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Cafe: Adult Sunday School     9 - 10 AM

Everyone is welcome at TLC’s Café (aka grownup Sunday School). We study the Bible and how God’s word applies to our lives today. Join us downstairs, in the café, which is next to the kitchen.

Questions are encouraged. We look at different translations of the Bible, the historical and societal context of when the Bible was written, and protestant teachings from other denominations (some of us weren’t raised in the Lutheran church).

We always have coffee and tea!


New to the café is a lending library of the book-club reads as well as other Christian books and Bible-study resources. Please look for the “Lending Library” signs on the book cases for books to share. Feel free to borrow at book anytime you're in the building.

Links & Docs for Discussion

March 12 & 19

The Gender of God: the word for God in the Old Testament has a feminine ending; the Greek word in the New Testament indicates male gender. Why did the Greek word become the norm? Café continues the conversation about the treatment of women in the Bible, and attention to the translations of gender references to God. 


What difference does it make today? Not many churches have many women in decision-making roles, at local and national levels. Why is that important for a church to grow? Is it because we refer to God mostly as a male?

“More women need to be thought of for senior pastor positions,” said Norma Cook Everist, pastor and professor at Warburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. In following the careers of former students, Everist noticed a trend: “A lot of our women pastors, as they become middle-aged or older, can’t get calls. Thousands of strong, older laywomen serve our congregations. Why not more older women pastors?”


Is there a relationship between women's issues and the gender of God as young people question the church?

Further Reading: 
Women clergy thankful for gains, frustrated by leadership gap

February 26

We'll examine the relationship between personal and private, and public and ceremonial faith - or our presidents. How did faith affect each presidency? Which church has had the most presidents? Has a Lutheran ever been a president? Does faith make a difference in running the country? Have we ever had a president who never went to church? 

February 12

Ezekiel 1: Ezekiel's Vision

Revelation 17: Babylon, the Prostitute on the Beast

December 11 & 18

We continue our discussion of church and state. What does God call the faithful to do in the secular world?

October 23 – November 20

Church and state - where we've been, where we are, where we're going. What do the Constitution and the Bible say about the relationship between these two major forces in our lives? Join us for a lively discussion that will include history, politics, and faith.

Two articles from from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints​​

October 9 & 16

Café tackles chapters 5, 6, 7 of Matthew ... the Sermon on the Mount. What did Matthew report and what did he leave out,  which may be just as important. The Sermon on the Plain is there for us to discover how these stories are remembered, and how they influence us today!

10 things not in the Sermon on the Mount

Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7

Same Topics in Luke 6

September 25 & October 2

On this second week of our study of the Book of Ruth, we discuss why the story was written in 450 b.c. about an event in 1500 b.c. Why did it resonate and why was it included in the Bible? It deals with antisemitism, closed religious understanding, prejudice and the importance of family. Come join in the discussions!

September 18 Conversation

Join us Sunday morning at 9 a.m. for food (light breakfast) and discussion about our Bible as we kick off our Sunday School year.

How Was the Bible Formed

September 11 Conversation

Let's look at how we got our Bible stories - history, metaphor, and more. What do we avoid and why? We will use the Bible to discuss our own preferences in light of what the Bible does say; bring your own Bible if you have a favorite translation. What do we mean when we say, “The Canon within the Canon?” No shooting allowed. Ha!

September 4 Conversation

Where did our Bible came from, who wrote it, who approved it and when? Why do Protestants and Roman Catholics have different books? Why did Martin Luther want to leave some books out of the Bible list? Why are there so many different translations? How do we know which one is correct? Why are some “authorized versions”? Who authorizes them? Feel free to bring your favorite Bible. We will also have copies available.

August 28 Conversation

Café with family ... a 4,500-year-old family. Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery. We'll read his story and talk about how that family's dysfunction turned out. Candid stories of faith for a candid dialogue and a loving people.

Joseph is Sold by His Brothers, Genesis 37

The Family Reunion, Genesis 44-45

August 7 & 21 Conversation

Do you remember washing your car 20 years ago? Insects were splattered over the windshield. Nowadays that doesn't happen so much, does it? Scientists associate the dramatic decline in insect populations with industrial agricultural practices, especially habitat destruction and pesticide use.

We'll discuss:

Shoppers' Guide to Pesticides on Produce

The Trouble with Food

Lutheran Theology of Creation: A New Reformation

The Bible, Creation & Ecology

July 31 Conversation

More Bible stories we don't read in church, but which raise questions about faith, life and human behavior.

2 Samuel 13: Amnon and Tamar

Acts 5: Ananias and Sapphira

July 24 Conversation

Cafe combines coffee, tea and a "tasty" Bible story, one “never” read in church.  Check out the oldest known story in the Bible: Judges 4 & 5

Historial Context:

Mount Tabor

Why is Mount Tabor significant?

Who was Deborah?

July 10 Conversation

Joy is the word for this day! Bring a happy memory:  something that nurtured faith in God and humanity, something that made you laugh or cry with tears of joy. 

July 3 Conversation

Last week, we began our discussion about abortion in the Bible, examining the history of abortion in both Testaments. This week, we will study the social statement of the ELCA about abortion.

ELCA Pastoral Message on Abortion

77 Shocking Abortion Statistics

Come listen, hear, share, laugh and cry. We do. Downstairs with coffee in hand. Tea if you want it.

June 19 & 26 Conversation

We continue our discussion of what the Bible says about violence. Homework: read this summary from Wikipedia about Christianity and violence.

June 5 Café Conversation

What shapes our/your response to violence for these Biblical people: Samson, Isaiah (II), Peter at Gethsemane, Jesus at the Temple, or in front of Pilate? 


What does the Bible teach us about responding to violence?

April 10 Notes

Video: Nikole Hannah-Jones on the Case for Reparations

ELCA's Declaration to People of African Descent


TLC's Doin' the Work list of learning materials about white privilege, racism, and social justice.

Groups/Events working for racial justice:

Power - an interfaith action coalition with local chapters for Philadelphia and the surround metro area

April 3 (and March 27) Notes


Video: Systemic Racism in America

ELCA's Declaration to People of African Descent


TLC's Doin' the Work list of learning materials about white privilege, racism, and social justice.

Groups/Events working for racial justice:

Power - an interfaith action coalition with local chapters for Philadelphia and the surround metro area

History of Slavery & Main Line Faith Communities, sponsored by the regional Interfaith Racial Justice Group

March 20 Notes

ELCA's Declaration to People of African Descent

Video: Repairing the Breach: The Episcopal Church and Slavery Atonement

This introduction is free but precedes a documentary series on the slave trade in the North (for "rent").

March 13 Notes

ELCA's Declaration to People of African Descent

Video: Danger of a Single Story

March 6 Notes

Into the Wilderness - study of mark 1:9-15

February 27 Notes

A look at the Beatitudes - comparing the different versions from Matthew and Luke 

February 20 Notes

The Lord's Prayer dialogue continues ...

Christian Art Steeped in White Supremacy

Forgive us our what?

Paul's Letters & Modern Race Relations

February 13 Notes

The Lord's Prayer dialogue continues with a look at Jewish roots, and Gentile influences, as well as changes over the first four centuries. Also a comparison between Matthew and Luke and the influence of the Qumran community northwest of the Dead Sea in what is called the West Bank.


How do we "see" Jesus?

What did Jesus really look like?

The 7 Oldest Paintings of Jesus

Christian Art Steeped in White Supremacy

Codex Vaticanus

February 6 Notes

Debts, Trespasses, Sins - English translations for the same Bible Words. Which one is most compelling? Which does faith teach, or Jesus mean? What do we mean when we pray that our debts be forgiven, or sins, for that matter? Open discussion in Cafe. 9 a.m. Sunday.

From Bible Odyssey: The Lord's Prayer

January 30 Notes

From Bible Odyssey: The Love Passage (1 Corinthians 13)

January 23 Notes

From Bible Odyssey: How was the Bible formed?

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