served. Through a discussion facilitated by Susan King, Co-director of Interfaith Roundtable of Washtenaw County, participants will examine the question “what does the Lord require of us” regarding gun violence in the US. Based on the theological perspective as framed by PCUSA and Biblical references, participants will be asked to examine and identify actions that can be taken as individuals and potentially as a congregation to reduce gun violence in our communities. This is an opportunity to share your perspective on the topic. Suggested actions will be shared with the steering committee on Gun Violence as a basis for future actions to be taken by First Pres.