Adult Sunday School Classes

This year in Adult Sunday School we want education to equip us in our faith however new or seasoned we are, so we might grow in maturity and “to the measure of the full stature of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:13) Part of that involves making sure we’re not just reading the parts of the Bible with which we’re comfortable. This also means learning from those who have gone before us, such as stories of the Church since the New Testament and how the faith has been passed down, and learning about what discipleship looks like in practice! So, starting this year, you’ll find classes in Basic Bible Study on books of the Old and New Testaments that we haven’t taught before, topics that engage with church history and theology, apologetic sessions that deal with current issues Christians disagree about and some food for thought on discipleship. In addition, we’re introducing a series of electives. These will be three- to four-week smaller, themed classes that will focus on a specific subject. The themes this fall include Basics of Faith, Parenting and Marriage.

Basic Bible Study and Electives

Most Sundays
10:15 a.m.

The Alpha Course
Bagby Parish Hall
Sometimes we miss the basics, the fundamentals. The simple things that explain why we believe what we believe and what it means to follow Jesus. We get caught up in the weeds. So this summer, we’re going back to the start by teaching from the Alpha Course. This course was started as a non-threatening introduction to the Christian faith. It began in England in 1990 by an Anglican priest named Nicky Gumbel and now churches all over the world now run it to help people have space to ask questions about faith and explore the basics. Each talk looks at a different question around faith (Who is Jesus? How do I resist evil? Does God heal today?). Join us with different members of the Clergy as they lead us through these fundamental questions of faith.
August 18 – How and Why Should I Tell Others?

How Did We Get Here? – The Story of the Church
With Ben Blackwell, PhD
Sundays, September 8, 15 and 22
Bagby Parish Hall
How did Christianity grow from a small Jewish sect to a large and diverse world religion? Dr. Blackwell will walk us through the movement of Christian history from the 1st century to the 21st, covering the highs and lows along the way. His simple road map will help keep you oriented as we explore the key turning points and figures that got us here today. If you’re wondering how the worldwide church got to be where it is today, this class will show you how!

Ben Blackwell, PhD, is Associate Professor of Early Christianity, Director of Houston Theological Seminary and Chair of the Department of Theology at Houston Baptist University. He has published several books and essays related to theology and New Testament. Dr. Blackwell completed his doctoral studies in Durham, England. During that time, he had the wonderful opportunity to work with two eminent New Testament scholars, N. T. Wright and John Barclay. Before that, Dr. Blackwell worked in Dallas as an actuarial consultant, focusing on retirement benefits and executive compensation.

ELECTIVE – Parenting in the Present: How to Stay Focused on What’s Really Important
With the Rev. Alex Graham III
Sundays, September 8, 15, 22 and 29
Payne Education Center, Room 210/212
Parenting in today’s world can be particularly challenging as parents attempt to balance the increasing demands of school, church, extracurricular activities, peers and technology. Gleaning from the wisdom of scripture, and the latest insights from parenting experts, this four-week Sunday School class will equip parents to navigate the complexities of raising children in an increasingly distracted world.

Tracking the Testaments (The Old One) – The Story of God’s People from Abraham
With the Rev. Dr. Suse McBay
Sundays, September 29, and October 6 and 13
Bagby Parish Hall
From Exodus to exile, from Moses to Malachi, where did it all start and where did it stop? We hear readings from the Old Testament in church, we study key figures in Bible studies and books, but what about the big picture? Dr. McBay will teach a three-week walk and talk through the story of God’s people Israel, with a view to making sense of the nonsensical and how to read it as Christian scripture. Watch for the second part (on the New Testament!) in the New Year.

ELECTIVE – Building Intimacy In Marriage
With Deniece Christ-Rice and Jeffrey Rice
Sundays, October 13, 20 and 27, and November 3
Payne Education Center, Room 210/212
“It is not good for man to be alone,” God said when he looked on Adam alone in the Garden of Eden (see Genesis 2), and so he created woman and established marriage as a gift in creation. Marriage at its very heart is about intimacy, connection and oneness. It includes physical, emotional and spiritual dimensions. Seasons of life present different challenges to intimacy and invite different responses. So how do we build an intimate marriage? How do we learn to live vulnerably? How do we rebuild closeness when things have gone off track? Deniece and Jeff will teach this four-week elective, looking at how two can grow together to be one in body, mind and spirit.

Deniece Christ-Rice holds a Master’s degree in Social Work and has a private psychotherapy practice. She has training and experience in CBT (cognitive behavior therapy), trauma therapy, anxiety treatment, biofeedback techniques, relationship therapy, grief and loss, self-compassion and self-care, and depression treatments.
Jeffrey Rice is a graduate of Brandeis University who specializes in marriage and family therapy. He previously worked as the Recreation Director at Avondale House and then as Administrator at The Briarwood School. Jeffrey is a cancer survivor who is passionate about his work and being the “voice for those who don’t have a voice.”

Exodus – Book of Hope
With Dr. Dave Peterson
Sundays, October 20 and 27, and November 3
Bagby Parish Hall
There is perhaps no more telling description of the Book of Exodus than is found in Exodus 3:7-8, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey.” Exodus reveals to us the identity and character of God as one who observes, hears, knows and comes to help his people. This is the God who meets us wherever we are and leads us out of bondage into a life overflowing with promise. Those familiar with Dr.Peterson’s teaching style will be curious to know how he will illustrate these epic events from the 14th century BC, bringing them to life in the 21st century AD. The calendar identifies the events as ancient, but experience tells us they are as current as today.

Seekers (60s and up)

10:15 – 11 a.m.
Activity Center, Aerobics Room
Clergy Liaisons: The Rev. Nick Dyke and the Rev. Robert Wareing
Seekers is a great place for couples and singles to meet and study the Gospel and other readings, and then branch off into Church history, liturgy, sacraments and other related areas. We just have fun learning! Please come and join our group.

St. Martin’s 20s & 30s

Clergy Liaisons: The Rev. R-J Heijmen
St. Martin’s 20s & 30s meet on Wednesdays throughout the year at various locations. You are always welcome to join one of the other Sunday morning peer groups. Click here for more information.

Covenant Groups

Have you found yourself desiring a closer relationship with other parishioners while  deepening your personal spiritual life? Join one of our Covenant Groups, small groups of  10 – 12 people who meet bi-weekly from September to May in parishioners’ homes. Meeting for approximately two hours on a designated weeknight, each group discusses the week’s Bible study as they forge new friendships in a pleasant and welcoming setting.  Making a choice from a selection of study guides suggested by St. Martin’s Clergy, each  group will study and discuss their particular choice for the entire year. For more information and to participate, contact Kathy Johnson at 713-985-3834 or email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Sunday School for Adults Will Not Be Offered on the Following Dates

August 25Coming Attractions Sunday
September 1Labor Day weekend
December 1Thanksgiving weekend
December 29Christmas break

Adult Confirmation Classes

Sundays, September 22 – October 20
10:15 – 11 a.m.
Activity Center, Upper Hall
Join the Rev. Chad Martin to learn how the Episcopal Church is like other Christian churches and what makes our Anglican heritage unique. Time will be spent discussing The Book of Common Prayer, the Sacraments, and the Church’s history and polity. Adults have the opportunity to be prepared for confirmation or reception into the Episcopal Church by attending confirmation class.

For more information or to register, contact Kristin Early at 713-985-3848 or email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Fall Confirmation
Sunday, November 10
11:15 a.m.
The Church
With the Rt. Rev. Jeff W. Fisher, Bishop Suffragan, East Region