All Parish Read | St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church

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All Parish Read

All Parish Read

# Adult Formation
Published by Parish Administrator on Thursday, August 18, 2022 7:20 PM

In September 2022, SJB participated in an all-parish read of Rowan Williams' book Being Christian: Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, Prayer.

This book was chosen to build on the enthusiasm we had for The Path, and because it dovetails nicely with the goals we set with Renewal Works: to embrace Christian beliefs and spiritual practices, and to embed the Bible in everything we do.

The book is short -- 84 pages -- with four chapters on four basic Christian practices: baptism, Bible, Eucharist, and prayer. Exploring this book is a way to start building on the work we started with The Path. Also, P.D. James calls it 'Elegant and lucid.' I don't know about you but I trust P.D. James!

We will start up on Sunday, September 11 by distributing the free books, and then dive in September 18 with the book's introduction. On September 25 and the following three Sundays we will discuss a new chapter each week in the Parish Hall for adult formation from 9:30-10:15 am.  There will be a zoom option on Wednesdays following Evening Prayer. Everyone is welcome to tune in any time on Wednesday evening to catch Fellowship, Evening Prayer and then the book discussion. 

The Wednesday evening timeline looks like this:

  • 6:15 p.m. Fellowship
  • 6:30 p.m. Evening Prayer
  • 7:00 p.m. Discussion of Being Christian

The class discussion will be facilitated by teams of parishioners overseen by Canon Elise. Discussion questions are found at the end of each chapter.

Here's what the schedule looks like:

  • Introduction
    • September 18 at 9:30 a.m. in the Parish Hall
    • September 21st at 7:00 p.m. on Zoom following Evening Prayer
  • Baptism
    • September 25 at 9:30 a.m. in the Parish Hall
    • September 28 at 7:00 p.m. on Zoom following Evening Prayer
  • Bible
    • October 2 at 9:30 a.m. in the Parish Hall
    • October 5 at 7:00 p.m. on Zoom following Evening Prayer
  • Eucharist
    • October 9 at 9:30 a.m. in the Parish Hall
    • October 12 at 7:00 p.m. on Zoom following Evening Prayer
  • Prayer

    • October 16 at 9:30 a.m. in the Parish Hall
    • October 19 at 7:00 p.m. on Zoom following Evening Prayer    
  • Wrap up with Mark Medley, Ph.D. theologian who has studied with Archbishop Rowan Williams.

    • October 23 at 9:30 a.m. in the Parish Hall
    • October 26 at 7:00 p.m. on Zoom following Evening Prayer

We hope you will join us in growing in faith through this venture through Rowan Williams’ book!

           -Katie Bucy

Publishers Weekly has this to say about Being Christian:

In this accessible and thought-provoking book, Williams (Faith in the Public Square), the former Archbishop of Canterbury, explores four essential elements of Christian life. In a conversational tone and with good-natured humor, he elucidates key points; for example, with baptism, one joins a Christian community: "Bad news for many, because other Christians can be so difficult!" Discussing the Bible, Williams provides a concise overview of the book's makeup before addressing challenges of interpreting " 'the word of the Lord,' the communication of God." He tackles difficult questions (such as "Does God approve of genocide?") and suggests ways to engage scripture: "ask where you are in the story." In the Eucharist, all Christians are guests, "people whose company God wants"; paradoxically, Jesus draws out hospitality in others, asking followers, as he asked Zacchaeus, the tax collector: "Aren't you going to ask me to your home?" Williams explores prayer through the writing of Origen, Gregory, and Cassian, three early Christians, reflecting on the Lord's Prayer. Each of the four chapters closes with thoughtful questions, making this an excellent spiritual guide for individual or small group use. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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