when and where
September 22, 2021 | 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Are you interested in deepening your Christian faith? Are you curious about the particular beliefs and practices that make up the Episcopal path? Do you have questions about God, faith, church, the Bible, or the sacraments? If yes, register NOW for our ten-week formation class which begins on Wednesday, September 15th at 7:00pm on the St. Mark’s campus. In our once-a-week gatherings led by an exciting line-up of teachers, we’ll take a deep dive into Episcopal tradition, theology, sacraments, and beliefs. This class is open to ALL adults who want to deepen and discuss their faith. It is also a required class for anyone interested in Baptism, Confirmation, Reaffirmation, or Reception.
To register (or to ask questions about the class) please email Debie Thomas, our Minister for Lifelong Formation, at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for registration is September 8th, 2021.
Here is an outline of the rich and thought-provoking material we’ll learn and discuss:
Session One: Sept 15, 2021
The Gifts of the Anglican Tradition: An Introduction
What is distinctive about the Episcopalian way of following Jesus? What is unique about our identity, our temperament, our spirituality? What streams of Christian history and heritage flow into Episcopalianism? This class session will lay the foundation for the rest of the course.
Session Two: Sept 22, 2021
A Sacramental Universe
This session will explore our belief in a cosmos that is created by a God who called it good. How might all of physical reality (nature, time, the seasons, art, music, literature, science, philosophy) serve as vehicles of grace and doors to the holy?
Session Three: Sept 29, 2021
The Good News: What is It, and Why is It Good For Us and for Everyone?
This session will explore the meaning of gospel — the good news of salvation– as Episcopalians understand it. What do we believe about sin, grace, forgiveness, love, and new life? Why is the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus central for us? What do we affirm about death, eternity, and the communion of saints?
Session Four: Oct 6, 2021
In this session, we’ll look at the Bible from an Episcopalian perspective. In what sense is the Bible “God’s Word,” and what is its relationship to tradition and reason? What authority does the book carry, and why?
Session Five: Oct 13, 2021
This session will take a deep dive into the theology and significance of baptism. Why is this sacrament so important to Episcopalians? What do we believe is happening when someone enters the water and receives baptism, “in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit?”
Session Six: Oct 20, 2021
This session will look closely at the theology and the real-world implications of the Eucharist. Why is this sacrament so important in our tradition? What do we believe happens when we gather around the table, and partake of the bread and the wine? How does God make God’s self known to us at the table?
Session Seven: Oct 27, 2021
In this session, we’ll look at prayer as the foundation of Episcopalian identity and practice, and explore some specific prayer practices, such as centering prayer, walking prayer, and praying with icons or rosaries. What is prayer? Why do we find it challenging, and how might we respond faithfully to those challenges?
Session Eight: Nov 3, 2021
Believing in Community: Traditions and Futures
This session will explore what Episcopalians mean by “the church.” What does it mean that the church is “the body of Christ?” Is churchgoing optional for Christians? How can the beloved community help us to resist our culture’s individualism, and embrace a shared life?
Session Nine: Nov 10, 2021
Where the Church Meets the World: Our Approach to Love and Justice
This session will look at the Episcopal approach to social justice. Why is the pursuit of justice important to us? How are we called to live out our faith in a world rife with brokenness, inequality, corruption, and suffering? How is following Jesus in the way of justice different from just being “a good progressive person?”
Session Ten: Nov 17, 2021
Bringing It Home: Sharing Our Stories
In this final session of the course, we will return to the gifts of the Episcopal path, and share our unique stories of faith, hope, and spiritual discovery with each other.