Christian Education

The Christian Education Ministry Team is called to inspire, nurture, and support faith formation, intellectual curiosity, and call to justice for all generations who participate in the life of FPC Palo Alto.

Christian Education currently runs the following programs:

Adult Study

Upcoming Events

Coming Soon!

Past Events

Date:  February 18, 2024

Time:  4:00 PM 

Topic: “Give Peace a Chance: Living Wisely in these Turbulent Times” – A conversation led by Byron Bland

Description: We all want peace, but what does that mean? Moreover, how do we lay the foundations for peace?  Should we be seeking calm, agreement, justice, or acquiescence?  Does peace require coercion or promise? Perhaps, the answer is all of the above. If so, how much of each and when?

Watch the recording HERE.

Date:  March 17, 2024

Time:  11:00AM (immediately following worship) 

Topic: “The Transgender Experience” – A panel discussion with Elliot Frank, Jim Silver, and Susan Phinney-Silver

Description: First Presbyterian Church is an open and affirming congregation, where all families are welcome. Our church has a long history of supporting the LGBTQ+ community, including actively promoting the rights of gay and lesbian folks within our denomination. Transgender rights are an especially hot-button issue in our country right now, but many of us may understand less about the experience of transgender folks. Join us for a deeper dive with First Pres members Elliot Franks (he/him), Jim Silver (he/him) and Susan Phinney Silver (she/her) as they discuss their experiences. Come join us for a frank and honest discussion to deepen your understanding, learn how you can be supportive, and bring your questions!

Watch the recording HERE.

Date:  November 12, 2023 

Time:  4:00 PM 

Speakers:  Melissa Kirven, Vida Kenk, & Evan Hughes 

Topic: To continue Ron Cole-Turner’s conversation on Transhumanism, three scientists and members of FPCPA will participate in a panel presentation on science and religion. 

Watch the recording HERE.

Date: October 29, 2023
Time: 4:00 pm
Speaker: Ron Cole-Turner, the H. Parker Sharp Professor Emeritus of Theology and Ethics at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
Topic: Transhumanism which is the philosophical and scientific movement that advocates the use of current and emerging technologies—such as genetic engineering, cryonics, artificial intelligence (AI), and nanotechnology—to augment human capabilities and improve the human condition.

Watch the recording HERE

Date: October 1, 2023
Time: 4:00 pm
Speaker: Charleen Nijmeh of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe

Watch the recording HERE.

Date: September 17, 2023
Time: 4:00 pm
Speaker: Rosaleen Zisch from the Rumsen Carmel Tribe

This is the first of two studies on indigenous people.
The speaker, Rosaleen Zisch, is a member of Rumsen Carmel tribe, presented a historical look at the area of Palo Alto, a current
attitude about the land and how it fits in the peace & justice teaching of our church.

Watch the recording HERE.

Topic: COP27 and Climate Change
Speaker: Mohan Iyer
Date: May 21, 2023

Mohan Iyer led a study session on climate change action. Mohan attended the Conference of Parties (COP) last year in Egypt and led a discussion about the issues and actions to consider.

This Adult Study was not recorded at the request of the presenter.

Topic: Healthy Living Through Community, Food, and Movement
Speaker: Cynthia Chin-Lee
Date: April 20, 2023

Cynthia Chin-Lee, Joy Lee, and LindaGrace Frost discussed healthy living through community, food, and movement. Cynthia shared how she reversed her cancer through a low-methionine diet, nutraceuticals, and hormone blockers. Joy Lee and LindaGrace Frost led the audience in yoga poses.

Watch the recording HERE.

Topic: Being a Peace Church in the Time of War in Ukraine
Speaker: Byron Bland
Date: November 20, 2022

Rev. Byron Bland led a study and discussion outlining three positions regarding the Ukraine-Russian War and explored the difference between them. He then asked what we, as a peach church, should do in response.

Watch the recording HERE.

Topic: Fall Monarch Adult Study
Speaker: Rev. Kelly Wiant

After the Education Committee coordinated the creation of a new pollinator garden on the church property, Rev. Kelly Wiant led a four-part series exploring the importance of insects and pollinators, how to protect them, the transformation of the monarch, and the power and significance of migration in our world.

Watch recordings here:

Video of September 25 Monarch Adult Study

Video of October 9 Monarch Adult Study

Video of October 23 Monarch Adult Study

Video of November 6 Monarch Adult Study

Children’s Education

Sacred Spaces for Children

We welcome children into our Sunday worship services with a children’s center within the sanctuary. We believe children benefit from creative space within the sanctuary as well as creative space of their own in a dedicated classroom. Our children’s ministry is in flux, but we are at the ready to minister to children with lessons from God’s beautiful creation, from scriptures, and life stories and transitions.

Hybrid Sunday School

The Christian Education Committee has and will continue to offer hybrid Sunday school classes for school-age children. These gatherings are planned around family schedules and are held during the worship hour. A hybrid class makes space for children who are not local to Palo Alto but want to participate in lessons, discussion, fellowship, and crafts.

Pollinator Garden

The Christian Education Committee coordinated the creation of a Pollinator Garden on the corner of Cowper and Kingsley. The garden was created by members and friends of the congregation ranging in age from eight to eighty. You are invited to visit anytime to enjoy the flowers and various insects and important pollinators that call it home. Do watch for Monarch butterflies flitting about between February and November! The Pollinator Garden provides intergenerational opportunities for ongoing care and maintenance.

Safe Church Policy

First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto is committed to the safety, security, and nurture of children. We, therefore, have created and maintain a Safe Church Policy for children and vulnerable adults and will soon finalize a Christian Education Social Media Policy to address the new opportunities and challenges inherent in social media and hybrid worship.

Psalms Bible Study

Please join Rev. Nan Swanson in the conference room Wednesdays at 1 pm for a study of praying and learning from the Psalms.