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Spring 2008

Muslims and Christians: The Great Encounter
M. Steven Fish
Sundays 7:10-8:40 p.m., beginning January 6 and ending February

First Presbyterian Church Berkeley, 2407 Dana Street, Berkeley  Cosponsored by First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, register through FPCB or the GTU  (GTU credit available)

Christian-Muslim relations pose one of the biggest challenges the world faces in the 21st century. Roughly one-third of humanity adheres to each of the two faiths, and many societies include large populations of both Muslims and Christians. Yet a gulf of ignorance and misunderstanding separates Muslims and Christians. The ethics and social mores of each faith are often foreign to adherents of the other faith. Improving mutual understanding and pursuing more dynamic interaction are essential to world peace, just as they are important to civil peace and progress within many multiconfessional societies, including the United States.

M. Steven Fish (Ph.D.) is Professor of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley.

Para-Professional Counseling II

Margaret Alter, Peter Coster, Sandi Hedlund, Susan S. Phillips, Martha de Laveaga Stewart, and Charles Wickstrand
Tuesdays, 7:10-9:40 p.m., beginning February 5 and ending May 20

Room 310, McKinley Hall, First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, 2407 Dana Street, Berkeley

Co-sponsored by First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley’s Christian Lay Counseling Service  Cost: $325 (one semester).

The course is limited to students who have taken Para-Professional Counseling I.
“Para-Professional Counseling II” is the second half of a year-long, certificate-granting course designed to combine practical counseling training with theory, integrating psychology, biblical theology, and spirituality. Participants will be prepared for service in para-professional counseling programs in churches and communities and will learn skills for use with family, friends, and in professional relationships, especially those of ministry. The course will be taught collaboratively by counseling professionals and scholars, and will offer focused training in addressing common counseling issues.  Contact NCB for information about GTU academic credit and/or MFT and LCSW CEUs.
Margaret Alter (M.Div., Ph.D., LMFT), NCB professor of psychology and Christianity, is a licensed marriage and family counselor in private practice in Berkeley. Her most recent book is Resurrection Psychology. Peter Coster (M.Div., M.A., Ph.D., LMFT) is a psychotherapist in private practice in Berkeley and Sonoma.  He is a clinical supervisor for graduate level trainees in psychology at John F. Kennedy University. Sandi Hedlund (M.A., LMFT) is the director of the Christian Lay Counseling Service at First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, and a therapist in private practice in Berkeley.
Martha de Laveaga Stewart (M.S., LMFT) is a licensed therapist and maintains a private practice in Orinda.  She chairs the NCB Board of Trustees. Susan S. Phillips (Ph.D.) is the executive director of New College Berkeley, teaches Christian spirituality in the GTU and other seminaries, and is a spiritual director. She is the editor (with Patricia Benner) of  The Crisis of Care.

Charles Wickstrand (M.A., LMFT) maintains counseling practices in Oakland and Alameda. He supervises the FPCB lay counselors.

Contemplative Prayer Retreat: Examining Our Lives in Lent
Susan S. Phillips   
Saturday, March 8, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Cosponsored by New College Berkeley and First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, at FPCB,
 2407 Dana, Room G213 and Chapel  Cost: $25 (no lunch) The retreat is limited to a maximum of 25 participants.

Enjoined to “Let the Word of Christ dwell in [us] richly” (Col 3:16), how do we read that Word? For centuries Christians have done so through a prayer practice called the Examen (of conscience or consciousness). This practice allows a contemplative attention to our movement both toward and away from God, and to the Holy Spirit speaking to us. As we slow down during this Lenten season, we will pay attention to God’s presence in our lives.

To Keep You from Falling: Three Short Pastoral Books—Jude, Philemon, and 2 John

Earl Palmer   
Saturday, April 19, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.   First Presbyterian Church, Berkeley (Sanctuary), 2407 Dana Street, Berkeley  Cost: $50 ($90 per couple; $35 student)—includes lunch

Join us for a day with Earl Palmer, outstanding teacher and exegete of Scripture, as he leads us through a study of three epistles. Earl will take a close look at three short (one page each) books, noticing their remarkable relevance to today’s Christian.  These books are almost ready-made as guides for our discipleship journey in the post-modern age.
Earl Palmer (M.Div.) is senior pastor at University Presbyterian Church, Seattle, Washington, and author of many books, including A Faith That Works.

Book Celebration and Signing for Susan Phillips’s  Candlelight: Illuminating the Art of Spiritual Direction 
Saturday, May 17, 7 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church, 2407 Dana Street, Rm G202

Come and meet this newborn book about the art of Christian spiritual direction. The author, in addition to working for NCB, has a passion for accompanying people in their lives of faith, and in this book tells stories from practice about some of what she’s had the privilege of seeing in spiritual direction.

Please RSVP if you plan to attend.

NCB Seminars (Call NCB for locations)

Chris Corwin,  A Christian Response to Other Faiths  Wednesday, March 12

Chris Corwin (Ph.D.) is an adjunct professor at Fuller Theological Seminary and Chabot College. His doctoral work emphasized the Hebrew scriptures, with special emphasis on the Psalms. 

Sharon Gallagher, The Earth Is the Lord’s: Stewardship in an Age of Crisis  Wednesday, April 16
Sharon Gallagher (M.T.S.) is associate director and professor of Christianity and the media at New College Berkeley, editor of Radix magazine, and author of Finding Faith: Life-changing Encounters with Christ.

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