The Purpose of Sunday School Communities
The purpose of Briarwood’s Sunday School Community Ministry is to teach consistently the whole counsel of God in the context of our congregational communities; to encourage the fellowship of believers, and to build disciples by equipping Christians to make an impact for Jesus Christ, beginning in the home and church and moving to Birmingham and beyond.

Let us help you find the right Sunday School Community for you! Call us at 205-776-5208 or drop by the Membership Office across from the Church Receptionist.

Interested in Learning More About Briarwood?
Click here to read about Briarwood’s Inquirers Class, or call 205.776.5208.

Sunday School Classes Information
The Winter quarter is December 3, 2023 – February 25, 2024. For class information, read below.

 


COLLEGE / SINGLES / YOUNG COUPLES


College Community

“Reading Scripture Along the Grain” • Room: W-202
College-age • We all approach the Bible with our own ideas about what the Bible is, which shape the way we read it, which shapes our understanding of ourselves, the world, and God. Most of our ideas about Scripture are shaped by good intentions, but do they reflect what the Bible has to say about itself? This quarter we’ll reshape the way we see the Bible and learn how to read Scripture along the grain of its own design. Teacher: Chad Escue. Team Leaders: Browns, Caroline Carlisle. CP: Mark Purser. SP: Benny Parks

Graduates and Career (G&C)

“The Incomprehensible God” • M-202
A community for graduates to early 30s • Calvin famously opens his Institutes by saying that nearly all wisdom consists in two parts: the knowledge of God and the knowledge of ourselves. But these are not equal, and he continues to point out that we can never achieve a true knowledge of ourselves without having first looked upon God’s face. The Doctrine of God, or “theology proper” is the most basic doctrine we can study, and as Prov. 1:7 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Join us this spring as we examine God’s self-revelation of who He is and what He has purposed to do! Teacher: Saeyoung Park. Team Leaders: Gathings, Gewins, & Haynes. CP: Saeyoung Park. SP: Benny Parks.

Branches 

“Loving and Valuing the Church” • A-201
A community of singles & couples • Our focus this spring will be on why we should love and value the church. We’ll hear from a variety of Briarwood staff and members (including Stephen King, Cindy Reeder, and Dan Doriani) about important aspects of a healthy church, what authentic worship looks like, and why we’re Presbyterian. We’ll also hear some class testimonies and find out ways we can be more involved in the life of Briarwood. Teacher: Various. Team Leaders: Barrs, Galbreath, Fisher, Kalehoffs, Moore, Murphy, Prinz, Weaver. CP & SP: Stephen King.

In One Accord

“Meditations on Revelation” • M-210
A community for 40s and up • This study is more of a devotional application rather than “charting and interpretation”. It tends to put the Book in its intended light and encourage believers to stand firm when the going gets tough. Teacher: Jay Mathews. Team Leader: Lance Garrison. CP: Chris Thompson. SP: Benny Parks.

 


THE ENTIRE FAMILY


Family Life 

“Knowing God” • W-203
A class for the entire family • For over fifty years, J.I. Packer’s Knowing God has, to quote Elisabeth Elliot, “plainly shown us ordinary folks what it means to know God.” Though it is impossible to cover entirely in one quarter, we will use significant portions of this Christian classic to study what God’s Word reveals about who God is and how we can come to know Him, “whom to know is life eternal.” Teacher: Mark Travers. Team Leaders: Belyeus, Maces. CP & SP: Dave Matthews

 


YOUNG COUPLES AND NEW FAMILIES


The Oaks 

“Colossians” • M-111
Engaged and young married couples • How the preeminence of Christ impacts everything about us. Teacher: Max Bunn. Team Leaders: Delks, Hersheys, Moores, Russells. CP & SP: Stephen King.

Legacy

“Hebrews” • E-004
Young married couples with infants to elementary-age children • The book of Hebrews was written to encourage first century Christians to keep their faith in Jesus while under great persecution. Hebrews reminds them that Jesus is crowned with glory and honor as their great Prophet, Priest and King. Join us as we consider the greatness of our Savior and seek to love Him and serve Him. Teacher: Eric Reebals. Team Leaders: Bardins, Godwins, Heards, Hodges, Iveys, Travers. CP & SP: Stephen King.

 


YOUNG FAMILIES


Encounter 

“James” • E-006
Young couples with infants to middle school-age children • This quarter we will be studying the book of James with a particular emphasis on the fruit that is produced by our faith. James will teach us that true faith produces steadiness, holiness, and dependence on the Lord. Teacher: Stephen King. Team Leaders: Carlisles, Crawfords, Sasses, Welches. CP: Olan Stubbs. SP: Stephen King.

Covenant Keepers 

“Real Change: How God Transforms Us by His Grace” • E-008
Families with infants to middle school-age children • Every honest Christian knows his or her need for change. But how do we get there? We believe that Scripture reveals God’s penetrating diagnosis of the human condition and his equally penetrating cure in Jesus. But we often struggle to connect the riches of Christ to the realities of life in ways that truly transform us-right here, right now, right where life actually happens. This series will introduce you to a biblical model of change and will invite you to apply it in practical ways throughout your week. Teacher: Greg Norfleet. Team Leaders: Josh Calhoun, Cawoods, Abby Leib, McGregors, Moores. CP: Ryan Leib. SP: Benny Youngblood.

 


STUDENT FAMILIES


Growing in Grace

“James” • E-005
Families with preschool to high school-age children • Often referred to as the New Testament “Book of Wisdom,” the book of James can be encouraging and convicting, difficult to understand and immediate in application. Martin Luther himself, struggled with its precepts from time to time. How are we to understand the book of James and what does it tell us about grace, salvation, and the Christian life? These and more questions will be answered as we seek to live out genuine lives of faith, facing trials with steady endurance, showing mercy and compassion as “doers of the Word and not hearers only.” Teacher: Ike Reeder. Team Leaders: Bakers, Duffeys, Marshalls, Martins. CP: Eric Reebals. SP: Benny Youngblood.

Sojourners 

“Sermon on the Mount” • E-007
Families with preschool to high school-age children • Kingdom Life in a Fallen World. As often referred to in the reformed faith, we live between the “already” and the “not yet” of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom is the sovereign rule and reign of God. The Kingdom is “already”, meaning it is here now. Jesus said in Matt. 4:17, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” Still, the Kingdom is “not yet”, meaning it’s not fully consummated until Jesus returns to set everything right. Sinclair Ferguson says this about the Sermon on the Mount, “It is not a sermon about an ideal life in an ideal world, but about the kingdom life in a fallen world.” Join us as we study and apply kingdom life in a fallen world. Teacher: Michael Wichlan. Team Leaders: Blacks, Cains, McCurdys, Morrises, Stewarts, Tidmores. CP & SP: Benny Youngblood.

Heritage Builders

“Romans 1-9” • FH-B
Families with preschool to high school-age children • We will be studying the main doctrinal points that Paul makes in these nine chapters. Teacher: : Larkin Delk. Team Leaders: Bartons, Bragans, Duffeys, Joneses, Lotts. CP & SP: Dave Matthews

Kingdom Seekers

“Intentional Discipling”• E-003
Families with preschool to high school-age children • This study is designed to give biblical training and practical steps to obey the Great Commission and how to grow as a disciple who makes disciples. Teacher: Rob Genin. Team Leaders: Carters, Chappells, Greenes, Ricky Moore, Steven Peters, Russ Ponder, Steelmans. CP: Rob Genin. SP: Michael Wichlan.

Growing Together 

“Colossians” • G-103
Families with preschool to high school-age children • This quarter we will commence Part 2 of a dive into Paul’s profound proclamation of the supremacy, Christ above all things and the sufficiency of Christ in both grounding and empowering us to live every day as who we really are in Christ: “God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved” (Col. 3:16).  Teacher: Rob Looper. Team Leaders: Blacks, Denards, Ellers, Iveys, Worrells. CP: Rob Looper. SP: Michael Wichlan. 

Next Step 

“12 Ordinary Men” • E-010
Families with children in high school or older • A study of 12 ordinary men who transition from being disciples to apostles: resulting in turning the world upside down. Teacher: Jim Carlson. Team Leaders: Glenn Green, Chuck Powell, Mark Thompson. CP: Benny Parks. SP: Michael Wichlan.

Inside Out 

“Elijah” • FH-C
Families with children in high school or older • Serving Christ in a Contrary Culture. From the book of I Kings, we will learn how God uses His prophet Elijah to point us toward His provision in Christ for living in a very contrary culture. Teachers: Dave Matthews & David Wells. Team Leaders: David Harris, Mike Mungenast, Tripp Reid, Scott Summers. CP & SP: Michael Wichlan.

REAL Matters

“Timeless Truths from God’s Word” • S201
Families with children in high school or older • This quarter we will study timeless truths from God’s Word. Teacher: Norris Anderson. Team Leaders: Hursts, Keffers, Scotts, Warlicks. CP & SP: Dave Matthews.

Hearts and Homes 

“II Samuel” • A-204
Families with children in college or older •  This quarter we continue the study of Samuel, this time with the focus on David as the king who was a man after God’s own heart. This book is a summary of a dysfunctional family, brought on by sin. David had a number of struggles, and demonstrated repentance, which are instructive to the Church today. Teacher: Bobby Parks. Team Leaders: Salmons, Sittons, Smedleys, Smithermans. CP: Bobby Parks. SP: Michael Wichlan.

Discovery 

 “James” • FH-A
A class for all ages and stages in life • We will study together the book of James with a desire to be doers of the Word and not hearers only as we strive with the Holy Spirit to bear fruit of our Faith for His Glory. Teacher: Bruce Stallings. Team Leaders: Donaldsons, Mooneys, Towneses. CP: Jim Alexander. SP: Benny Youngblood.

Mountain View 

“The Abiding Importance of the Gospel to Christians” • A-209
A class for all ages and stages in life • In my heart reigns this one article, faith in my dear Lord Christ, the beginning, middle and end of whatever spiritual and divine thoughts I may have, whether by day or by night. Martin Luther 1538.  Teacher: Dave Lewis. Team Leaders: Adamses, Blackmons, Goebels, Lindsays. CP & SP: Dave Lewis.

 


ADULT FAMILIES


Abundant Life 

“Timeless Truths from God’s Word” • G-101
Empty nesters and grandparents • This quarter we will study timeless truths from God’s Word. Teacher: Todd Carlisle, Chase Crawford, Thomas Garner. Team Leaders: Cartwrights, Mullises, Yanceys. CP & SP: Dave Lewis.

Deeper Life

“O, How I Love Your Law” • Chapel
Empty nesters and grandparents • It has been said that “Two things are required for the reformation of the church and the transformation of our society. First, the gospel, and second, a recovery of the greatness of God’s law.” This is a study of the “greatness of God’s law,” from Exodus 20 and its proper place in the life of the believer. Teachers: Benny Parks & Christopher Frost. Team Leaders: Marjorie Birdsong, Al Black, Blacks, Craigs, Bill Fox, Joyce Ann Jackson, Rick Lathem, Lee McCarty, Bill Moulton, Pat Nabors, Bill Rudd, Barbara Ryals, Greg Wolchok, Charles Woodall. CP: Chuck Morgan. SP: Dave Matthews.

Homestead

“A Long Walk With a Good God” • FH-E&F
Empty nesters through great-grandparents • Young Christians need good models for a lifetime of Christian service. Older believers need to reflect on God’s goodness and share their experiences with others. The authors of Psalms 71-80 emphasize how God has helped them through life’s many ups and downs. They stress how we can appreciate and mirror God’s faithfulness. Join us as we keep learning to walk with God in new seasons of life. Teacher: Paul House. Team Leaders: Dickinsons, Huffs, Whaleys, CP & SP: Dave Lewis.

Joyful Hearts

“The Attributes of God” • A-105
Empty nesters through great-grandparents • The fundamental principles that we hold tightly to as we navigate through these challenging times. Walking with a passion to make Christ known, not only by our words, but our lives. Teacher: Glenn Draper. Team Leaders: Shaws. CP & SP: Dave Matthews.

Kingdom Builders 

“The Kings of Israel and Judah” • FH-D
Empty nesters and grandparents • This quarter we will be studying the kings of Israel and Judah in the time of the divided kingdom. Teacher: Rick Neel. Team Leaders: McRaes, Zachows. SP & CP: Dave Lewis.

 


WOMEN


Women Impacting The World

“Culture Wars” • A-205
Women of all walks and stages of life • To help Christians adequately defend the faith in an environment that is increasingly resistant to true faith, it is necessary to understand the intellectual roots that have led to the modern culture wars. This class aims to explore those roots that have even led many churches away from Christianity. Teacher: Paul Cleveland. Team Leaders: Donna Arrington, Tricia Corbett, Vicki Portis, Helen Pruet. CP & SP: Dave Lewis.

Faithful Followers 

“The Church in Revelation”• Bride’s Room
Women of all walks and stages of life Jesus’ message to the Church at Pergamum. The church today faces threats from without and within. Perhaps the threats from within the church are the most insidious. False teaching and false teachers can slowly creep in and undermine the authority of Scripture. Worldliness and identification with the culture will sap the church of its being salt and light. The church in Pergamum had commendable strengths, but it was in danger of the world’s influences. What is worldliness? How do we combat worldliness in our own lives and in our churches? How do we discern false teaching? Let’s take a look at what Jesus says not only to the church in Pergamum but also to the church today. Teacher: Vicki Portis. Team Leaders: Kathleen Bishop, Carolyn Campbell, Susan McCollum. CP: Chris Thompson. SP: Dave Matthews.

 


INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY


International Community 

“My Favorite Verses” 9:30–10:30 a.m. • E-218, School Library
English-speaking internationals • We will have various teachers sharing their favorite verses and how the Lord has used them to impact their lives. Teacher: Joel Richards. Team Leaders: Kelsos, Ann Lindsey, David Morgan, Neills, Miriam Rueger. CP: Joel Richards. SP: Bryan Wintersteen.

Japanese Worship Service

Sundays, 1:30 p.m., G-101 & Zoom
CP: Pastor Kotaro Hamamatsu 205.776.5412

Korean Worship Service

Sundays at 11:20 a.m., 2209 Rocky Ridge Rd.
CP: Sunghoon Shin

Hispanic Community and Worship Service

10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
5521 Double Oak Lane (off Highway 119), and Streaming
CP: Bryan Wintersteen

 


ABBREVIATIONS USED


CP: Community Pastor
Serves alongside a Shepherding Team to provide shepherding care, class leadership, and biblical training for a Sunday School Community.

SP: Shepherding Pastor
Serves as a Community Pastor in one or more Sunday School Communities. Coordinates the work of other CP’s within his group of Communities. 

Building:
A: Administration
C: Children’s Wing
E: Educational Building
FH: Fellowship Hall
G: Gym Wing
Mtn. View: Mountain View Building
M: Ministry Wing
N: Nursery Wing
S: School Wing
W: Worship Center