Throughout the year, with an open heart and an open mind, we are nourished and strengthened in our Christian journey through participation in a variety of formation and education opportunities. All are welcome!
Does it seem odd that there are actually “ways” to grow in following the Living God? As in any wisdom tradition, the New look to the Old for a sense of direction and guidance. The Apostle Paul talks about how we grow up in faith when he says in his first letter to the young church in Corinth that he could only feed them with milk, because they weren’t ready for solid food. (1 Corinthians 3:2) Do you see how we grow?! The church, even before it was established by Constantine, developed a process of catechesis…a way of teaching new followers of The Way how to grow in their faith. For as long as any of us can remember (and for centuries before any of us were born…really since the days of Constantine), this process was basically things to be memorized and recited. It has its limits. And recognizing its limits, the 21st century people are asking for something more.
Matters of Faith is the umbrella title for how we will use the time this program year between the two services to explore the various ways of growing up in our faith. Growing up in faith is something that we all do for our lifetime. We’re never “Grown.” Instead, the Living God uses our traditions and scripture and reason to draw us ever more into the depth, and height, and breadth of God—it is an infinite endeavor. I encourage you to notice what will be offered each week and come see what God has in store for you. The programs offered during this time will be suitable for people in 10th grade and up, unless otherwise indicate.
Matters of Faith—Keeping Sabbath Sundays at 9:15am
Gather with one another on the upper floor of North Hall to consider what it means to Keep Sabbath. Lay your previous knowledge aside or bring your spiritual baggage with you. In any case we’ll consider what it means to live as the human that you are in light of the abundant life that God has for you. This workshop will give you the opportunity to consider how God’s invitation to you to rest becomes an opportunity for God to restore you to your fullest potential. No materials required.
Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John- Lenten program for all ages, includes dinner
Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John is a six-week journey into deeper intimacy with God through praying with the words of John the Evangelist. This beautiful 60-page journal inspires meditation on a daily verse from John, encouraging participants to respond through words, images, or however the Spirit leads. Subscribe online to also receive a daily short video in which a monastic brother from the Society of Saint John the Evangelist shares comments on the daily Gospel verse, having a relationship with Jesus, and possibilities for further reflection. (from website: http://meetingjesusinjohn.org )
5:30- Potluck dinner
6-7- small group discussions; children’s activity provided; youth small group discussion group
7- worship through prayer and singing
Make this time of nurturing of and growing in faith part of your weekly routine
Every week, 12-15 participants meet for Biblical Studies in order to familiarize themselves with the various traditions and sources that contribute to the understanding of scripture. Four books have been read and discussed this year. Some of the books this group has read: Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas by Elaine Pagels; Paul and Jesus by James D. Tabor; No god by God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam by Reza Aslan.
This group was established in 2016 by the Decker Fund Committee for those over 60 years of age, per the bequest’s guidelines. In the nine months since its inception, seven written works were discussed relevant to this age with an average of 15 to 30 in attendance. Discussion books have included: The Gift of Years by Joan Chittister; The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion; Can’t we talk about something more pleasant by Roz Chast; What I Know Now by Ellyn Spragins; In the Slender Margin by Eve Joseph, A Man called Ove by Fredrik Backman, The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe.
The Mary Brewster Fund was established with the purpose of enhancing the personal and spiritual growth of women at St. Stephen’s parish. The fund organizes tours, speaking-engagements, and retreats. Events are held throughout the year to cultivate fellowship, aiding the spirituality of women parishioners and educating the parish regarding women’s experiences.
Many religions use prayer beads as a prayer tool for focus and memory. See the link below for how to use Anglican Prayer Beads.