Adult Christian Education Opportunities


The foundation of Family Life Ministries is Adult Christian Education (ACE). Classes targeted to adults are held Sunday mornings from 9:50 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. from mid-September through May. Class topics range from examining books of the Bible to understanding how our faith impacts issues we face on a daily basis. From time to time other opportunities for adult Christian education are offered such as Bible studies on Sunday afternoons or during the week. Our doors are open to all, so we extend a warm invitation for you to join us when you can in a study that interests you. Read on to learn more about the exciting and thought provoking studies that help us grow together in faith!





Sunday Morning Adult Christian Education Opportunities


Tangents: Naming Our Congregation's Vocation

Like every person, a congregation has a vocation. Our congregation is the same as every other in that way. A vocation (from the Latin vocare, “to call”) is not merely a job. It is the function a person or a congregation is created by God to fulfill in life, an essential identity and role to play, to which one is called in God’s continuing creation.

What is the vocation of Williamsville United Methodist Church? Is there some “signature mission” to which our congregation is being called, some mission to the community around us that identifies us and involves every member according to each person’s gifts?

We will explore these questions in depth in Tangents, the adult discussion group, beginning Sunday, January 5, when we meet again after our Christmas recess. Six possible signature missions have been identified:

  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Gateway-Longview
  • Seneca Street UMC
  • Beechwood Continuing Care
  • City Mission
  • Food Pantry of Western New York

Each one is a mission where we are currently involved to varying degrees. Are there other possibilities, perhaps in addressing needs that are not yet known to us? If so, how might we identify them and begin to respond? How will we select one area of service to which we can devote significant resources?

These are only some of the questions we will be considering in the weeks to come. To help us answer them, guests representing these (and other) service areas will be invited to visit Tangents to explain their ministries and guide us in our discernment of a direction for our ministries.

You’re invited to join us, also. Tangents meets on Sunday mornings from 9:50 to 10:30 in the parlor, at the immediate rear of the sanctuary.

Resource Papers for Fall/Winter 2013 Tangents Discussions:

1.       How the NFL Fleeces Taxpayers

2.      How the Average American Family Subsidizes Big Business

3.       Ten Ways to Democratize Our Broken Economy



Eternal Perks


After taking a summer break, Eternal Perks is again “open for business.” For those of you who are not familiar with Eternal Perks, it is our very own coffee “stop” located in the church library. Each week between worship services we will gather to share some coffee and conversation.

Feel free to come in, relax, read the Sunday paper, and treat yourself to a cup of coffee! We know there are many coffee shops in the village, but we would love it if you would make Eternal Perks your first pick on Sunday mornings!







Additional ACE Ministries and Opportunities

Growing from Pain Toward Healing - DVD-Based Study Series

Here’s a new resource for developing your small-group experience. A new DVD-based study series from United Methodist Communications focuses on Christians who faced painful circumstances that threatened their spiritual health and sanity. The study series, “Broken to Peace,” is equipped with a downloadable leader’s guide that also includes devotional tools and discussion starters to serve as catalysts for conversation, constructive debate, and personal sharing. A Christian educator and pastor, the Rev. Mark Price, wrote the leader’s guide. For more information, visit the "Broken to Peace" web site. And if you would like help in starting a group to consider this or any other topic, contact Pastor Rich Neal.

Get Connected with Wesley Ministry Network Online

Do you wish you could deepen your faith, but you are too busy to attend a class or join a small group? Through a partnership with The Richard and Julia Wilke Institute for Discipleship, Wesley Ministry Network is offering its acclaimed lay education courses online. Each course features streaming video segments and online discussions with other students and experienced Wesley Ministry Network teachers. Courses are open to everyone, and CEUs are available for pastors. Connect with other Christians to deepen your faith and grow in discipleship. Visit to learn more and to register.


ACE Announcements

Sunday Roundtable
While our formal Christian education program will be in recess during the summer – our summer schedule begins May 31, when we move to a single worship celebration at 10:00 a.m. – we will continue to offer education opportunities. One of those will be the Sunday Roundtable, a time to gather with Pastor Rich following the 10:00 worship celebration to discuss questions or issues that arise at the intersection of faith and life.
It might be a follow-up related to Pastor Rich’s Ruminations that morning, or some event taken from recent news headlines. Perhaps the topic will be some question or concern that has arisen from your personal experience or that of a friend. Maybe we’ll discuss the values involved in some important personal decision.
No topic will be off limits, and all topics will be related to our faith in some way. We may not find definitive answers or perfect clarity, but we will at least wrestle with the questions in the hope of being blessed. The Sunday Roundtable will begin following each Sunday’s 10:00 worship celebration beginning May 31 and continuing through the summer. All are welcome.