Pocono United Methodist Academy (PUMA) Fall 2018

To register for a class, please contact the class leader directly.
Contact information is listed next to each leader’s name.


You’ll Get Through This

You fear you won’t make it through. We fear that the depression will never lift, the yelling will never stop, the pain will never leave. In the pits, surrounded by steep walls and aching reminders, we wonder: Will this gray sky ever brighten? This load ever lighten? In his book You’ll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent Times, Max Lucado offers sweet assurance. Max reminds readers that God doesn’t promise that getting through trials will be quick or painless. It wasn’t for Joseph – tossed in a pit by his brothers, sold into slavery, wrongfully imprisoned, forgotten and dismissed – but his Old Testament story is in the Bible for this reason: to teach us to trust God to trump evil.
led by Pastor Jennifer Sommers (jsomm958@gmail.com)
Monday evenings, September 24 – October 29, 6:00 PM

Starbucks- 745 Main Street, Stroudsburg


20th Century Christian Classics

We will discuss five great books, all available from Amazon. Join us for whichever ones interest you, even if you haven’t read.

Classes will be held every two weeks, to facilitate reading. led by Pastor Paul Crikelair (pjcrikelair@gmail.com) Dates as listed below, 7:00 PM Eastern Monroe Public Library – Eisemann Meeting Room (2nd floor – elevator available) Stop at the Library Café and bring your dessert with you!

Wed, Sep. 26: Orthodoxy, G.K. Chesterton, 1908

Wed, Oct. 10: The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 1937

Wed, Oct. 24: Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis, 1952

Wed, Nov. 7: Peace with God, Billy Graham, 1953 (Note: This date is Billy Graham’s 100th birthday!)

Tue, Nov. 20: The Gospel of Life, John Paul II, 1995Over 13 years ago

Fitzmaurice Community Services, Inc. (FCS) presented a proposal to the Eastern Monroe Public Library to start up a coffee shop run by individuals with disabilities, and HERE WE ARE! The first of its kind Library Café in Monroe County opened in December, 2017!

The Café supports individuals with disabilities who desire to work and seek inclusion and productivity in the community, while also providing library patrons quality coffee and snacks at an affordable price. The amenity of coffee and refreshments served by individuals with disabilities will be an inspiration to all who visit.
All purchase support the mission of FCS to empower persons with disabilities to realize their abilities and have meaningful employment in their community. TO learn more about FCS and their services, visit www. Fitzmaurice.org


The Book of Joy

In 2015 Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama met to celebrate His Holiness’s 80th birthday and spend a week discussing the question: “How do we find joy in the face of life’s inevitable suffering?” Over a 5-week discussion we will study The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams.
Join these two “mischievous spiritual brothers” as they share their teachings, the science, and intimate stories about joy and in their hope we all might discover that “lasting happiness cannot be found in pursuit of any goal or achievement. It does not reside in fortune or fame. It resides only in the human mind and heart.”
led by Pastor Nina Patton-Semerod (npatton226@gmail.com,
570-424-7490)
Thursday evenings, September 27 – October 25, 6:30 PMBovino’s Pizzeria – 331 N. Courtland St, East Stroudsburg


Faith in Washington

With the midterms soon upon us, many people of faith are asking themselves: How is my faith reflected in my politics? How can – and should – my faith inform my perspectives on social issues? Where is my faith when I enter a voting booth?
On Tuesday evenings this fall, Pastor Candy LaBar (Faith UMC, Stroudsburg) will be leading a discussion group in which we wrestle with these very questions. We’ll be guided and inspired by the words of scripture as well as scenes from the popular NBC drama The West Wing, a show with storylines that wove together faith and politics for seven seasons. Study sessions include:

• Session 1: What Do We Do with Scripture, Faith, and Politics?

• Session 2: God is Big Enough
• Session 3: Hearing Multiple Voices Session 4: Topical Discussion – Immigration
• Session 5: Topical Discussion – Gun Control
• Session 6: Topical Discussion – The Death Penalty
led by Pastor Candy LaBar (revclabar@gmail.com, 570-424-0712)
Tuesday evenings, September 25 – October 30 6:30 PM
Faith UMC – 1160 Clause Drive, Stroudsburg


Scripture and the Life of God: Why the Bible Matters Today More Than Ever

By Dr. David F. Watson (Seedbed, 2017)
Available in paperback or Kindle from Amazon
We will have ten copies available for class members to use!
 Led by Pastor Paul Crikelair (pjcrkelair@gmail.com) and
Pastor Sean Dougherty (sean.p_dougherty@yahoo.com)


Tuesday Afternoons, 1:00-2:30 pm, Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
Eastern Monroe Public Library – Eisemann Meeting Room  (2nd floor – elevator available)

Stop at the Library Café and bring your snack with you!

“Reading Scripture and the Life of God was pure joy – as though an excellent Bible scholar was personally walking alongside, explaining the Bible in such clear and understandable language that I was drawn, irresistibly, into deepening desire for a transformational relationship with Scripture.  Shared life in God will indeed come alive in any class that journeys through these rich pages together….Dr. Watson is calling us back to an understanding of the power of the Bible to bring us into an encounter with God.”

Topics Addressed Include:

  • Reading Scripture for Its Intended Purpose

  • The Divine Inspiration of the Bible

  • Scripture Makes Sense of Our Lives

  • The Authority of the Bible

  • Praying Over the Bible & With the Bible

  • Meditating Upon the Text

  • Lectio Divina, Divine Reading

  • Scripture in Song

  • Reading the Bible in Community

  • The Bible and the Creeds

  • Active and Passive Disbelief

  • Miracles and the Problem of Suffering

  • Creating a Culture of Expectation in Our Churches

  • Two Testaments, One Bible

  • The Unity and Diversity of Scripture

  • Learning from Scripture’s Hard Passages

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PUMA is Sponsored by the Pocono Cluster
of United Methodist Churches:
Analomink, Cherry Lane, Cherry Valley, East Stroudsburg,
Faith, Poplar Valley, Reeders, Stroudsburg, & Wooddale UMCs