Who Speaks for God? A discussion on theology today

STAUNTON, VA (09/24/2012)(readMedia)-- Who Speaks for God? This is one question that is as perplexing as it is multi-faceted and just plain loaded. Bruce H. Joffe, Ph.D., will lead this discussion which will no doubt raise many more queries than it will answer. Dr. Joffe wants to lead this class because "religion has come to the forefront as such a potent force in both uniting and separating people and he would like to lend his unique perspective to the discussion." An ordained pastor himself, he thinks people tend to believe what they hear at their religious establishment of choice, without examining the context of sacred texts. We want folks to know that this is not a one-sided discussion, but an "interactive conversation" predicted by certain questions posed by Dr. Joffe and enhanced by a PowerPoint presentation as a graphic discussion generator. When I asked who should attend this program, he responded "anyone who's curious, cautious, and/or concerned about where the myriad facets of organized religion are leading its adherents and followers." Dr. Joffe hopes to show that there IS a bottom line behind all major religions; it's up to you to attend this program to find out what exactly that is.

About the Instructor: A man of many hats, Bruce Joffe, Ph.D., is currently a professor of communication at Mary Baldwin College and an ordained pastor who belongs to both the Progressive Christian Alliance (of pastors) and the International Council of Community Churches.

Class Description:

Who Speaks for God?

Did the Divine actually speak to us...maybe, even, using Democratic or Republican rhetoric? Why is the vocabulary of some theologies peaceful and gracious, while others tend to be threatening and damning? What place do holy books have in editorializing the language and lexicon of who and what we worship? Is there gender within (and without) spiritual speech? Did a supernatural power dictate that we must be "exclusionary", keeping all but certain people out...or "inclusionary", finding a place at the table for all? Or, perhaps, the Creative Force – the One we will refer to as "God" – hasn't stopped talking, but is still speaking and trying to tell us something (even) today? What might that be? Whether focused on the hereafter or more concerned, instead, with the here-and-now...regardless of one's theology and belief system...there is much to be learned from the world's great religions about the things "most assuredly believed among us" (Luke 1:1) as well as the "peculiar" practices or beliefs that tend to divide us.

The price of this class is $19 and takes place on October 2 & 9 from 7pm-9pm. Please signup at Staunton Parks & Recreation in Montgomery Hall Park and call us with any questions (540) 332-3945.


The statements, views and opinions expressed in this program and related course materials are those of the speaker/instructor, and not necessarily of Staunton Parks and Recreation. This class is just one among many of varying program topics and we encourage instructors of any hobby or any interest to teach for us.

Other upcoming classes of interest:

Dancing Awake the Great Medicine Wheel of the New Earth: An Introduction

Do you feel a deep connection to Mother Earth? Do you wish to find greater peace within? Do you want to learn how to heal yourself and others? Do you want to create beauty and power out of your wounds? Do you want to dance the dance of peace in your family, community, nation, and the world as a whole? If your answer is YES, join Rachel Mann, PhD in an exploration of the ancient teachings of transformation, healing, and peace of the great Medicine Wheels of the New Earth. The Medicine Wheel is a gift from the Great Mother of all of us-Gaia or Mother Earth. She teaches us how to be in ayni–inner balance with the outer world. When we dance in ayni, we are better able to channel her abundant energies. This manifests both energetically and physically in the ability to manifest our dreams for relationships, work, play, and finances. Visit instructor website: www.mettaknowledge.com. Instructor: Rachel Mann. 12pm-5pm, October 1 at

GHPGC. Price: $59. Register by: ASAP

Blacksmithing Field Trip

Fun with Fire: Take a brief introductory workshop into the art and mystery of blacksmithing at the Virginia Institute of Blacksmithing in Waynesboro, VA. Students will learn how to manage fire in a forge, and swing a hammer at hot metal on the anvil. Everyone will go home with a wall hook with a decorative twist that they made themselves. If you ever wondered what it would be like to bend steel to your will, this is your chance! www.vablacksmithing.org.

Instructor: Dale Morse. Wednesday, October 3. Meet/Depart from MHP at: 5:15pm, Return by: 8pm. Price: $49 (includes transportation, instruction and materials.)