Adult Education / Justice Presentations

“The General Assembly’s Recognition of Israeli Apartheid”: A Discussion with Rev. Chad Collins

Rev. Chad Collins, the local pastor of Valley View Presbyterian Church, and now the National Organizer for FOSNA (Friends of Sabeel North America) was with us via Zoom on February 28 to talk about the 2022 decision by the PC(USA)’s General Assembly to recognize that Israel’s laws, policies, and practices constitute apartheid against the Palestinian people.

Video: “The General Assembly’s Recognition of Israeli Apartheid”: A Discussion with Rev. Chad Collins

Freeing Congregational Mission: A Practical Vision for Companionship, Cultural Humility, and Co-Development / May 24, 2022

A book discussion with Hunter Farrell and Bala Khyllep, hosted by the Church & Community Committee at Sixth

“This book rejects ‘selfie mission’ and affirms that God is calling North American Christians to walk alongside others as companions in Christ…It is refreshing and accessible. Most important, it is full of faithful wisdom.”
—Dana L. Robert, Boston University School of Theology, author of Faithful Friendships, Embracing Diversity in Christian Community

B. Hunter Farrell is the director of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary’s World Mission Initiative (WMI). He has worked for over thirty years as a missionary, director of world mission for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and professor of mission and intercultural studies.

S. Balajiedlang Khyllep is associate director of WMI at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and regularly preaches and leads mission workshops in Pittsburgh-area churches and beyond.

Video: Freeing Congregational Mission: A Practical Vision for Companionship, Cultural Humility, and Co-Development

Climate Change and the Green New Deal / March 29, 2022

This panel presentation, sponsored by the Justice Team of Sixth Presbyterian Church, examined the issue of climate change, its implications for racial and economic justice, and how we can combat it by building a mass movement for a Green New Deal.

Panel members: Claire Cohen, MD, a practicing child psychiatrist, explains health effects of climate change and how these especially impact people of color, working people, and the poor.

Patricia DeMarco, PhD, author of Pathways to Our Sustainable Future, explains how human activity is altering the global climate situation and the potential consequences of climate change.

Helen Gerhardt, a veteran and community activist, explains how a Green New Deal would fight climate change while promoting full employment and both racial and class justice.

Video: Climate Change and the Green New Deal

Diane Kerr, “Perigee” / April 25, 2021

Diane Kerr shares her new collection of poems that won the 2020 Brittingham Prize from the University of Wisconsin Press. Note: the book deals with the childhood trauma of sexual abuse. Diane reads excerpts from the book, followed by a time for discussion.

Video: Diane Kerr

Gail Kubrin, MD, “Mental Health and the Criminal Justice System” / April 18, 2021

Gail Kubrin, MD, is a psychiatrist who worked at the Allegheny County Jail for three years, providing care for seriously mentally ill individuals. An advocate for better conditions, Kubrin shares stories of people who have been in jail, factual information, poetry, and possible solutions and resources.

Video: Gail Kubrin

Vincent Kolb, “The Virus Has Been My Teacher: Reflections on a Year of Lent” / March 7 and 21, 2021

Lent is a season of penitence and reflection, but the past year with COVID has been a Lenten experience of its own. We have learned some lessons during this past hard year, and we can’t afford to waste a global crisis. Pastor Vincent considers various themes: It Is Not Good to Be Alone, Talking About Difficult Things, and Angels Are Everywhere.

Video: Vincent Kolb, part one
Video: Vincent Kolb, part two

Josh Fleitman, “Common Sense Gun Legislation: Something We Can Do” / February 21, 2021

Josh Fleitman, the new CeaseFire representative for Western PA, shares some of his life stories as the child of career diplomats and how we can sign on to the Common Sense Agenda for Extreme Risk Protection Orders, closing the Private Sale Gap in our State Background Check System, and Lost and Stolen Gun reporting. You will find out how you can join us to reach our goal of signing up 100 members to support the Agenda.

Video: Josh Fleitman

Mary Radcliffe, “2020 Election: Reflections of a Researcher” / February 14, 2021

Ruling Elder Mary Radcliffe hosts a freewheeling discussion of the 2020 election results and what it means for the future.

Video: Mary Radcliffe

Vincent Kolb, “When in Romans” / January 17, 24, 31 and February 7, 2021

When in Romans: An Invitation to Linger with the Gospel according to Paul, Beverly Roberts Gaventa. Pastor Vincent leads this study of Romans that is both scholarly and accessible, ancient and contemporary, theological and pastoral. Gaventa is a popular New Testament scholar who has taught at Baylor and Princeton Theological Seminary.

Video: Vincent Kolb, part one
Video: Vincent Kolb, part two
Video: Vincent Kolb, part three
Video: Vincent Kolb, part four

Drs. Maria and Frank Guyette, “Pandemic Update” / January 10, 2021

Video: Frank and Maria Guyette

Our very own Drs. Maria and Frank Guyette share their experiences treating the pandemic, the vaccine rollout, and what we can anticipate in the year ahead.

Dr. Rachel Kranson, “Jews and Abortion: Traditions, History, and Values” / November 22, 2020

Video: Rachel Kranson

With the election of a new Supreme Court Justice, it is anticipated that Roe vs. Wade will be revisited. Pro-life Christians have often quoted Old Testament texts to justify their convictions, but as is often the case, Jewish views and values have been ignored. In this talk, Kranson, a professor of Religious Studies at Pitt, discusses the ways that traditional Jewish texts and classical Jewish thinkers conceptualized the issue of abortion. She covers some of the ways that American Jewish lawyers and organizational leaders have built on classical Jewish traditions as they engaged in American reproductive politics.

Vincent Kolb: Spiritual Resources for Coping: Without Buddha, I Could Not Be a Christian by Paul Kittner / November 1, 8, and 15, 2020

Pastor Vincent leads a three-part discussion of Paul Kittner’s landmark work. In a time of multiple crises, we need as many spiritual resources at our side as possible. With Kittner’s book as a guide, we talked about how our experience of other spiritualities has informed our own and helped us to thrive. 

Video: Vincent Kolb with Diana Wood (part one)
Video: Vincent Kolb with Kate Davoli (part two)
Video: Vincent Kolb (part three)

Wilson Juring: “Free People Strike” / October 25, 2020

Wilson Juring was injured in the altercation between Pittsburgh Police and demonstrators in East Liberty on June 1. He is now a plaintiff in the suit being brought against law enforcement for what happened when public safety employees fired tear gas and rubber bullets on the crowd. That experience led him to work for the Free People Strike, a statewide movement to free as many of the 45,000 prisoners in PA who are locked up in close quarters in the middle of the pandemic. Juring shares his personal story, the work of Free People Strike, and how we can join the movement.

Video: Wilson Juring

Rev. Karen Rohrer, “Sustaining Grace: Innovative Ecosystems for New Faith Communities” / October 11, 2020

In this book, written in collaboration with Dr. Scott Hagley and Rev. Michael Gehrling, a number of innovative voices in the 1001 Worshipping Communities movement ask the question, “How can we imagine new ways to sustain our faithful work in churches, especially in a season of so much institutional vulnerability?” Rohrer leads a conversation about this groundbreaking book.

Video: Karen Rohrer

Michael Schroering: “The Rationale for Single Payer Health Care” / September 13, 2020

Health care continues to be a significant issue in our country and will continue to be so in the future. Retired physician, Dr. Michael Schroering, has been an advocate for single payer health care for three decades and discusses his experience.

Video: Michael Schroering

David Harris: A City Divided / July 26, 2020

A sobering presentation, looking backward and forward into the future, pondering the challenges of Public Safety in our time.

Hosted by Sixth Presbyterian Church, Temple Sinai, and PIIN

Video: David Harris