PUMA Course Descriptions

FALL 2017 Pocono United Methodist Academy (PUMA)

Currently Offers Four Classes to Choose From!

For more information or to register for any class,

 please contact the Instructor directly as indicated.

The Old Testament Prophetical Books

Meets 6:00 p.m. Mondays for five weeks, October 2-9-16-23-30, at Bovino’s Pizzeria, 331 N. Courtland St., East Stroudsburg, for dinner followed by class.  We will survey the last seventeen books of the Old Testament.  The Old Testament prophets spoke God’s Word to Israel and Judah in times of moral crisis, consistently delivering the three classic prophetical themes: a warning of judgment, an invitation to repentance, and a promise of salvation – while invariably predicting the coming of God’s chosen Messiah.  We will consider the prophets of the Assyrian period (Jonah, Amos, Hosea, Micah, Isaiah), the prophets of the Babylonian period (Zephaniah, Habakkuk, Jeremiah/Lamentations, Nahum, Ezekiel, Obadiah), and the prophets of the Persian period (Daniel, Haggai, Zechariah, Joel, Malachi).  Get your survey textbook via Amazon (it’s recommended but not required): C. Hassell Bullock, An Introduction to the Old Testament Prophetic Books (Moody, 1986, 2007).  Instructor: Pastor Paul Crikelair, paul@crikelair.com.

This Life I Live (Book Discussion)

Meets at 6:30 p.m. Mondays for seven weeks, September 25; October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; November 6 (movie showing), at The American Cancer Society office, 2158 W. Main Street, Stroudsbg.

Joey and Rory Feek were enjoying a steadily growing fan base in country music when Joey was diagnosed unexpectedly with a rapidly-spreading cancer. Rory takes us into his own challenging life story and shows what can happen when God brings both his presence and the right companion into our lives. This study will be particularly meaningful to those whose lives have been touched by cancer! Throughout this study, we will be building connections between the book, the gospel, the songs performed by Rory and Joey, and our own lives. Book (recommended but not required): Rory Feek, This Life I Live (Thomas Nelson, 2017). Instructor: Pastor Jennifer Sommers, jsomm958@gmail.com.

God’s Broken Yet Blessed Families

Meets 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays  for six weeks, Sep. 20-27, Oct. 4-11-18-25, at Wooddale UMC. The Bradys, the Cosbys, the Tanners, the Camdens, the Bravermans, the Pearsons – these are just a few of our favorite TV families we love to watch, but they also remind us of a universal truth that families aren’t perfect. They are a wonderful mix of people, places, homes, relationships, and stories that are broken, blessed, complicated, risky, and even painful – yet God filled God’s creation with families to transform the world.  Join Pastor Nina at Wooddale UMC for a 6 week study on Genesis featuring the broken and blessed families whom God chose to change the world, and connect them with some of our favorite TV families along the way. Bring your Bible and a friend as we uncover the family drama throughout the book of Genesis that began with Adam and Eve and ends with Joseph and his brothers, as we ask, “If God chose this peculiar family to change the world, then maybe he could do something with my less-than-picture-perfect family, too.” (Lagrone, p.xiv) You may purchase Jessica Lagrone’s book Broken and Blessed: God Changes the World One Person and One Family at a Time, as an additional resource but it is not necessary to participate in the study.  Instructor: Pastor Nina Patton-Semerod, npatton226@gmail.com.

The Naked Anabaptist (Book Discussion)

Meets at 12:00 noon Thursdays for eight weeks, Sep. 21-28, Oct. 5-12-19, Nov. 2-9-16 (no class Oct. 26), at Olive Garden, 600 Shoppes at Stroud, Route 611, Stroudsburg, for lunch and class.  Christianity has endured and thrived over the last 2,000 years despite many changes in its doctrine and polity.  Certainly, the advent of the 4th-century state-sanctioned church under the Emperor Constantine was one of the greatest change agents.  We are only now taking our first steps out of a Christian history characterized as “Constantinian.”  However, one group within Christianity, the Anabaptists, has been attempting to live out a “Post-Constantinian” identity since the 16th century.  Only recently, however, has this group been making any significant impact in the Western world beyond its original Swiss-German cultural roots.

Discovering Faith(s)

Meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays for six weeks, October 3, 10, 17, 24; November 7, 14 (no class October 31), at Faith UMC, 1160 Clause Drive, Stroudsburg.  Have you ever asked yourself: As a Christian, what do I believe? What do people of other faiths believe? What can I learn from people who practice other faiths? If so, we invite you to join us for “Discovering Faith(s)” as we seek to explore the major religions of the world – Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Together, our own Christian faith can be strengthened as we learn more about these faiths. This study will also include optional site visits to a synagogue and a mosque. Optional supplemental book: Adam Hamilton’s Christianity and World Religions (Abingdon Press, 2005). Instructor: Pastor Candy LaBar, revclabar@gmail.com.

Act Normal

Meets 6:00 p.m. Wednesdays for six weeks, October 4, 11, 18, 25, November 1, 8 at Bovino’s Pizzeria, 331 N. Courtland St., East Stroudsburg. Enjoy dinner while we view a brief video followed by class discussion. According to study author Scott Wilson, the normal Christian life is one led and empowered by the presence of the Holy Spirit so that believers can accomplish the work God has set before them. Inspired by the book of Acts, Act Normal features 31 daily readings that will open your eyes to a new normal when it comes to compassion. We think what Jesus did was extraordinary and far outside the norms of his time (it was!); however, what we sometimes fail to consider is that Jesus initiated a “new normal” for his followers. When we Act Normal according to the teachings and example of Christ, we are actively fulfilling the words of James: “But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers…” James 1:22. The optional textbook is, Act Normal: Moving Compassion from Niche to Norm by Scott Wilson, available for $15. Recommended resource: Act Normal Study Guide, available for $7. To sign up or for more information, please contact class leader, Jim Todd: jtodd@esumc.net or 570-421-3280.

Stuart Murray, a British author, in his book The Naked Anabaptist: The Bare Essentials of a Radical Faith (Paternoster & Herald Press, 2010) suggests a number of ways the rest of the Christian witness can adopt the radical tenets of the Anabaptists as we move further into a Post-Modern, Post-Constantinian world.  Instructor: Pastor Rick Conrad, rickconrad24@yahoo.com.

Tentatively Planned Events

Details TBA – see your pastor for more info

Reformation 500th Anniversary

Sunday Evening, Oct. 22

Film about Martin Luther

 Reformation Sunday Evening, Oct. 29

“Martin Luther in 95 Quotes”

Pocono United Methodist Academy (PUMA)

Analomnk UMC

Cherry Lane UMC

Cherry Valley UMC

East Stroudsburg UMC

Faith UMC

Poplar Valley UMC

Reeders UMC

Stroudsburg UMC

Wooddale UMC

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in

the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another –

and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 10:26