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The Sunday Forum is a weekly class, held during six months of the year at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays, led by parish clergy and guest speakers. The Forum offers teachings on a variety of topics which seek to cover “the basics”: the Book of Common Prayer, Anglicanism, church history, Scripture, Rule of Life, spiritual healing, sin and forgiveness, prayer, and issues of church and society. It is a good introduction to Christian formation for adults at Saint Paul’s and ideal for those who are unable to commit to regular or extended classes or groups. Feel free to drop in whenever you can – there is little or no homework, and while it is best to catch a series as a whole, each week can also stand alone.
Together we shall seek to rediscover our foundational identity as the community of the baptized and so be more deeply renewed and empowered in mission and ministry
Monday, Hic et Nunc (Here and Now) is a monastic spirituality group committed to sharing in the appreciation and growth of silence, holiness, devotion, and fellowship led by Jo Stelzig. The group meets on Monday evenings, beginning with Shrine Prayers in the church at 5:30 p.m., followed by Evening Prayer, and Mass. At 6:30 p.m., Hic et Nunc assembles in the Carwithen Parlor, where there are readings from the Rule of St. Benedict, followed by a shared dinner during readings from the Rule of the Communities of Jerusalem, and then a book discussion. At 8:00 p.m., the group returns to the church for silent adoration and meditation in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament and concludes with sung Compline beginning at 8:30 p.m. The evening ends at 8:45 p.m., with the commencement of the Great Monastic Silence. (Silence ends the next morning at Morning Prayer for those who keep the silence.) For more information, please contact Jo Stelzig. Call ext. 43 to get into the building if you arrive after Mass.
Tuesday, The Religion and Science Book Group's mission is to conduct intellectual and prayerful inquiry into the interface between science and religion. The group meets 7:00-8:30 p.m. in the Common Room. Over nine months of each year, the group explores the interfaces between science and religion/theology, particularly with respect to Anglican theology. With input from the members, the group’s leaders, Ken Simmons and Bill Ryon, periodically select relevant topics for review. Each session is led by a group member who has volunteered before the session to select an aspect of the topic and develop discussion questions. For more information, contact email@example.com.
Wednesday, Pilgrims in Christ meets following evening Mass, in the Guild Room. This is an intensive nine-month class offering formation in the basics of Christian faith and practice, in the context of the Anglican tradition. It is intended for the following adults, called by God to a process of new commitment and spiritual growth: candidates for baptism, confirmation, reception into the Episcopal Church, or reaffirmation of baptismal vows; potential sponsors for those candidates; all who seek spiritual renewal, a deeper relationship with Christ, or a fuller knowledge of the Catholic faith; and those wishing a greater understanding of specifically Anglican spirituality and tradition. Pilgrims in Christ is taught by the Fr. Tony Lewis, an honorary assistant priest at St. Paul's, and others on a teaching team. The team for 2012-2013 includes Jonathan Chesney (seminarian), Sylvia Rortvedt, Jeanne Smith, Sarah Stoycos, and Michael Vreeland. The introductory dinner for all those interested learning more about the 2012-13 class will be held on Wednesday, September 5 in the dining hall immediately following the 6:00 p.m. Mass. All are welcome. The first class meets the following Wednesday on September 12 at 6:40 p.m. in the Gild Room. For more information or to register, please contact Sarah Stoycos.
Thursday, Benedictine Cell meets at St. Paul's on the second Thursday of the month from September to July, and meets off-sight in August for a group dinner. The Benedictine Cell is a group of people who seek to love and serve God in the Benedictine way of life, integrating into their lives the Benedictine principles of Obedience, Stability and Conversion of Life. Members' daily lives are grounded in Obedience as they endeavor to listen for the voice of God in Scripture, Liturgy, daily circumstances, and relationships with other people. Their lives are grounded in Stability as they endeavor to be faithful and regular in prayer, and in the daily obligations of family, church, employment and community. The members of the Cell strive to be always open for the changes necessary for Christian growth and conversion of life as they examine their actions, attitudes and habits, and face them honestly. The Benedictine Cell's first meeting will be on Thursday, September 13, 2012, starting at 5:45 pm with Evening Prayer followed by Mass. The group then adjourns to the Guild room for some refreshments provided on a rotating basis by members of the Cell. Time is allowed for a chapter meeting, usually short, where the details of the group's life together are discussed. A portion of the Rule of Benedict (RB) is studied and discussed each month. Time is also devoted to Lectio Divina, the ancient practice of prayerful, meditative reading of Scripture in which we listen to what God has to say to each person, enabling them to put meaning into their everyday life. The evening ends with the office of Compline. Body, mind and spirit are brought together in this very Benedictine setting which helps foster the forming of personal and spiritual bonds between members of the Cell. Sister Maria Raphael, an oblate of the Order of Saint Benedict (OSB), is the leader of this group.
If you are unable to get to every session, you will be most welcome to attend whenever possible. To join this group or for more information, call (703-790-1715) or email Jean Litwin.