The central formational experience for Episcopalians is our common worship. At Grace we value and encourage intergenerational participation in our traditional, liturgical, communal prayer. We “become” and we are “formed” as we pray. On Sunday mornings, young and old are present in the pews, at the altar, serving as acolytes, serving as greeters, singing in the choir, and serving as Lay Eucharistic Ministers. It is in worship that we learn the Scripture, prayers, hymns, and rituals of our tradition. In our common prayer, we are formed as a people of faith. Together we become the Body of Christ.
Throughout the year we explore a variety of themes and topics that pertain to living a life of faith as Episcopal Christians. We welcome guest speakers, read Scripture, watch videos, and reflect on events in the world and the happenings of Grace. The Forum schedule is included here and is added to as we move through the year.
“Embracing the Prophets in Contemporary Culture,” with Walter Brueggemann
Sundays, March 10 through April 14
Via this DVD series and group study, Old Testament scholar and theologian, Walter Brueggemann, will guide us through the poetic prophecy of the Hebrew Scripture, identifying cultural contexts, putting a framework to Israel’s history, and, most significantly drawing connections between Israel’s sociological, economic and spiritual status and that of America today.
“In the Shelter: Finding a Home in the World,” by Pádraig Ó Tuama
Tuesdays, March 12 through April 9
7:00-8:15pm in the Forum Room
Pádraig Ó Tuama’s is a poet and theologian whose work centers around themes of language, religion, conflict, and art. Rev. Jen will lead a Lenten discussion on his book, “In the Shelter.” We’ll also weave in videos of Ó Tuama, prayers from the Corymeela Community in Belfast, and our own reflections.
In this book, Ó Tuama applies ideas of shelter and welcome to journeys of life, using poetry, story, biblical reflection, and prose to open up gentle ways of living well in a troubled world. One reviewer says that this book, “is infused with bruised, loving and confused humanity. For believers it is infused with a bruised, loving God. This is not an easy, cosy read. It is challenging, erudite, poetic… It is a book to be kept at one’s bedside for those dark nights of the soul when sleep evades, for though it may not be cozy, it offers us ways of standing still in the moment, and it offers the courage needed not to run from fear.”
An (approximately) monthly offering through which all Grace members and friends are invited to share in a common read and come together for learning and conversation. Open to all.
Upcoming meetings & reads:
On the Brink of Everything, by Parker Palmer
Wednesday, March 6, 1:00 pm in The Forum Room
Come join our discussion with questions and wisdom, as we discuss Parker J. Palmer’s tenth book, perhaps his wisest. Light refreshments will be served! Quoting from the publisher: “…this book from a great mentor is a guide for not merely surviving a fractured world, but embodying the fiercely honest and gracious wholeness that is ours to claim at every stage of life.” The book is not for elders only. It was written to encourage adults of all ages to explore the way their lives are unfolding. The book is meditative in prose and poetry, turning the prism on the meaning(s) of one’s life, refracting new light at every turn.The book is available for members and friends of Grace with a donation if able –check out the display in The Common soon!
Pints and Perspectives (First Mondays, 5:30-7:00pm at Big Lake Brewing):An offering of our Church Family and Fellowship Hub, Grace folks and friends are invited to gather at Big Lake Brewing on the first Monday of every month for food, drinks and conversation on a shared topic. Topic and basic format will be provided.
St Mary’s Guild (Second Mondays, 7:15-8:45pm):A women’s group that comes together monthly for shared fellowship and often a guest speaker. Open to all women. Guest speakers are publicized and open to all.
Men’s Bible Study (Every other Monday, 4:15-5:15pm):This group reads through a book of Scripture at a time sharing questions, insights and reflections. Brinks snacks and drinks of choice. Open to all men. Specific dates are available in the Sunday bulletin, Grace newsletter, and Grace google calendar.
Pop-Ups: What are you exploring or reading that you’d like to sit with others to talk about or wrestle with? Let us know and we’ll help you “Pop-Up” the offer of a one-time or short-term conversation around a topic, book, issue, podcast… of interest.
Education for Ministry (aka “EFM”) (Weekly on Tuesdays 6:00-8:00pm):A four-year program out of the Seminary of the South that explores personal spirituality, Scripture, Theology and Church History in a small group setting. Registration is open every summer.
EFM’s “5th Year” (Monthly on third Tuesdays): Graduates of EFM continue their learning by sharing good reads and other sources and using the EFM model of theological reflection. Open to all EFM grads.
This Episcopal Life (about once a year and by request): It’s a class for newcomers to the Episcopal tradition and for old timers or middle timers too, ages 16 years and up. It’s for those who just want to know more and for those seeking Confirmation or Reception into the Episcopal Church. We learn about the history, liturgy, polity (what’s that?), and place of Scripture in the Episcopal Church. We explore The Book of Common Prayer, read Your Faith, Your Life: An Invitation to the Episcopal Church, and talk together and online about what we think, what we wonder, what we know and what we don’t know. This class will be that safe place where you can ask your burning questions such as: “What exactly is ‘The Eucharist’?” “How can I become a member here?” “Why do people cross themselves?” “How are we different from other denominations?” and “What is an undercroft, anyway?” At the end of the class, participants will have the opportunity to be formally Received or Confirmed in the Church (sacramental rites which will be explained at our first meeting.) Email Rev. Jen,or the Church Office at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested.