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Lifelong Learning Institute: Fall 2017 Classes

The fall 2017 course schedule offered by The Lifelong Learning Institute of Elkhart County is designed to provide stimulating and affordable short courses in many fields for active seniors. Course brochures are available at the Goshen College Box Office and the Greencroft Goshen Community Center. Registration may be done at the Goshen College Box Office (located in the lobby of the Music Center), 1700 S. Main St., Goshen. Registration may also be made by phone and paid by credit card by calling (574) 535-7566.

Classes are held in Jennings Auditorium, Greencroft Goshen Community Center, unless otherwise noted.

Folk Art
Ervin Beck
Sept. 12, 14, 19, 21; 2:00-3:30
We will consider rival understandings of folk art, as illustrated by objects owned by local residents. Day 1: Ervin Beck, definitions and examples. Day 2: Rebecca Haarer, Shipshewana, commenting on quilts from Yellow Creek Mennonite Church in the “Inherited Quilts 3” exhibit, meeting in the Library Gallery at Goshen College. Day 3: trip to the Midwest Museum of American Art in Elkhart to view the exhibit “Outsider, Folk and Art of the Self-Taught.” Day 4: class members will bring folk art that they own for “show and tell,” relating their own items to the concerns of the class. Ervin Beck, coordinator, Professor Emeritus of English, has taught Folklore at Goshen College and published academic articles on local folk arts.

Selected ‘Neglected’ Old Testament Women
June Alliman Yoder
Sept. 25, 27 and Oct. 2, 4; 10:00-11:30
This class will encounter 11 women from the Old Testament. Many of the names we recognize, but we do not know much about them. We will look at each woman’s story as it appears in scripture, then focus on what we see and hear in each story and how that new understanding might influence how we live our lives. Our intention is to help resurrect, unbind, and breathe new life into these Old Testament women. Each student is encouraged to bring a Bible along—any version you like. June Alliman Yoder is Professor Emerita of Communication and Preaching and has also served as a guest preacher, public speaker, and storyteller.

Seeing the Forest and the Trees: Merry Lea
Marcus Stoltzfus
Oct. 3; 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (day trip) Meet at Greencroft Community Center south entrance
Get a first-hand look at the ecosystems and programs of Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College on this one-of-a-kind field trip! Visit sites used for collegiate programming as well as school audiences. See 5th graders participate in an exploration of a restored wetland. Following a catered lunch, participants will enjoy a driving tour, and visit portions of the Merry Lea property not typically open to the public. We will discuss ecosystem-level restoration projects, including land management efforts. Marcus Stoltzfus, Merry Lea’s Director of Environmental Education Outreach, is coordinating our day’s activities. This day trip has special pricing because it includes transportation and a catered lunch. It is limited to 25 participants.

Finding Jesus in Jail
Cory Martin
Oct. 9, 11, 16, 18; 2:00-3:30
Is the criminal justice system broken? Is the church? This class will explore a proper relationship between our criminal justice system and the church. In a place that incarcerates people at a higher rate than any other country, what obligation does the church have to these incarcerated men and women, and what obligation does it have in fighting to reform the “system”? Additionally, this class will discuss traditional jail/prison ministry models and how the Elkhart County Jail Ministry is rethinking ministry in general. Cory Martin, chaplain at Elkhart County Prison for four years, is a native of Elkhart County and a 2000 graduate of Bethel College in Mishawaka, Ind.

Immigration in the Age of America First
Richard R. Aguirre
Oct. 24, 26, 31, Nov. 2; 2:00-2:30
Through presentations and spirited conversation, we will examine immigration, one of the most complex and contentious issues facing the United States. Are we still called to welcome the stranger and help the least of these members of God’s family, or can a strong case be made to reduce immigration and build a wall on our southern border? Participants will hear from immigrants and other community members and will be invited to share their perspectives. Aguirre is the director of corporate and foundation relations at Goshen College, a former newspaper reporter who has researched and written about immigration for 40 years, founder of Elkhart County Helping Our People Everywhere, and co-recipient of the 2017 Liberty Bell Award.

Ecclesiastes, the Bible’s Self-Help Book
Richard A. Kauffman
Nov. 6, 8, 13, 15; 10:00-11:30
Some ancient rabbis argued that the book of Ecclesiastes shouldn’t be included in the Bible because it lacks references to key biblical themes. Martin Luther maintained Christians should read it everyday, because it debunks sentimental piety. There is no “all things work together for good” in this book. Considered part of the wisdom literature of the Old Testament, Ecclesiastes looks directly at the absurdities and complexities of life and death and doesn’t blink. What appears on the surface as doom and gloom can turn to delight and joy in living. While certainly a pre-Christian book, it is not an anti-Christian one. It should be on anyone’s list of best self-help books. Kauffman recently retired from Christian Century magazine where he served as book review editor, and has served as an instructor and pastor.

Behind the Scenes of the Festival of Carols
Mary Oyer
Nov. 27, 29, (Nov. 30 dress rehearsal), Dec. 4; 10:00-11:30
The Goshen College Annual Festival of Carols consists of wide range of Christmas music – ancient and modern, familiar and new. The directors of the college groups of musicians will introduce various aspects of the performances. On Thursday Nov. 30 we will have the privilege of attending the dress rehearsal in Sauder Hall. The final class session, Dec. 4, will consist of further Christmas music. Dr. Oyer is distinguished Professor Emeritus of music and fine arts at Goshen College.

Do Your Part, be Water Smart!
Jordan Beehler
Dec. 5, 7, 12, 14; 2:00-3:30
Come learn about the water resources of Elkhart County! We’ll understand more about our watershed by identifying our important water resources – the rivers, lakes, groundwater, and water conveyances of Elkhart County. Water connects all life, so we’ll look at how water moves through our watershed and how we interact with it. Finally, we’ll discuss concerns including pollution, drought, and flooding, and what we can do to conserve and protect our water resources. Jordan Beehler is from Wakarusa, Indiana, and currently is a Conservationist with the Elkhart County Soil and Water Conservation District. She has an MS in Crop and Soil Science from Michigan State University and a BS in Environmental Science with a minor in soil science from Oklahoma State University.