Adult Formation Journal: April 11, 2018

By Randolph Charles

BECOMING EASTER PEOPLE

During the season of Easter, the Sunday and Tuesday learning groups will be learning more about The Acts of the Apostles and the Early Church and will be “easing into contemplative prayer.” We will be focusing on the ways that the first believers experienced the risen Christ and formed church, and we will practice contemplative prayer as a way for us to access that same spiritual excitement of those early Christians.

The only required readings are from the book in the Bible called “The Acts of the Apostles”; however, there are two optional books which I recommend and will be using.

Conversations with Scripture: The Acts of the Apostles, by C. K. Robertson

“The Acts of the Apostles is a bridge between the four gospels and Paul’s epistles, revealing the missionary roots of the Christian story. Here we follow Jesus’ first disciples from their call to be witnesses ‘to the ends of the earth,’ through their initial days of harmony and numerical success, to the challenges they faced as God’s mission imperative unfolded. We discover the leadership changes that resulted from these challenges and the emergence of Paul, the champion who, against all odds, became the church’s chief interpreter to the world of his time.”

Armchair Mystic: Easing into Contemplative Prayer, by Mark E. Thibodeaux, S.J.

“This user-friendly book blends theory and practice, gently and concretely taking the reader through the first steps of contemplative prayer. Armchair Mystic begins with the necessary details of time and place to pray, then presents the maturation of the prayer life in four stages. Step-by-step exercises throughout the book provide concrete examples of how to use the concepts discussed. Armchair Mystic will prove invaluable to individuals and small groups who are new to contemplative prayer.”

Click here for the course syllabus.

To sign up for this course, you can email me at randolph@saintjameswarrenton.org or put your name on the registration sheet on the parish house bulletin board. You can also let me know if you want one or both of the books. They each cost $10.

Syllabus: Becoming Easter People

Adult Formation at Saint James’

Adult formation is learning about the faith and being formed by the triune God through the following:

  1. study of religious sources [Bible, Prayer Book, tradition, etc.]
  2. prayer [contemplation, lectio divina, centering prayer, examen, etc.]
  3. meaningful conversation [honest, open, focused, non-judgmental, shared, helpful, respectful, etc.]
  4. participation in the life of a faith community [learning groups, St. James’, The Episcopal Church, etc.]

Learning Groups

The purpose of this 7-week course is to learn more about The Acts of the Apostles and the Early Church and to practice contemplative prayer.

Consider this goal:  15 minutes of Bible and prayer daily.

  • Sunday Learning Groups |  9:15am and 11:45am in Reception Room (Childcare for 5 years and younger)
  • Tuesday Learning Group |  10:30am in Reception Room
  • Home Learning Group | Form your own group of two or more; meet in your own space.

Resource Books

  • Conversations with Scripture: The Acts of the Apostles, by C. K. Robertson
  • Armchair Mystic: Easing into Contemplative Prayer, by Mark E. Thibodeaux, S.J.

Continue reading “Syllabus: Becoming Easter People”

Worship Notes: Ring Your Easter Bells!

by Fr Randolph Charles

Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Vigil/Easter Day are all important, even essential, to the Christian faith. The church encourages all Christians to participate in all the liturgies of this weekend, because only then do we hear the whole story; only then do we remember and reconnect [“re-member”] emotionally, mentally, and spiritually to the fullness of God’s love for humanity through Jesus Christ.

A focal point of our liturgical journey through the weekend is when the presider proclaims at the Easter liturgies, “Alleluia. Christ is risen.” and the people respond, “The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.” To make that joyful proclamation even more joyful, we invite all worshipers to ring bells that they have brought to church. We will have the bells and Alleluia streamers that we used at our Mardi Gras celebration available, but that won’t be enough bells for everyone, so please bring a bell, any kind of bell, and smile in church when you ring it at the appointed time!

Continue reading “Worship Notes: Ring Your Easter Bells!”

Holy Week 2018: Schedule of Services

Saint James’ you to attend as many of our Holy Week services as you are able. They dramatically walk us through Jesus’ last days and allow us to more fully enter the story and receive the love poured out for us. The experience of Holy Week also adds to the richness, joy, and bounding hope of Easter.

(scroll to the bottom of the page for photos and video from Holy Week services that have already occurred)


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March 31 | The Great Vigil of Easter

8:00 PM

Possibly the most beautiful service of the church year, the Easter Vigil begins outside in our courtyard with the kindling of a fire from which the paschal candle is lit.

After processing into the church, each person lights their candle from that paschal candle as the service begins in darkness. While still in the tomb we read of God’s saving work throughout history.

Then, after we have proclaimed our new life in Christ through the renewing of our baptismal covenant, we reign in Easter with the lighting the altar candles, the illuminating the worship area, and singing and ringing of bells.

Then we joyfully celebrate that first Easter Eucharist.

The service actually takes us from death to new life and we really experience that Easter moment. If you have not been to the Vigil, please consider making it your Easter celebration.

Also, following the service, Lent is officially over, we will celebrate with a champagne and chocolate reception in the parish hall.


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April 1 | Easter Sunday

8:00am and 10:15am

Come celebrate Easter Day with us!

Having completed our journey and walked through the sorrow of Holy Week, we now come ready to experience Easter Joy.

Our 10:15 service begins with the children flowering the cross and following behind it in procession. The joyful music fills the space as we tell the story of the empty tomb and the reverberations of that moment throughout history and in our lives. Following the service our children will continue the celebration as they search for Easter eggs.


previous services

Palm Sunday

“Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart, and especially the hearts of the people of this land, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” – Collect for Justice


Maundy Thursday

“Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it thankfully in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.” – Collect for Maundy Thursday


Good Friday

“Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.” – Collect for Good Friday

Adult Formation in Easter & Pentecost 2017

Learning More about Today’s Episcopal Church: Challenges and Opportunities

Adult Formation at Saint James’ Warrenton

Adult formation is learning about the faith and being formed by the triune God through

1) study of religious sources [Bible, Prayer Book, books, etc.]

2) contemplative prayer [lectio divina, contemplation, centering prayer, examen, etc.]

3) meaningful conversation [honest, open, focused, non-judgmental, helpful, respectful, etc.]

4) and participation in the life of a faith community. [learning groups, St. James’, The Episcopal Church]

Continue reading “Adult Formation in Easter & Pentecost 2017”

Adult Formation in the Season of Easter

Mission Statement for Adult Formation

Adult formation is learning about the faith and being formed by the Triune God through study of religious sources, contemplative prayer, meaningful conversation, and participation in the life of a faith community. 

Learning Group Course: Episcopal Identity

Dates

– Four sessions, offered twice, beginning Sunday, May 7

Primary Book

The Episcopal Way: Church’s Teaching for a Changing World ($10, 100 pages; $10 Kindle)

Continue reading “Adult Formation in the Season of Easter”