Adventures In Learning – Spring 2017



Welcome! Adventures in Learning (AIL) is an intellectually stimulating experience in an atmosphere of friendship. If you are new to the program, we warmly welcome you and appreciate your interest.




  • Sharon Presbyterian Church, 5201 Sharon Road, Charlotte, NC 28210
    (located near the intersection of Sharon & Fairview Rd, close to SouthPark. The church is directly across the street from Sharon Towers.
  • Look for the signs directing you to the campus entrance, parking area, and to the Chapel for AIL programs and classes.

How to Register:

  • Print and complete the registration form and mail it with your check to The Shepherd’s Center, 3115 Providence Rd., Charlotte, NC 28211 by Wednesday, March 29, 2017.
  • Make checks payable to The Shepherd’s Center of Charlotte.
  • After March 29,  you may hand-deliver your registration and check to Shepherd’s Center (by March 31 at 1:00 p.m.) or register on the first day of class (April 3).
  • Advance registration preferred. Access the registration page here.


  • Arrive any time after 9:30 to pick up your name tag and enjoy fellowship with others.
  • Check at the registration table for the class list with room assignments and their locations.
  • Classes begin at 10:00 a.m. and end at 2:20 pm.


  • If a class on a particular day is cancelled we invite you to visit another class for that day.
  • In the event of cancellation of an entire morning of classes due to weather conditions, we will try to make up that morning on the Monday following the last regularly scheduled Monday, provided that space is available at the church.
  • No refunds are available.


  • Lunch is available through Encore Catering, at at cost of $8.50 per person, per week.
  • You can sign up and pay for lunches week-to-week, or prepay for all 6 lunches for a total cost of $51.00. Complete the lunch information on the AIL Registration Form and include the appropriate amount in your payment.
  • A limited number of lunches will be available for sale each Monday.
  • You are welcome to bring your own lunch. There are no refrigerators or microwaves available for your use.


The Shepherd’s Center gratefully acknowledges the generous support of businesses in our community.

Adventures in Learning Program Guide

Mondays, April 3 – May 15

General Session (10:00 – 11:00 a.m.)

“Best of the Best – A Walk Down Memory Lane”

April 3: John Falkenbury, President and COO of the North Carolina USO shared his story with us in the Winter of 2015 during the Made in America series.  We are delighted to revisit the USO Made in America program. The USO of North Carolina provides over 567,131 services to Active Duty, National Guard, Reserve service members, military retirees, service members in transition, and their families. The Charlotte Airport hosts a center providing support for those who have served and/or continue to serve.

April 10:  Paul Nitsch, Tanja Bechtler and Peter De Vries joined us in the Winter of 2016 for the Musical Adventures series. It was an outstanding general session!  We are honored to welcome back the Bechtler Ensemble to share another fascinating, international concert, featuring various musical selections from Piazzolla (Argentina) to Bach  (Germany).

April 24The Birds and the Bees series was a popular general session in the Spring of 2016 when we welcomed Marvin Bouknight, Discovery Place Nature Director and Naturalist to be one of our guests.  We are pleased that he agreed to share his expertise with us again.  This presentation will feature North Carolina’s Wonderful Wildlife. North Carolina plays host to a dizzying variety of flora and fauna throughout  the state. In the western part of the state, there is an amazing diversity of habitats that are homes to many animals, including insects, birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals and more. This will be a fun and interesting look at the beauty and diversity of North Carolina’s wonderful wildlife.

May 1: During the Exploring series in the Fall of 2013 Rebecca Cook-Carter, Director of the CPCC Opera Theater, blessed us with her amazing voice and the history of the CPCC opera program. Rebecca’s leadership and creativity in producing and directing a full stage operatic production each semester has been an inspiration to students and faculty alike. Noted for her dedication and professional approach to music and vocal performance, she is an excellent role model for students and aspiring artists. Welcome back, Rebecca Cook-Carter!

May 8: We’ve Got Personality was the General Session theme for the Spring of 2014, and we were excited to have Riley Fields, Director of Community Relations for the Carolina Panthers join us. His presentation took us beyond the usual team and facility talk and provided a presentation filled with so much spirit and heart. Made us proud to be Panthers fans! He continues his mission, now in his 15th season, to develop programs and partnerships that address the special needs of communities throughout the Carolinas. We are ready to cheer you on, Riley, and thank you for the good work you do!

May 15: Going way back to the Fall of 2011, the series Stop, Look, and Listen was extra special when our own Dr. Bill Logan, retired dermatologist, provided a fun, humorous and informative presentation titled  “An Owner’s Manual for your Skin: Do’s, Don’ts…(and Can’ts). We have all done some aging over the years, so he’s back to present an overview of skin changes related to the passage of time, concentrating on cause and cure. We will look at some familiar changes in a new light—under the microscope. It’s always a pleasure to learn from Dr. Bill Logan!

Morning Classes—11:20 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.

Bridge — This class teaches you to play the game. If you want to learn, sharpen your skills, and have fun, this class is for you!
Instructor: Paul Mitchell

Aerobics and Beyond – Get ready for this age appropriate interval training class. This class will cover all the important aspects of healthy aging. Begin with heart-pumping cardio, strength training, stretching and a relaxation segment at the end of the class that you don’t want to miss. Class is limited to 16 students. Instructor: Maryann Carbott

Backyards Alive! — Nancy DeVries returns to teach us how to make our yards come alive this spring. A variety of topics will be covered including making your yard bird-friendly to growing your own food. Instructor: Nancy DeVries

Current Events Discussion of Domestic and World Issues —Newsworthy articles will be presented for a reference point. From there the class is encouraged to express their own viewpoints for discussion. Our instructor will moderate in a fair and equitable manner.  Instructor: Richard Solar

Gem and Mineral Treasures — Gold, Rubies, Diamonds, Emeralds have been treasured for all of human history. But what about the other 4000 minerals? There are dozens more that are equal or superior in beauty. We will explore the amazing world of crystals and the near miracle of their formation from the most basic compounds. We will learn to appreciate the subtleties and how to evaluate specimens. (Lots and lots of gorgeous pictures!) Instructor: Dr. Bill Logan

Islam The strife in the Middle East, the threat of terrorism in Europe and the United States, the efforts of our government to “make Americans safe” are issues important to all of us. Is the root cause the religion of Islam, or isn’t it?  Islam is a religion with well over a billion adherents worldwide—second only to Christianity. We will explore the history and development of this important religion. Instructor: Dr. Luther Wade

Afternoon Classes—1:20 p.m. to 2:20 p.m.

Bridge – It’s time to practice your skills while we play Bridge! All skill levels are welcome and encouraged to participate.
Instructor: Paul Mitchell

Celebrating Jean Tinguely Join the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in exploring the life and works of Jean Tinguely! Fascinated by movement and art as a child in Switzerland, Tinguely created his first kinetic art piece at twelve, and eventually established himself as a pioneer of kinetic art. We will discover the wonders of kinetic art and examine some of Tinguely’s most famous pieces and collaborations. There will be a virtual tour of the Bechtler’s Tinguely exhibit during the session. Instructor: Laura Allison

Finding God and Humanity in J. S. Bach’s St. John  Passion Learn about the 18th century Lutheran theology that underpinned Bach’s musical portrayal of Christ’s last hours as told in the Gospel of John. Discover the intricate and subtle musical tools that Bach employs to produce one of the most compelling, intense and profound pieces of music ever penned. [Participants may attend performances of the St. John Passion before attending this study. Semi-staged performance 4/1 at 7:30 p.m. at Sharon Presbyterian Church $10 OR St. Ann’s Catholic Church concert performance 4/2 at 4 p.m $12] Instructors: David Tang and Merwyn Johnson

Jewelry Take your old jewelry and make it new or create a brand new piece. Bring old beads or jewelry to the first class, or use new items, which can be purchased from any of the local craft stores. No experience necessary! Instructor: Cris Osborne

Sir David Brewster and the Kaleidoscope Back by popular demand! Harvey will provide insight on Sir David Brewster, a Scottish scientist, and his invention of the kaleidoscope in 1816. You will create two kaleidoscopes (1 adult & 1 child. If time permits a third scope will be added. Cost for the course is $35. This covers all the materials for the course. You will pay Harvey on the first day of class. Class is limited to 15 students.  Instructor: Harvey Cohen

Short Stories Join the discussion of a wide variety of short story genres. Journey through life with a great short story. Copies of the stories will be provided each week.  Instructor: Roy Colquitt


Thanks to all our Volunteer Instructors!

 Posted by at 11:58 AM