Learning Opportunities

Whether Good Shepherd member or not, you’re welcome and invited to participate in any and all GSLC learning opportunities.


Check the GSLC calendar for upcoming events and schedule specifics.

Book Club

The GSLC book club meets on most Tuesday evenings at 7 PM in the lounge. Books typically alternate between fiction and non-fiction and participants take turns selecting the next title to read. 


A sample of books read have included:

  • A Man Called Ove
  • Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin
  • Catherine the Great
  • Death at La Fenice
  • Dreams from My Father
  • Eats, Shoots & Leaves
  • Hum if You Don't Know the Words
  • The Case for Books
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • The Lincoln Lawyer
  • The Red Tent

Typical schedule: Weekly

Contact: Karen Madigan

Circle 3 Women's Group/Women of the ELCA (WELCA)

Circle 3 meet monthly for Bible study and fellowship, decorate the Christmas tree in the sanctuary in December and participate in other Women of the ELCA activities.


The Metro DC Synodical Women’s Organization holds an annual spring convention, each with a focus on societal issues and solutions. Topics have included mental health and human trafficking.


During the annual Thankoffering worship service in November, GSLC Circle 3 participants offer the funds they’ve collected through the year and encourage attendees to contribute as well. The donations are sent to the National Women of the ELCA to help fund outreach programs.


Typical schedule: Monthly


Circle 3 contact: Midge Aycock

Women of the ELCA contact: Sue Cottrol

Synodical Women of the ELCA (Metro DC)

Conversations with Friends

Typically held monthly, this gathering to talk about various aspects of Islam and Christianity grew out of our first community food packing event hosted with Ezher Bloom Mosque. It’s an opportunity to get to know each other—not to convert but to learn. We alternate locations close to GSLC and the mosque. Topics have included:

  • How we celebrate Christian and Muslim holidays
  • Paradise/heaven from Muslim and Christian perspectives
  • Angels in Christianity and Islam
  • What it means to be a prophet in Islam and Christianity
  • Who is Jesus in the Q'uran and the Bible?
  • The Bible and the Q'uran - what's in these sacred scriptures and how we read, study and use them
  • Muslim/Christian denominations - how Sunni/Shi'a/Baptists/Methodists, etc. came to be

Whether you’re affiliated with Good Shepherd, Ezher Bloom or neither, you’re welcome and invited to participate.


Typical schedule: Approximately monthly


Good Shepherd point of contact: Pastor Jen

Discussions 

We host a wide-variety of discussions on various spiritual, educational and social justice topics, striving to listen to understand and learn over persuade. The formats vary from small-group to speakers to panel discussions.


Typical schedule: Varies

Holy Land trip

Pastor Jen led a 10-day pilgrimage in the Holy Land in January 2019 with seven people to trace some of Jesus’ footsteps and pray where he prayed. A local guide leads the tour and Pastor Jen is the spiritual guide, offering reflections about these places of significance for Christians, Jews and Muslims. The 2019 tour cost $3290 and included airfare, meals and admissions.


Contact: Pastor Jen

Pub Theology

An informal discussion at Bilbo Baggin’s in Alexandria with a focused topic. The theme varies, sometimes a current event, sometimes something else. Some conversations have included:

  • Spirituality
  • The life and work of CS Lewis
  • Dorothy Day - social activist and key figure in the Catholic Worker Movement
  • The poetry of Rumi
  • Immigrants, refugees and communities of faith
  • Influential persons of faith series: Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, a Jewish mystic, poet and leader in the civil rights movement

Typical schedule: Occasionally on Sunday evenings


Contact: Pastor Jen

Retreats 

We host occasional day-long, overnight or weekend retreats on various spiritual and educational topics. The council leadership retreat is held each January and an annual retreat for confirmation youth is typically held in the fall. Other retreats for adults, couples and families are also held occasionally.


Typical schedule: Varies


Contact: Pastor Jen