Christ Church 101: Once a month, we gather in the church after the 10:30 service for an open discussion of questions that participants might have. The conversation can last 5 minutes or 45 minutes depending on the energy in the group. We have discussed abortion, the Trinity, ritual gestures, same-sex marriage, Mormonism, church artwork, different views of salvation, the Bible – and many other topics and questions.
Explore: For people who may be interested in becoming Christian through Holy Baptism or being received into the Episcopal Church through confirmation or reception, the EXPLORE classes focus on core spiritual practices and convictions we hold, the distinctive characteristics of Anglican spirituality, and our social commitments. Classes this Spring are at 12:15-1:15 p.m. on January 20 and 27, February 17, March 3 and 31, and April 7. If you have any questions, please contact Fr. Torvend at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Foundations: In Fall, Winter, and Spring, a new foundations course of three sessions is offered for members, newcomers, and friends of Christ Church. Usually meeting on a weeknight from 6:30 to 8:00 pm, Foundations Courses examine a range of themes or practices in Episcopal/Anglican spirituality. Foundations courses have focused on prayer, monastic spirituality, forgiveness, inter-religious dialogue, a particular gospel, environmental ethics, and honoring the body.
Bible Study: This small group meets in the library Monday evenings from 7 – 8 p.m. for an informal conversational exploration of scripture. All are welcome to take part; no special knowledge is needed. The discussion focuses on the readings assigned for the following Sunday’s worship. What those readings are can be found in the Eucharistic Lectionary section of the Book of Common Prayer or online at the Episcopal Church’s Lectionary Page: lectionarypage.net. If you have questions or are interested in learning more about the group, contact Doug Dahlgren: email@example.com
Monthly Reading Group: Each month, a group of members and friends of Christ Church gather to discuss a book they have chosen the previous month to read. The range of texts is quite large and will, occasionally, include a film. This appreciative and open discussion of an ancient or a very modern text expands one’s thinking about faith and life and complements our commitment to welcome questions and new insights as we discern what it means to be Christian.
Sunday Classes: Throughout the different seasons of the Christian year, classes are offered that deepen our understanding of a season or a feast day and its relevance for people who live in a fast-paced world. The flexibility of the classes also allows us to offer classes that directly focus on a current event that influences Christian faith and life. These classes are offered after the 10:30 service, beginning at 12:15 and ending promptly at 1:15 pm.
Newcomer Dessert Gatherings: For people who are fairly new to Christ Church, this seasonal gathering is the chance to meet for dessert in a member’s home, converse with other newcomers, hear about upcoming events at the church, and ask questions – if you have them. This is an informal and relaxed time to meet the parish priests and the hosts who offer gracious hospitality to all who come.
Quiet Mornings: At the beginning of Advent (early December) and Lent (late winter) – and other times – a member of the parish or a guest speaker leads participants in a series of short reflections that prepare us for the keeping of the season. There is ample silence to write in one’s journal, pray in the church or chapel, take a contemplative walk, or simply rest and be quiet. Quiet mornings – a brief retreat – begin with Holy Eucharist at 9:00 am in the Trinity Chapel and conclude promptly at 12 noon.
Pop-Up Classes: We are a community with many gifted members who hold expertise in a variety of areas. And so we are able to offer one class or a series of classes that illuminate a particular question or guide one into a particular practice – whether that be a look at the religious character of Iran, learning how to meditate in the midst of an active life, or dispelling false notions of Islam.
Visio Divina: With the publication of The Saint John’s Bible, the first hand-written and fully illuminated Bible in 500 years, we have the opportunity to reflect on a particular image and how its colors, style, and content speak to each of us as it sheds light on the mystery of life with God in this world. Rather than read the biblical text, we encounter and reflect on the work of an artist who has interpreted the text with his or her own remarkable artistic gift.