In these early months of 2020, I am offering many ways for you and I to support each other in our personal faith development.
It is vitally important that each of us find what works for us if we are to be active disciples of Jesus Christ in the world today. Part of my role as the rector of this parish is to help members explore/renew a life of prayer that supports their work in the world.
My reason for offering these opportunities for prayer and building of relationships is that it is easy to lose our focus and the reason we are a parish. What better year than 2020 to try to see more clearly with 20-20 vision.
It is far too easy today to be tempted to get so busy that we forget to care for our interior lives which yearn to be closer to God. Each one of us is called to find that balance between contemplation and action. That said, I plan to offer the following to the members of SsAM beginning in early 2020.
Continuing Tuesday, March 3 — One-on-one conversations with Fr. David — Afternoon of March 3 by appointment only.
Continuing Saturday, March 7, 10-11:30 a.m. — Faith Formation for Youth. These sessions occur on Saturday mornings, March 7, April 4, May 16 and June 6 from 10:00 to 11:30 in the morning. The curriculum we will be using is Faith Confirmed by Peter Jackson and Chris Wright. Please contact the church if you or or a youth 7th grade and older want to attend. We will order the book from the office. In our journey through life, we often face big questions: What is the meaning of life? Who is God? Why do people die and what happens after death? Throughout the ages, Christians have turned to the Bible and to the Church for answers. Faith Confirmed is an introduction to Episcopal beliefs and practices and is a perfect primer for those preparing for confirmation in the Episcopal Church and for all those who want to know more about the essentials of the faith.
Continuing Saturday, March 28, 9:00 to Noon — Saturday Quiet Mornings — Quiet mornings focus on the season we are currently observing on Sunday mornings. Each quiet morning will follow this pattern: 9:00: We will gather for morning prayer; 9:30: The first meditation offered by Fr. David; 9:45-10:15: a time for personal reflection and prayer on your own (bring a journal to write your thoughts and prayers); 10:20: The second meditation offered by Fr. David; 10:35-11:05: a time for personal reflection and prayer; 11:05-11:15: 10 minute break; 11:15-11:45: Group sharing and feedback; 11:45-12:00: Noonday prayer and departure. If you are in the habit of journaling, please bring your journal. No requirements except to bring and open heart and mind to receive God’s word to you in the silence of the morning. Please contact the church if you are interested in attending. Currently, quiet mornings are scheduled for March 28 and April 25, 2020.
Beginning Saturday, February 29 — Adult Confirmation and Newcomer Classes. Fr. David will be offering sessions introducing the Episcopal Church to anyone interested in being confirmed or simple wanting to learn more about the Episcopal Church. These sessions will also be on Saturday mornings beginning February 29 and will meet again on March 21, May 2, May 23 and June 13 from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. The text we will use for these sessions is Welcome to the Episcopal Church by the Rev. Christopher Webber. If you wish to join us for these sessions, please email me and we will order a copy of the book for you. Welcome to the Episcopal Church is the perfect book for inquirers and new members, as well as current Church members who may be unfamiliar with some of the Church’s history, beliefs, and practices. This new introduction to the history, polity, spirituality, worship, and outreach of the Episcopal Church is written in an easy-to-read conversational tone, and includes study questions at the end of each chapter, making it an excellent resource for adult parish study and inquirers’ classes. Please contact the church if you are interested in attending these sessions and we will order the book from the office.
Beginning Tuesday, March 10, 6–7:30 p.m. Our Lenten program will dig deeply into The Book of Common Prayer. We will use as our text the book Inwardly Digest: The Prayer Book As Guide To A Spiritual Life by Derek Olsen. These sessions will begin on Tuesday evening, March 10 and will continue on March 24, March 31 and April 7. These sessions will be a wonderful refresher for life-long Episcopalians as well as an introduction to the worship of the Episcopal Church. Please contact the church to order a book and to let us know you would like to participate. The Book of Common Prayer is a gem and contains all things we need to worship in the rich Episcopal Church tradition that dates back to the English Reformation of the 1500’s. Many Episcopalians are only familiar with the Eucharistic liturgies (Rite I and II) and have not explored many of the other liturgies that may be found in this primary text of our faith.