Notes on Chapter 4: The Heart of Christianity

Learning More about Christianity

We are currently using The Heart of Christianity, by Marcus Borg, in our adult formation learning groups. I am very excited about this book and the meaningful faith conversations that it invites!

ALL ARE WELCOME!

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Adult Formation Syllabus: Learning More About Christianity

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.]

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Adult Formation Journal: February 23

Dear Saint James’ Learners,

The next session is our last one for the season of Epiphany. I hope that all of you can attend one of the Sunday learning groups or the Tuesday learning group. Not only will we talk about the final two chapters (only 11 pages!) of our study book, but we will also look forward to the Lent course, “Learning More about Jesus and Holy Week.”

Scroll down to read the outline and study questions for our last discussion group.

Faithfully,

Randolph

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Adult Formation Journal: February 18

Dear Saint James’ Learners,

If you haven’t read the assignment for tomorrow, fear not. If you haven’t attended the sessions lately, fear not. If you feel guilty, have lost interest, or don’t want to be singled out, fear not!

I hope that all of the 80 parishioners who registered for “Learning More about the New Testament” will attend at least one of the two remaining sessions, if not both. The focus of adult formation at St James’ is to know that God is always with us, to be in community, and to continue our journey of learning more about God and how to be more faithful disciples of Jesus. So, please, come to one of the learning groups this week and next week.

I will be covering the book material and facilitating meaningful conversation, and I will do my best to make each session an event in which you will move deeper in your faith and closer to your fellow parishioners.

Attached is the outline for tomorrow and information about adult formation in the season of Lent and Holy Week.

(scroll down for an outline of The New Testament chapter 9 study guide)

Faithfully,

Randolph

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New Testament Stuff I Need To Know: Session 6

Chapter 8: Two Hidden Treasures   

Learning Group Discussion: 2/12-2/18

Reading Assignment Outline

Hebrews: Preaching as Theology

  • Author: anonymous, excellent Greek, rhetoric of exposition and exhortation, use of Torah
  • Date: between 60 and 90CE
  • Context: maybe ethnically Hellenistic Jews, also Christians,
  • faith community in danger of “falling away
  • superiority of Jesus to God’s earlier agents
  • engages the symbolism of the ancient cult, especially sacrifice
  • merging of biblical cosmology and Platonic categories (material/ideal, earth/heaven)
  • Christ is the perfect mediator between God and humans because he is (ontological) both divine and human, and because Christ’s mediating role is not static but dynamic (moral). p88
  • Christ represent humanity as its priest forever
  • cloud of witnesses
  • Jesus is both the cause of salvation and the model of obedient faith
6thC lunette mosaic, Abel & Melchizedek sacrificing - Basilica di San Vitale, Ravenna
6th-century mosaic in the Basilica di San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy, depicting Abel and Melchisedec making a sacrifice on an altar. Christians see scenes like this one as foreshadowing the Eucharistic ritual.


Continue reading “New Testament Stuff I Need To Know: Session 6”

Adult Formation Journal: February 8, 2017

It is a proven fact that we grow in our faith when we do three things:

  1. read and study the Bible daily, whether it is one verse, one chapter, or more,
  2. pray daily, whether it is ten minutes of being still and quiet with God, one hour of contemplation, or praying throughout the day,
  3. apply faith principles to our daily lives, whether it is occasionally or often.

I have attached the two latest Daily Meditations from Richard Rohr:

His topic is contemplative prayer. Granted, it’s counterintuitive and not the way most people pray, but anyone can learn a method of contemplative prayer. It may be the most important step we can take to grow spiritually in this age. I welcome your comments and questions at Randolph@saintjameswarrenton.org.

Update on Adult Formation | January 12, 2017

Dear Parishioners,

55 of you have registered for the “New Testament Stuff I Need to Know” course. That’s fantastic! It is a fact that congregations that read and study Scripture together grow together. We grow closer to each other and to God  as we learn more about God’s Word and share our learnings with each other.

I have posted below the syllabus for the course. There are 20 more course books available, and I hope that every one of them finds a home with one of you. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at randolph@saintjameswarrenton.org  I am the facilitator for all Sunday sessions and most of the Tuesday sessions.

Faithfully,

Randolph

Continue reading “Update on Adult Formation | January 12, 2017”

Table Talk: Week of January 8, 2017

For the next few weeks, we will be experimenting with our Sunday School organization. Godly Play will encompass 1st-5th grade. Godly Play is designed to be used for all age levels and we have wanted to expand the experience. This desire, combined with the struggle to recruit teachers for this oldest group, persuaded us to try something new. In the lead up to Lent, we will see how having the groups together works and then evaluate how to proceed from there. We’d love to hear feedback from parents and children as the process unfolds.

Holy Baptism

The First Sunday after Epiphany is also known as the Baptism of our Lord. Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into the Church.

We baptize people in the name of the Father…the Son…and the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we call the Father the Creator. We call the Son the Redeemer. We call the Holy Spirit the Sustainer. People are baptized at all ages, from babies through the very old. We ask the person about to be baptized questions, or the parents or godparents if they are babies. We say prayers for them.

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Adult Formation in Epiphany: You’re Invited!

Adult Formation for the Season of Epiphany

January 6-February 28, 2017

We want EVERYONE to join our 2017 focus on learning more about the Bible!


BIBLE STUDY COURSE: “New Testament Stuff I Need to Know”

This book is both scholarly and basic and will be ordered for everyone that registers for the course. The cost is $6. Weekly reading assignments are about fifteen pages. Group discussion is important! Register for learning groups at main bulletin board OR email Fr. Randolph.

9:15 Learning Group

– Sundays, 9:15-10:00, Jan 8-Feb 26, Reception Room (childcare for 5 and younger in the nursery)

11:45 Learning Group

– Sundays, 11:45-12:30, Jan 8-Feb 26, Reception Room

Women’s Study Group

– Tuesdays, 10:30-11:30, Jan 8-Feb 28, Reception Room

Online Learning Group

– On Facebook … just join the Facebook group Saint James’ Warrenton | Adult Formation and add your voice to the conversation!

Self-select Learning Group

– Conversations with family and friends, Jan 8-Feb 28

Register for learning groups at main bulletin board OR randolph@saintjameswarrenton.org


PERSONAL BIBLE READING

Read the Bible in 24 weeks. You can order the book online OR email Fr Randolph

Read Bible stories with your children for 24 weeks. You can order the book online OR email Fr Randolph

Read the Gospel of Matthew with daily reflections in 50 days. You can order the book online OR email Fr Randolph


ONGOING FORMATION OFFERINGS

Men’s Spiritual Formation Group

– Mondays, 8:00-9:00, Reception Room

Holy Eucharist

– Wednesdays, 12:00-12:45

Chapel with the Bishop, followed by discussion

– Thursdays, 7:15-9:00

Book Study Group

– First Thursdays, 9:30-11:00


We want EVERYONE to join our 2017 focus on learning more about the Bible!

Feel free to contact Fr. Randolph at randolph@saintjameswarrenton.org with questions or comments.

Plan for Adult Formation in Epiphany

A Report to the Parishioners of Saint James’ from the Adult Formation Discernment Team

Dear Parishioners,

The mission of the Adult Formation Discernment Team was to determine and launch new adult formation programs at Saint James’. Christian formation is Christian education with the added dimension of cultivating an openness to being formed and shaped by God.

The purpose of creating new adult formation offerings is threefold:

  • to serve more parishioners, especially those who have not been regular participants in formation programs before,
  • to choose one area of learning which could be a shared experience for the entire parish during a liturgical season or a period of time, and
  • to provide both scholarly content and practical application to daily living.

The team gathered data through conversations with parishioners and a parish survey. More than a hundred parishioners participated in the survey. We also looked at resources and methods of learning.

Based on our discussions and discernment, here are the plans for the Season of Epiphany, January 6 to February 28:

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Adult Formation for Advent & Epiphany

Advent Begins This Sunday!

The Season of Advent begins this Sunday, November 27.

Your Adult Formation Discernment Team is inviting and encouraging the entire Saint James’ Parish to read and discuss What Are You Waiting For?, a book of brief daily Advent meditations written by Christine McSpadden, an Episcopal priest, and published by Forward Movement.

The Formation Team is providing a free copy to the first 100 parish households who commit to reading the daily meditations (two short pages) and discussing them in a group setting before or after worship on Sunday, or with a group of friends sometime during the week.

Continue reading “Adult Formation for Advent & Epiphany”