Christian Education

We have an active program of Christian education for children, youth, and adults at TPPC. For a complete update on Christian education programs for children and adults, call the church office at 301-270-5550 or send an email to one of the email addresses below.

Sunday School

sunday school picture of noah's arkSunday School classes are held after Time with Children during worship from September to June. Students in Kindergarten, First and Second grade gather in the Powhatan Room. The Saints Room is where third grade through fifth grade students meet. The Middle School classroom is downstairs in the front of the Fellowship Room.

Please know that we welcome all visitors, so if you have friends or neighbors with children who would like to come to Sunday School, they are always welcome. We also always need back-up or substitute teachers. If this interests you, please let us know at sundayschool@takomaparkpc.org. There is a curriculum to follow - no need to create a lesson on your own.

Before Sunday School, there is a "time with children" segment in the worship service.

Sunday School teachers will be in the back of the church ready to escort their class to the right room. There will be 3 classes upstairs: K through 2nd grade, 3rd through 5th grade and 6th through 8th grade with high schoolers also welcome. Please pick up your K through 2nd grade child when the worship service ends.

Christian education classes for junior high students are also held at the same time during the regular school year.

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Cooperative Youth Ministry (CYM)

CYM is cooperatively run by Takoma Park Presbyterian Church (TPPC) and Christ Congregational Church (CCC), and is a great way for children, 6-12th grade, to have fellowship and fun with their peers in a supportive, inclusive environment.

Youth Mission Trip to Puerto Rico

The 2019 Mission Trip to Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico took two years to plan. In 2017, immediately after Hurricane Maria, the Potomac Association and others were moved to action. However, because of logistical issues and actual reports out of Puerto Rico, the recommendation was to wait a year. In August 2018, plans for the 2019 mission trip were set. By December 15, 2018, all major logistics were in place with 46 participants, which was reduced to 43 by the time of the actual trip. CCC took the lead. The Potomac Association went to the same site a week after our trip.

On July 6, 2019, all the participants, 32 students and 11 chaperones from Christ Congregation, Takoma Park Presbyterian, and Cleveland Park met at 7 AM for check at BWI. By 7:28 AM, all were checked in. The flights to San Juan, Puerto Rico on Southwest (via Orlando) were comfortable. We even celebrated a student's birthday during flight.

Our week began on Sunday, visiting a local congregation. Worship lasted about two and half hours, in Spanish, followed by lunch. We made a generous contribution.

On Monday, work began. With 202 participants from Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Maryland, seven congregations were represented. Our group was the third largest. But we were the only progressive Christians.

Typical schedule was:

Many of our students and chaperones worked in hot, humid, and challenging contexts. For example, one of the fourteen teams/projects had an advance roof project. The home was built near a cliff. It was on a 45 degree slant. Four of our most experienced team members were on this project.

This mission trip was filled with challenges, hardships, and rewards. We are reminded of all the hardships that the Apostle Paul had to endure during his four mission trips ideological, travel, cost, physical, living conditions, and spiritual. In the midst of passionate evangelical Christians, our mission was to be salt and light for the ensuing generation and those present. Many never saw other Christians outside their own faithful tradition. Some said: "Wow, y'all are like us." Some even sat during dinner to ask us what we believe and how we integrate the LBGTQ into our church community. We accept and embrace all. Scriptural issues were fully explained to inform. Namely, the love of God transcends and includes all.

Our mission to Puerto Rico will be remembered. It has created and fostered a new blessed cultural memory. Our reward we have "gone" and made disciples ( ). We have lived out our call to be missional "more light."

Submitted by Youth Minister John Ahn

Cooperative Youth Ministry (CYM) Leader John Ahn

Rev. John Ahn grew up in all the boroughs of New York City (except Staten Island). John has served in children's ministry, youth ministry, college, young adults, singles, family and older adult ministries in Flushing, College Point, Woodside, Bayside, and Little Neck, New York; Austin, Texas; and Hanover Maryland. Ordained in the Korean Presbyterian Church (a sister denomination of PCUSA) in 2001, he has a passion for reaching and sharing the word with an appreciation for religious dispositions to the next generation in a down to earth, fun, and understandable manner. John's been part of youth and young adult ministry since 1994.

John graduated from New York University, B.A. (Religious Studies and Linguistics), Princeton Theological Seminary, M.Div. (con. Biblical Studies), Yale Divinity School, S.T.M. (Hebrew Bible/Old Testament), and Yale University, Ph.D., Religious Studies (Hebrew Bible/Old Testament). He has authored/co-edited several monographs, including Exile as Forced Migrations (de Gruyter, 2010) and the Prophets Speak on Forced Migration (SBL Press, 2015). He has taught at Yale College and Hartford Seminary, among other schools. He is also currently on faculty at Howard University School of Divinity.

John is married to Angie, his high school sweetheart. They have three children and two dogs.

John loves to eat, travel, watch sports, and listen to music. "I'm excited to be part of the Cooperative Youth Ministry serving CCC and TPPC. Let's hang out, be formed and beautifully impact and inspire our world and inclusive society � for the common good of all God's creation."

Women's Circles Monthly Bible Study Concludes

The second session of Women's Bible Study for this program year will take place Saturday, October 12, at 10:30 AM in the Church parlor.

The 2019-2020 Presbyterian Women/Horizons Bible study, Love Carved in Stone: A Fresh Look at the Ten Commandments will have us look at what would it mean to consider the Ten Commandments not as a harsh list of what not to do but, instead, as a "love letter" from a loving God.

Women's Bible Study will study Lesson 2, which focuses on the third commandment. The lesson, entitled "Words of Love; Don't Trivialize My Name", is on pp. 24-35 in the guidebook.

All women are warmly welcome to attend. Please bring a potluck dish to share.

Adult Sunday School

During October, Pastor Jim Reisner will lead Adult Ed in a study of select writings of Howard Thurman using his book Meditations of the Heart. Hailed as a poet, a mystic and one of the great preachers of the twentieth century, Howard Thurman played a leading role in many social justice movements and was mentor and spiritual adviser to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Congressman John Lewis calls him 'the patron saint of the Civil Rights movement'.

Please join us in the parlor at 9:30 as we explore the extraordinary life and writings of this man of God and consider its implications for what we are called to be and do.

Everyone is welcome!

Previous Classes

Previous topics have included studying the books of Genesis, Exodus, John and Mark, exploring the Isaiah texts which inspired Handel's Messiah, taking a journey through the Psalms, participating in a DVD-based program called "Living the Questions", and using models such as the the African Bible study model to help church members explore their own spirituality.

For more information on adult Sunday School at TPPC, contact adulted@takomaparkpc.org.

Advent Devotions

Advent starts the beginning of the church year and is a time for reflection and devotion. Members of the Adult Sunday School wrote the following devotions in last Sunday's class and invite you to use them in your Advent devotions.

  1. Each day I faithfully expect the presence of God in my life .... And I am grateful to be present for it!
  2. In order to receive openly the true Gift of God we first must have patience within ourselves in silence. Silence allows us to open up and receive the golden light of understanding God and the arrival of his son Jesus Christ. May this golden light grow brightly within us to shine upon others so they can feel the presence of God and his son Jesus Christ our saviour in this first week of Advent. Amen.
  3. Waiting in eager anticipation, waiting with hope for Emmanuel, God-With-Us. The birth of the presence of God in my life, in our lives, in the world. The earth-shattering life-changing difference that makes. Prepare my heart, cleanse it of fear, anxiety, distrust, cynicism; make it ready to receive the Christ-Child, God-With-Us. Let all our hearts prepare him room this Advent season. Amen.


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