Adult Faith Exploration

Make me to know your ways, O Lord. Teach me your paths. (Psalm 25:4)

This offering has gone by a number of names at St. Paul’s. Adult Sunday School. Adult Faith Formation. Currently, we are using the name: Adult Faith Exploration. Why? Because our faith unfolds and deepens as we explore scripture, listen to the weekly sermons, and reflect with one another on meaning and application in what we experience in our daily lives. Faith exploration is the lifelong process of growing in our relationship with God, self, others, and all creation. Every experience in our lives can provide us with the opportunity to express our faith. The challenge we face is recognizing these opportunities and learning ways to live a sometimes countercultural life in a secular world. At St. Paul’s, we study individually and together, dive into our weekly readings, and learn about the foundations of our traditions. Together, we question how we can do more to live out God’s mission in our parish community and in our lives outside the church doors. In these challenging times, we are being asked to “double down” on what we believe and in our commitment to a just world, including our commitment to creating God’s “beloved community.” This is hard, and it is important that we do this work of discernment together.

We offer weekly sessions on Sunday mornings at 9:15 in the church library. All are welcome to attend!

Saoirse Charis-Graves, Coordinator

As of 2019, we are going to start a blog of our discussions and you can respond! Stay tuned!

Discerning as a Renewed Commitment to Faith

This year, St. Paul’s again offers an opportunity for parishioners to explore and discern a renewed commitment to their faith. (This is sometimes referred to in the Episcopal Church as an Inquirers or Seekers Class.) This class will be for those who are new to the Episcopal Church, those who have questions about its foundations, those who are preparing for confirmation/reception/reaffirmation in the church, and for those who have been confirmed and can help in our conversation about the church, faith and spirituality.

What are those terms? Confirmation is for anyone who desires to make a mature affirmation of one’s beliefs in the presence of a bishop. Reception is for anyone who has been confirmed in another tradition but who now desires to be received into the Episcopal Church. Reaffirmation is for anyone who has been confirmed and now desires to renew their commitment in faith.

Facilitated by The Rev’d Allan Cole, the class dialogue is part history, part theology, and continues our exploration into the broad faith of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. The goal of the class is to begin to address questions about what it means to be an Episcopalian within our community and the larger world. The depth of the conversation depends on the theological and spiritual diversity of the group, so please feel free to bring questions and/or concerns about the church when you come. There are no questions that cannot be asked.

Sundays March 3rd through April 7th, 9:15am in the church library

All are most welcome to join in the conversation!

Stations of the Cross: A Lenten Devotion

The Stations of the Cross are an ancient form of Christian devotion originally observed by pilgrims visiting the Holy Land and popularized by the Franciscans when they were given custody of the holy sites in Jerusalem in the 14th Century. The Stations follow the path that Jesus was forced to take from Pilate’s Judgment Hall to Calvary, continued by the disciples who took his lifeless body from there to the tomb.

Moving from station to station, following the events in the words of scripture and letting the prayers draw us into the narrative, we are invited to grow closer to Christ by embracing the mystery of suffering in the world. By joining Christ on this humbling journey, we learn to become his disciples to a hurting world. Many different prayers and readings have been developed for this devotion, which can be said as a private form of prayer or as a public liturgy on Fridays in Lent.

At St. Paul’s, we are fortunate to have a beautiful set of plaques depicting the Stations of the Cross gifted to us for this devotion. For the upcoming season of Lent, we offer opportunities for experiencing the Stations in two ways: 1) with a personal guide or 2) walk the stations on your own with a printed guide for prayer and meditation. We have two booklets available, one based on Saint Augustine’s Prayer Book and the other a simple, intimate and powerful classic by Clarence Enzler.

Fridays in Lent: March 8, 15, 22, 29 and April 5, 12 - 5:30 to 6:30pm
Maundy Thursday: April 18 - 5-6pm
Good Friday: April 19 - 5-6pm

We hope you will join us!